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Mar
9
Sat
Park Rx–Yoga Hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 9 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

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. The route varies on weather conditions and group interest that typically covers 2-3 miles of varied terrain. All levels and ages welcome.

Tickets are $30 for general audiences and include parking if registered in advance online. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing to feel comfortable being in a natural setting and bring water (as needed). Meet outside the Visitor Center unless otherwise noted in confirmation email prior to the hike. Limited to 12 participants.

Sonoma County Resident? Free with a January 2024 Park Rx from a participating Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for Park Rx info.

Ease of access: we’re unable to determine ease of access as the route will be decided the day-of by the hike leader and other logistics (mud, small water crossings, slippery trails, etc).


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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Mar
14
Thu
Sugarloaf Volunteer Trail Crew @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 14 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Volunteers play a crucial role at keeping Sugarloaf Ridge State Park open and accessible to all! Help Sugarloaf with trail restoration work by coming to our every-other-Thursday Volunteer Trail Crew. Activities include bridge and step construction, installing signs, clearing, lifting, carrying, and hiking.

Bring gloves, hat, and water that you can carry hands-free (i.e. a backpack). Wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Long sleeves are recommended as poison oak is present. 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.

If you are a current Sugarloaf volunteer, log onto Better Impact to sign up.
Not a Sugarloaf volunteer yet? RSVP to sugarloafvolunteer@sonomaecologycenter.org no later than the Sunday prior to the work day to ensure we have lunch for you.
First-time volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to formally join our volunteer program if they’d like to support us more frequently. Start here to become a volunteer.

Mar
16
Sat
ParkRx—Intermediate Hiking for Fitness @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 16 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

UPDATE (Friday February 16, 3:30pm): The Intermediate Hiking for Fitness series will start on Saturday, March 16 instead of March 9.

If you have previously completed the Beginner Hiking for Fitness series, or can hike a little more than 4 miles with at least 1,000 ft of elevation, this series is for you! The program leaders will guide you on a series of weekly hikes with the challenge increasing each week. Leaders will have group discussions about gear, hydration, hiking poles, first aid and pacing, etc. The group’s final hike aims for Bald Mountain, where hikers can enjoy stunning vistas.

The following is a list of possible routes specifically selected for this hiking series:
1) Sat 3/16 – Waterfall loop, 2.7 miles, 750 ft elevation [meet @ main lot]
2) Sat 3/23 – Vista Trail loop, 3.4 miles, 830 ft elevation [meet @ White Barn]
3) Sat 3/30 –Goodspeed to Nattkemper bench, 3.8 miles, 1,240 ft elevation [meet @ Goodspeed lot]
4) Sat 4/6 – Hillside to Neptune table + Meadow, 4.4 miles, 970 ft elevation [meet @ White Barn]
5) Sat 4/13 – Hillside + Vista Trail loop, 3.6 miles, 1,070 ft elevation [meet @ White Barn]
6) Sat 4/20 – False Lake Meadow & Lake Ilsanjo loop in Trionne-Annadel SP, 6.1 miles, 670 ft elevation [meet @ Annadel’s Cobblestone Trailhead]
7) Sat 4/27 – Fern Lake + Orchard loop in SDC/Jack London SHP, 5.5 miles, 1,460 ft elevation [meet @ Walnut & North St inside SDC; park on Grove St]
8) Sat 5/4 – Bald Mtn summit (w/optional Headwaters detour, 5.8 miles), 5.1 miles, 1,670 ft elevation [meet @ White Barn]

Please note these routes are subject to change based on the group and weather. Wear appropriate footwear for rocky or slippery trails, and layers. Bring water, and if desired, a snack. The group will be limited to 35 participants.

The Hiking series costs $80 (plus a $10 parking fee per visit. Note that the Sugarloaf Annual Pass is $59 and valid at Sugarloaf and Jack London SHP), or free-of-cost for hikers with a January 2024 or newer Park Rx from a participating Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for ParkRx info. To sign up with a ParkRx, please email alma@sonomaecologycenter.org. Please have your Rx available at the time of sign-up, as the number of ParkRx tickets is limited and you will be asked to turn in a copy at the time of registration.

