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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sonoma County Summer - North County Ride

This is one of my favoite Two Wheel Tours - but you don’t have to be on a motorcycle to take great pleasure in this route. If you like twisty turns, stunning vistas and the chance to forget about reality - this is a great spring ride before it gets too hot.

Follow the orange route on the map below (print it out to take it along). I took this ride from my home town, Forestville. But of course - you can start and end from your house - or anywhere you want! That’s the joy of summer - go have fun.

This is PLAY TIME!

Take the jog off Dry Creek Road to Warm Springs Dam. At the top of the hill - just before the bridge, theres a vista stop with picnic tables and very nice memorial bench you can sit on to feel the breeze and watch the light change on this amazing view acrsos Lake Sonoma. Many years ago I used to come up here to camp with my little girl. We would drive up mid-week, pick a camp site, and reserve it for the coming weekend. Real easy because it’s close to home. Whether you camp along the main body of the lake - or canoe down the fingers to very private camp sites, this bit of water wonderland is mere minutes from our homes.

There’s a summer of fun waiting for you right here at home. The sweetest part of taking a Vacation at Home is that you still get to lighten your heart and mind with play...but you sleep in your own bed!

And yes - you can choose to stay overnight just about anywhere in this stunning county! That has its own delight as well! Tourists come from thousands of miles away to be right where we live. And here it is...ours...any time we want it.

Estero Americano Preserve

Sonoma Land Trusts Estero Americano Preserve is the site of grassland management and monitoring project designed to evaluate the effectiveness of cattle grazing for coastal grassland enhancement. SLT is working with multiple partners to assess the coastal grasslands, improve grazing infrastructure, and develop plans for grazing management and ecological monitoring of the coastal prairie grassland found on the property. Join the hike on June 4th to learn more about the native perennial grasses and wildflowers which together comprise on average over 20% of the vegetation cover in the grasslands – a high percentage given that the majority of California’s native grasslands have been already been lost.

The Estero Americano Preserve is scenic and biologically diverse 127-acre property that was acquired in with the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. It is part of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary - one of the most important biological areas on the entire Northern California Coast. Our Preserve contains a variety of diverse habitat types, including: coastal prairie, perennial grasslands, northern coastal scrub, freshwater seep, and coastal brackish marsh.

The Sonoma Land Trust develops long-term land-protection strategies for the varied regions of the county, acquires conservation easements and properties of special significance; manages preserves; works on land stewardship and restoration projects; and provides opportunities for hikes, environmental education and restoration activities.

Since 1976, the Sonoma Land Trust has protected more than 26,000 acres of beautiful, productive and environmentally significant land. For more information, please go to:

Bullfrog Pond Bike Ride

We meet every Tuesday rain or shine 10am at Stumptown Cycles on Armstrong Woods Road in Guerneville (1/2 block off 116 intersection) or the Coffee Bazaar across the street - then going up to Bullfrog Pond in Armstrong Woods State Park.

It’s a heavy climb but one of the best uphill rides in the county and takes about 1 hour round trip (depending on your fitness). Every one is welcome, but do have in mind it’s a brutal but epic ride as mentioned above...some of us take it as a excuse to get out of the house and have a short and free workout, some of us take off from bullfrog to explore Austin Creek Recreation Area. Some of us just like to enjoy the great view - and for some others – it’s a warm up for their training-ride. The ride is unattended, so if no one shows at 10am, the just go by yourself...don’t forget your helmet! INFO: Paddy Hart 707-869-9665 or Stumptown Cycles, 1402 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville

Keeping Cool in Summer Heat
By Jen Stanfield,
Stewardship Coordinator, Sonoma County Regional Parks

As summer heats up, don’t despair of finding cool adventures in Sonoma County. Although most people may hightail it for the coast during the summer, eastern Sonoma County offers a few shady gems that you won’t want to miss. First off, check out the Bay Tree Trail and the Nature Trail at Maxwell Farms Regional Park in Sonoma. These trails are kept blissfully cool by the majestic bay trees that form several forested corridors across the 40 acre conservation easement that covers the southwestern half of the park.

Maxwell Farms Regional Park: 100 Verano Avenue, Sonoma, CA 95476; $6 parking fee or free with a Parks Membership.

Sonoma Valley Regional Park offers a mostly shady 2.4 mile (round trip) trail that travels through the bottom of a ravine surrounded by oak woodlands. During the late spring the trail follows the path of a seasonal creek and has good views of wildflowers, so if you hurry you just might catch the last of the show for the season!

Sonoma Valley Regional Park: 13630 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen; $6 parking fee or free with a Parks Membership.

If you are looking for more vigorous terrain for your outdoor adventure, give Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve a try. From the entrance off of Pythian Road near Kenwood, you have your choice of forested trails that switchback up the mountain and skirt the edges of meadows. Although exposed to the sun, the panoramic view of the Sonoma Valley and San Francisco Bay from Gunsight Rock is well worth the climb!

Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve: 1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa; $6 parking fee or free with a Parks Membership.

Enjoy the adventures described here and many more at parks throughout Sonoma County with a Parks Membership. Park Member benefits include a day use parking pass valid for 12 months, discounts on park programs and merchandise, as well as invitations to members-only events throughout the year. If you purchase a Membership before June 21st you will also receive a discount card for kayak rentals, camping and more.

For more information please visit:; or call the main office of the Sonoma County Regional Parks at 707-565-2041

PUBLIC LANDS need our financial support in order to keep them open and accessible to everyone. They also need to be maintained and it’s private funding that comes from park passes and memberships that make that happen. here are a few links to get yourself signed up: and www.

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