Stay and Explore
NOTE: As of Feb. 15, PARK OPEN and all park trails open other than Goodspeed Trail. We project opening Goodspeed on Monday Feb. 18
Check here or on our facebook page (@sugarloafpark) for updates on closures or conditions.
Come to the park for a peaceful hike through the woods, join our Docent’s for this fun family hike that is good for all ages. During this 2 miles hike with a 400 foot vertical, you will learn about Sugarloaf Park and its plants, animals, and history. Weather permitting, the hike will begin and end at the Visitors Center. No RSVP needed, and no charge for the hike. Parking fees apply.
Join Mary Good on a hike exploring the Medicinal and Edible plants of the park. Weaving in natural history, ethnobotany, herbalism and folktales, this walk will open your senses, as well as your curiosity to the abundance of plantlore in Sonoma County. 9:30 AM to 12 PM. Be prepared for a 2 to 3 mile walk with a 300 foot climb. Meet at the visitors center. $10.00 per adult, 18 and under free. Parking fees still apply. Edible plant information is for educational purposes only. Foraging is illegal in CA State Parks.
Purchase tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4029785
The Hiking series costs $80, or free (plus free parking) for hikers with a ParkRx from a Sonoma County Medical Provider.
For a blank Rx to send to your doctor, go to: https://sugarloafpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/ParksRx_info.pdf
1) Sat 3/2–Waterfall Loop, 2 miles, 595 ft [meet @ main lot]
2) Sat 3/9–Vista Trail Loop, 3.6 miles, 700 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
3) Sat 3/16–Goodspeed to Nattkemper, 4.2 miles, 1060 ft [meet @ Goodspeed lot]
4) Sat 3/23–Hillside / Brushy Peaks – Neptune Picnic Table, 4.6 miles, 780 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
5) Sat 3/30–Grandmother Oak (McCormick Addition), 4.2 miles, 1060 ft [meet @ Hood Mtn Regional Park’s Los Alamos lot]
6) Sat 4/6–Vista Trail Loop – ccw, 4.7 miles, 1000 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
7) Sat 4/13–Brushy / Grey Pine (Hillside start), 6.5 miles, 1230 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
8) Sat 4/20–Bald Summit (w/ optional Headwaters wiggle = 5.8 mi), 5.25 miles, 1500 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
(routes subject to change based on group and weather)
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 (see schedule at left).
Daytime Solar: Solar telescopes are set up so you can safely look at and listen to our favorite star, the Sun.
For more information, visit: rfo.org
The Robert Ferguson Observatory: Both peaked roofs roll back to reveal the telescopes inside.
The dome opens and revolves with its telescope. The tall poles attached to the sides of the building
are part of RFO’s radio astronomy set-up that allows us to listen to the Sun. Photo: Mark Hillestad
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. Cost is $20 and includes parking if registered in advance online. Purchase the yoga pass for each group of 3 sessions this year and save $10. All levels and ages welcome. Meet at the Visitor’s Center unless otherwise noted in confirmation email prior to the hike.
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.
- 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 Robert Ferguson Observatory Website: http://www.rfo.org/.
We have volunteer opportunities for you! Initial training is provided and periodic docent enrichment events feature speakers who provide more insight into specific aspects of park history or ecology.
We need volunteers to:
- Work as a docent Visitor Center
- Work in the park entrance kiosk
- Assist with data entry
- Work on research projects and assist in writing grants
- Assist with trail and park maintenance projects
- Assist with Special Events and parking
No experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn and the desire to share that knowledge with our visitors. We ask for 4 hours per month of volunteer service. Learn details of our volunteer positions here: https://sugarloafpark.org/support-sugarloaf-2/volunteer/
Join us! Together we can help make the parks thrive and provide great experiences for park visitors.
Register here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4070508
Contact Melissa@sonomaecologycenter.org for details.
Your donations help keep Sugarloaf open for all!
Camping at Sugarloaf
You can enjoy camping year-round at Sugarloaf with 47 family-friendly, alcohol-free camping spaces nestled in a large meadow and bordered by a year-round stream and a hillside forest.
Stargazing at Robert Ferguson Observatory
Completely dedicated to public viewing and education, the Robert Ferguson Observatory is the LARGEST in the western United States and it’s right here at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.