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Sugarloaf Ridge State Park’s ParkRx Program


What is ParkRx?

Sugarloaf’s ParkRx program provides participants with free access to fitness events at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. To participate, have your physician sign our form verifying that you could benefit from physical activities. 

Program Background

Team Sugarloaf operates one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most successful and vibrant ParkRx programs. Attracting hundreds of attendees per year, the program offers a variety of events for different needs.

We recognize that well-being occurs along a continuum and we strive to offer programs that meet people where they are. For some, just getting outdoors is a big step. For others, walking a mile is an accomplishment. And some are ready to challenge themselves over many weeks to improve fitness and health.

ParkRx for Health program 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 other outdoor physical activities in nature. Our goal is to promote healthier lifestyles that result from engagement with nature.

At Sugarloaf, attendees can receive free admittance to the program by providing a signed prescription from their medical provider verifying that the physician believes getting a patient into outdoor physical activities will improve their physical or mental wellbeing.

ParkRx for Health strives to:

  • Prescribe healthy outdoor exercise through partnerships with 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.

Eligible Fitness Activities

  • Hiking for Fitness Series: a series of 8 weekly group hikes with each hike increasing in difficulty. These hiking series are very popular and introduce hikers to the joys of walking in the outdoors. They also provide a sense of community and commitment that encourages series completion. Many of the Hiking for Fitness series leaders are health or fitness professionals. We have a beginner and intermediate program as well as a maintenance program. More information.
  • Forest Bathing: Sugarloaf Park is where the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, was introduced to the West. 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. More information.
  • Yoga Hikes: Monthly yoga hikes allow attendees to enjoy the benefits of yoga in an outdoor setting. The hikes cover 2-3 miles with 4-6 yoga stops along the way. More information.
  • Tai Chi: A gentle movement practice perfect for beginners and those with limited mobility. Join us for all six classes, or as many as you’d like. More information.
  • Family Hikes: We have 1- 4 family hike events per month. Family hikes are at 10:00am every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on holidays. These events are free but RSVP is required.

Please see our Calendar of Events for all scheduled activities. Attendance to these events with a current ParkRx is free. Please see the specific event page for further details and to sign up. Parking fee applies.

How To Participate

  1. Print out our ParkRx form
  2. Have your physician sign the form
  3. Check our Calendar of Events to find scheduled fitness activities
  4. Email a PDF of the form to alma@sonomaecologycenter.org to reserve your event ticket

For Sonoma County Medical Providers

If you have a patient that could benefit from outdoor activities for improved physical, mental wellbeing, or family or community engagement, write a prescription for ParkRx!

At most parks, your prescription will allow access to a single event or series of events.

Alternatively, it could provide entry for self-guided hikes. ParkRxs are valid for three months from the date written.

We are seeking financial support from the Sonoma County Medical community. See here for more information.