Join the Sonoma Ecology Center, Team Sugarloaf, and Bill and Dave Hikes, for a very rare opportunity to hike from Hood Mountain Regional Park to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park via the historic McCormick Ranch section of Sugarloaf. This year we have two versions:
- Original Route – from Los Alamos parking lot in Hood Mountain Regional Park to Sugarloaf’s day use picnic area via McCormick and Bald Mt. 11 miles with 3,200 ft of elevation.
- Epic Option – Sugarloaf’s Goodspeed trail into Hood Mt. down to McCormick and joining the rest of the group. 17 miles, 5,600 ascent (limited to 15 tickets).
This event will be a grand tour of the Mayacamas Mountains in the northern half of Sonoma Valley, where we will pass close to the headwaters of Santa Rosa and Sonoma Creeks. The Perry family has generously given permission to hike through their property, allowing our adventure to go the back way along the Napa/Sonoma County line. Sonoma County Regional Parks has also kindly allowed us to use the Los Alamos parking lot as a drop-off point, despite of the Hood Mtn Regional Park closure.
The route will take participants through some of the wildest and most beautiful sections of Sonoma County filled with massive trees and lovely wildflowers. The terrain also holds history of the McCormick and Hurd families. At the end of the 11-mile hike, join your fellow adventurers for a delicious tri-tip BBQ meal at the Sugarloaf day-use picnic area. Beer and wine included.
Original route: Participants should arrive at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park no later than 8:45am. Shuttle buses will leave at 9am to the Los Alamos parking lot of Hood Mountain Regional Park. From there, hikers will follow Santa Rosa Creek Trail down to Homestead Meadow and then cross into the McCormick addition of Sugarloaf. We will work our way up Quercus Trail, to the location of the Grandmother Oak overlooking the former Spaulding Property, and have a brief stop at Red Hill. Continuing up Maple Glen Trail, with permission from landowner Jim Perry, our group will hike southeast along the county line and enjoy lunch at the top of “Hill 2530” (named for its elevation). We will enter Sugarloaf and take a break at the Red Barn where snacks and cold drinks will be provided by Team Sugarloaf. The group will then proceed up to Bald Mountain and finally work its way back down to the day-use area at Sugarloaf for a barbecue dinner. The route covers approximately 11 miles with an elevation gain of about 3,200 ft. We expect to arrive at the barbecue at about 3:30pm.
Epic Option: Meet at Sugarloaf’s Visitor Center at 6:15am for a 6:30am departure. Meet up with the group hiking from Los Alamos at Santa Rosa Creek at about 10am.
Tickets: $80 each. Tickets include transportation, snacks, drinks, and BBQ.
Underwriting Options: Help us defray the costs of the event and make it a true fundraiser!
Event Sponsor: $5000 (includes a ticket to the hike – tax deductible)
Feast Funder: $500 (includes a ticket to the hike – tax deductible)
School Bus Sponsor: $250 (includes a ticket to the hike – tax deductible)
Please bring a lunch, water and be prepared to walk over the steep and sometimes rough terrain, stream crossing of minimal depth. Dress appropriately for the weather and the ticks.
The Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) is open to the public at least once a month, usually on a Saturday near the time of the New Moon.
Star Parties: Presentations on astronomical topics are given in the classroom throughout the course of the evening. Starting at dusk, the Observatory’s three main telescopes are open for your viewing. Docents set up additional telescopes in front of the building. Friendly and knowledgeable docents are available to answer your questions.
You must have a ticket to attend, as well as proof of vaccination or a negative rapid test taken within the last 48 hours.
- Map and Directions
- When to arrive: We keep the observatory open as long as there are visitors, but you must arrive within 3 hours after start time to ensure that we remain open for you. Summer Star Parties begin with tours and presentations until it’s dark enough for observing.
- Bring warm clothing, even in summer—observing is done outdoors.
- There is a short walk from the parking area to the Observatory and you may wish to bring a small flashlight.
- White Light: No white lights should be used after dark; the observatory is a red-light-only area to protect everyone’s night vision. We will supply red cellophane to cover flashlights. Please note:
◦ Bring a SMALL flashlight (large camp lanterns, light sticks, etc., cannot be adequately covered by red cellophane).
◦ Cell phones or cell-phone flashlights are acceptable but must be covered in red cellophane. (No cell service at the observatory).
◦ Some head lamps are difficult to cover with red cellophane. Once covered, head lamps should be worn around the neck or used pointing down as they are usually very bright at eye level.
◦ Red flashlights are available for $5 at the observatory.
- Alcohol is prohibited on Observatory grounds.
- The Observatory is not open to the public except for scheduled events.
Classroom presentations are always offered on Star Party nights even if the weather is poor. For current conditions call the observatory at (707) 833-6979.
For more info please visit the Robert Ferguson Observatory website.
Enjoy your yoga experience in the beautiful setting of our park! Susan Topf’s Yoga Hike balances a mix of easy hiking and gentle yoga postures, breath work and guided meditation, no mat necessary.
Please wear weather-appropriate clothing to feel comfortable being in a natural setting and bring water (as needed).
Route varies on weather conditions and group interest that typically covers 2-3 miles of varied terrain.
Tickets are $30 and include parking if registered in advance online.
All levels and ages welcome. Meet outside the Visitor’s Center unless otherwise noted in confirmation email prior to the hike. Limited to 12 participants.
After an introduction to materials and methods, we will take about 30 minutes to explore around the Observatory and the White Barn to start recording our observations. Returning to the group camp, we will share what we’ve done and you will get a chance to try out some watercolor, colored pencils, watercolor pencils and drawing pencils. You are welcome to bring any other art supplies that you have, but just a pencil will do!
This event is accessible for those using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. Meet at the group camp parking area. Bring a notebook, water, sun protection, a snack, and if desired, bring a picnic to enjoy afterwards. A $10 parking fee is applicable.
Help Sugarloaf with trail restoration work. Work includes bridge and step construction, installing signs, clearing, lifting, carrying and hiking. Bring gloves, hat, and water that you can carry hands-free (i.e. bring a backpack). Wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Poison oak is present, so long sleeves are suggested. We have tools and trained crew leaders with tasks for all. Minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We will provide tools, and if allowed, lunch.
The practice of Forest Therapy has been shown to improve health and well-being.
Have you heard about Shinrin-yoku or Forest bathing? Here is an opportunity to take a walk and experience the practice for yourself. Learn techniques to maximize the health benefits and stress reducing qualities of this walking practice. Shinrin-yoku originated in Japan and is gaining popularity in the United States for its documented health benefits.
This practice takes a walk in the woods to another level. A centering and calming restorative practice, it promotes balance and restored vitality through a quality of presence and heightened sensory awareness. Recent articles have been written up in Oprah, Time Magazine, and National Geographic, as well as numerous other publications. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park hosts a Forest Therapy Series as part of its ParkRx Program the 4th Saturday of each month. These walks are led by certified Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) practitioners. Visit natureandforesttherapy.earth for more info about this practice.
We are offering a morning (9:30am-12:30pm) and afternoon (2-5pm) session for every date. Tickets are valid only for the date and time purchased.
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $7.5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds), Sugarloaf members and volunteers, and free for under 12. Meet at the White Barn parking area. Bring water, sun protection, and if you have them, butterfly and wildflower guides.
Rain cancels. Parking fees apply.
Join us for a 1.4-mile nature hike along the Sonoma Creek. On the hike your leader will teach you about the plants, animals, and aquatic life of Sonoma Creek. The hike starts outside the Visitor Center. Free. Registration is not required. Parking charges apply.