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Mar
17
Sun
Reptile Hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

March and April make for good reptilian-spotting months as ectotherms leave their burrows in search of food and mates. Join Galen and Rachel Freed in this easy 2-mile hike in search of snakes, lizards, and other wildlife. We’ll start off with a presentation inside the Robert Ferguson Observatory classroom and then hike Lower Bald and Creekside Trails, whose habitats is preferred by these species.

Meet at the White Barn parking lot. Tickets are $10-$15 sliding scale for general admission, $5 for youth (12-17 year olds), students, Sugarloaf members, Sugarloaf volunteers, and free for children under 12. Wear sun protection ad comfortable shoes, bring at least a quart of water, and if desired, a snack. Rains cancel. Parking fees apply.

Ease of access: The White Barn parking area has one van-accessible designated parking spot and one accessible porta-potty. There is a flat, paved 1/4-mile road from the parking area to the observatory. The observatory is wheelchair-accessible by a wooden ramp and deck. The Lower Bald Mountain Trail has two trailheads: one outside of the observatory, and one at the main parking lot. It is a single-track trail with sections of dirt, and some sections of gravel, with switchbacks, steps, and a cumulative elevation gain of 54ft. The Creekside Nature Trail is ADA-compliant from the main parking lot to the White Barn parking lot, about 0.48mi.

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Mar
23
Sat
Wondrous Wildflower Walk @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 23 @ 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

UPDATE 2/28, 4:30 pm: The 3/2, 3/23, & 4/6 hikes are sold out.

Join Certified California Naturalist John Lynch on his  wondrous wildflower walks.

On 3/2, we’ll follow Pony Gate Trail’s grassy slope, into the Oak woodland and through a mixed evergreen forest, along Canyon Trail’s shady riparian corridor lined with redwoods, to the 25-foot dramatic plunge of Sonoma Creek and back to the our starting point at the Visitor Center.

Departing from the Visitor Center, the 3/23 route takes us on the Creekside and Hillside trails returning via Meadow.

On 4/6, from the White Barn, we’ll scout Hillside to Brushy Peaks turning around at the Neptune picnic table and back on Meadow Trail.

We’ll celebrate Earth Day on 4/21 on Vista Trail via Lower Bald Mtn (from the White Barn) and returning on Meadow Trail.

Wear hiking shoes, layers appropriate for weather, bring at least a quart of water, a camera, and wildflower guides if you have one. Tickets are $10-$15 sliding scale for general audiences, $5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds; must be accompanied by an adult), Sugarloaf members and volunteers, and free for children under 12. Parking fees apply. Heavy rain or wind cancels and will be announced by 9:00am the day of the hike.

Ease of access: The Pony Gate-Canyon loop is approximately 2 miles with an elevation of 595 ft. Both trails are single-track dirt trails with steps that descend into a canyon. There is a seasonal water crossing (creek bed) on Pony Gate without a bridge.

The Creekside-Hillside-Meadow loop is ADA-compliant for approximately 0.35mi. From there, Hillside is a single-track dirt trail for 0.1mi that widens into a 2-mile fire road loop with two 100-foot hills and a small stream crossing with a wooden plank for a bridge. Meadow is passable by strollers or wheelchair up to the bridge, about a mile in, but is not officially an ADA-compliant trail.

Hillside Trail is a single-track dirt trail for 0.1mi that widens into a 2-mile fire road loop with two 100-foot hills and a small stream crossing with a wooden plank for a bridge. Brushy Peaks Trail is a rugged single-track dirt trail with 650 feet of elevation and a short section of steps.

Lower Bald Mtn Trail is a single-track gravel and dirt trail with at times, rough terrain and steps. It connects to Bald Mtn Trail, a steep, paved fire road. Vista Trail is a single-track dirt trail with at least three stretches of steep steps and at least two small seasonal water crossings without a bridge. Gray Pine, the connecting trail between Vista and Meadow Trails, has a year-round stream crossing with a board for a bridge.


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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Mar
24
Sun
Park Rx– Forest Bathing Walk @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

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. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park hosts a Forest Therapy Series as part of its Park Rx Program the 4th Sunday of the month led by certified Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) practitioners.

