Park Rx for Health
Park Rx for health aims to help improve the health and well-being of Sonoma County residents through regular exercise in Sonoma County parks and on Sonoma County trails. By “nature” a collaborative program between health care and park professionals, patients are “prescribed” monthly activities at local parks which introduce participants to safe, low impact walking or outdoor physical activities in nature. Our goal is to promote healthier lifestyles that result from engagement with nature.
Park Rx for health strives to:
- Prescribe healthy outdoor exercise though partnerships with public health care providers.
- Increase access and utilization of parks by people who are historically underrepresented.
- Actively promote connections with nature through programs which encourage physical activity, stress reduction and social connection for overall wellness.
How To Participate
Sugarloaf has a variety of events in our program. Find an event that fits your needs, and sign up. If you have a ParksRx form filled out by your medical provider, you can attend for free, though parking fees apply.
Park Rx Events at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
- Hiking for Fitness Series (a series of 8 weekly hikes for over 20 – 40 people, each hike increasing in difficulty). These hiking series are very popular and introduce people to the joys of walking in the outdoors. They also provide a sense of community and commitment that encourages series completion. Many of the leaders are health or fitness professionals. We have a beginning and intermediate program as well as a maintenance program. Follow this link for more information about the Hiking for Fitness Series.
- Family Hikes: Sugarloaf offers 1-4 family hike events per month. Family hikes are at 10 am on the on every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on holidays. These events are free and no sign up needed. Your Rx gets you in free.
- Senderos Naturales Program: Sugarloaf offers many active Spanish Language Outdoor Programs, with 1-3 events per month. This program attracts between 20 and 60 attendees to each event and events range from family hikes to naturalist lead hikes and overnight campouts. Follow this link for more Information about Senderos Naturales.
- Yoga Hikes: Monthly yoga hikes allow people to enjoy the benefits of yoga in an outdoor setting. The hikes cover 2-3 miles with 4-6 yoga stops along the way.
- Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing: Sugarloaf Park is where the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, was introduced to the west and the program now has expanded all over the world. The Association of Forest Therapy supports the park by leading a monthly forest-bathing walk here at the park.
For Medical Providers
How does it work for a Medical Provider?
If you have a patient that could benefit from getting outside for exercise, stress reduction or family or community engagement, write a prescription! Have your patient or you review this website for options.
At most parks, your prescription will allow access to a single event or series of events or it may provide free entry for self-guided hikes. Park Rx prescriptions are valid for three months from the date written.