We invite you to join us on this therapeutic experience of sights, sounds, scents, touch, and memory. The outing begins at the White Barn and meanders less than one mile from the start point in a reverie of introspection and connection to the natural world.

Tickets are $20 or free with an January 2024 or newer Park Rx from a Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for Park Rx information. To sign up with a Park Rx, please email alma@sonomaecologycenter.org. Please have your Park Rx available at the time of sign-up, as the number of Park Rx tickets is limited and you will be asked to turn in a copy at the time of registration.

Wear layers, comfortable footwear, bring water, sun protection, and if desired, a snack or a picnic to enjoy after the event. Parking fees apply. Heavy rains cancel.

Ease of access: Creekside Nature Trail has two trailheads. The trailhead from the White Barn is ADA compliant for about 0.1 miles. Our route for this hike veers off to the left across a narrow bridge and single-track dirt trail that connects with Hillside and then backtracks. The entire route is approximately 3/4 of a mile with approximately 100ft of elevation gain. 

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Full Moon Hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 24 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

UPDATE: 2/2 1:00PM. Our March Full Moon Hike is sold out, but sales for the April hike begin on March 25 at 1:00am.

Bring a flashlight and your sense of wonder as you explore the park after dark. This hike begins at the White Barn and heads up to the viewpoint on Vista Trail or to the top of Bald Mountain, where we will see the moon rise over the Mayacamas and the sun set over Sonoma Valley.

The Bald Mountain route is a strenuous 6.5 miles with 1500+ of vertical and some steep sections (not recommended for children under 12). It leaves the White Barn parking lot at 5:00pm.

The Vista Trail route is a moderate-to-strenuous, 4-mile hike with 700ft of elevation and begins at 6:00pm. Not recommended for children under 7.

Tickets are $10 general, and $5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds), Sugarloaf members, Sugarloaf volunteers, and free for children 7-12 years old. All minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult. You must have a ticket to attend. Be at the meeting location at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the hike for a prompt departure. Bring your flashlight, at least a quart of water, snacks, and extra layers for the evening. Parking fees apply.

Ease of access:
For Vista route: The White Barn parking lot has one van-designated parking spot and an accessible porta-potty. There is a 1/4-mile paved road from the Observatory to the Meadow trailhead. Meadow Trail is an unpaved fire road that is mostly flat although not ADA-compliant.  In the dry season, it is passable by stroller or wheelchair with off-road capability tires up to the bridge, about a mile in. Grey Pine Trail is a fire road with a year-round creek crossing passable by board. Vista Trail is a single-track dirt trail with at least 700ft of elevation. It has at least two small seasonal water crossings, at least two sections with steps, and multiple steep, slippery sections. Bald Mtn Trail is a paved fire road that connects Vista Trail to Lower Bald Mtn Trail. Lower Bald Mtn Trail is a single-track dirt and gravel trail with multiple narrow switchbacks and inclines with an elevation gain of approximately 500ft. It has two trailheads; one at the main parking lot, and one that leads back to the Observatory.
For Bald Mtn route: The White Barn parking lot has one van-designated parking spot and an accessible porta-potty. There is a 1/4-mile paved road from the Observatory to the Lower Bald Mtn trailhead. Lowr Bald Mtn Trail is a single-track dirt and gravel trail with multiple narrow switchbacks and inclines for an elevation gain of approximately 500ft. It merges with Bald Mtn Trail, a paved fire road with elevation of 1,000+ ft of elevation gain. The route backtracks on these same trails.

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Mar
28
Thu
Sugarloaf Volunteer Trail Crew @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 28 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Volunteers play a crucial role at keeping Sugarloaf Ridge State Park open and accessible to all! Help Sugarloaf with trail restoration work by coming to our every-other-Thursday Volunteer Trail Crew. Activities include bridge and step construction, installing signs, clearing, lifting, carrying, and hiking.

Bring gloves, hat, and water that you can carry hands-free (i.e. a backpack). Wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Long sleeves are recommended as poison oak is present. 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.

If you are a current Sugarloaf volunteer, log onto Better Impact to sign up.
Not a Sugarloaf volunteer yet? RSVP to sugarloafvolunteer@sonomaecologycenter.org no later than the Sunday prior to the work day to ensure we have lunch for you.
First-time volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to formally join our volunteer program if they’d like to support us more frequently. Start here to become a volunteer.

Mar
30
Sat
Introduction to Backpacking Course @ Robert Ferguson Observatory
Mar 30 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Join Sugarloaf docents Inga Aksamit and Andy Westbom for a three-hour course covering basics and examining gear.  There will be examples of all the gear needed. No actual hiking is involved in this instructional session. The goal is to introduce participants to modern, lightweight backpacking strategies. We’ll touch on topics such as: equipment, trip planning, navigation, food, water treatment, common problems in the backcountry and how to avoid them. You don’t need a heavy pack to enjoy a wilderness experience.

If you’ve never backpacked, or it’s been decades, this is for you! There will be tips for all—from backpacking with children to considerations for seniors. Both Inga and Andy are experienced guides in the Sierra and beyond.

Tickets are $15-$20 sliding scale for general audiences, $7.5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds), Sugarloaf members and Sugarloaf volunteers. Meet at the Observatory classroom. Bring a pen and notebook, water, and your questions. Parking fees apply.

Ease of access: the Robert Ferguson Observatory is located within Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. There is one van-designated parking spot and although not ADA or van-designated, there is more parking adjacent to the Observatory/group camp and at the White Barn lot. The observatory has a wooden ramp from the designated parking space to the main level deck. Inside the classroom, seating is fluid and mobile. There is an accessible stall in the bathroom inside the building and an accessible porta-potty at the group camp (directly outside the observatory). 

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Apr
6
Sat
Wondrous Wildflower Walk @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Apr 6 @ 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

UPDATE 2/28, 4:30 pm: The 3/2, 3/23, & 4/6 hikes are sold out.

Join Certified California Naturalist John Lynch on his  wondrous wildflower walks.

On 3/2, we’ll follow Pony Gate Trail’s grassy slope, into the Oak woodland and through a mixed evergreen forest, along Canyon Trail’s shady riparian corridor lined with redwoods, to the 25-foot dramatic plunge of Sonoma Creek and back to the our starting point at the Visitor Center.

Departing from the Visitor Center, the 3/23 route takes us on the Creekside and Hillside trails returning via Meadow.

On 4/6, from the White Barn, we’ll scout Hillside to Brushy Peaks turning around at the Neptune picnic table and back on Meadow Trail.

We’ll celebrate Earth Day on 4/21 on Vista Trail via Lower Bald Mtn (from the White Barn) and returning on Meadow Trail.

Wear hiking shoes, layers appropriate for weather, bring at least a quart of water, a camera, and wildflower guides if you have one. Tickets are $10-$15 sliding scale for general audiences, $5 for students, youth (12-17 year olds; must be accompanied by an adult), Sugarloaf members and volunteers, and free for children under 12. Parking fees apply. Heavy rain or wind cancels and will be announced by 9:00am the day of the hike.

Ease of access: The Pony Gate-Canyon loop is approximately 2 miles with an elevation of 595 ft. Both trails are single-track dirt trails with steps that descend into a canyon. There is a seasonal water crossing (creek bed) on Pony Gate without a bridge.

The Creekside-Hillside-Meadow loop is ADA-compliant for approximately 0.35mi. From there, Hillside is a single-track dirt trail for 0.1mi that widens into a 2-mile fire road loop with two 100-foot hills and a small stream crossing with a wooden plank for a bridge. Meadow is passable by strollers or wheelchair up to the bridge, about a mile in, but is not officially an ADA-compliant trail.

Hillside Trail is a single-track dirt trail for 0.1mi that widens into a 2-mile fire road loop with two 100-foot hills and a small stream crossing with a wooden plank for a bridge. Brushy Peaks Trail is a rugged single-track dirt trail with 650 feet of elevation and a short section of steps.

Lower Bald Mtn Trail is a single-track gravel and dirt trail with at times, rough terrain and steps. It connects to Bald Mtn Trail, a steep, paved fire road. Vista Trail is a single-track dirt trail with at least three stretches of steep steps and at least two small seasonal water crossings without a bridge. Gray Pine, the connecting trail between Vista and Meadow Trails, has a year-round stream crossing with a board for a bridge.


______________________
For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.