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Feb
24
Sat
Mushroom Hike at Sugarloaf (Sold Out) @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Feb 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Explore the hidden world beneath our feet on this mushroom hike led by local mycologist George Riner. We’ll observe their growth, learn to identify different species by key traits, be mesmerized by the display of colors, shapes, textures, and discuss these remarkable organisms’ ecological roles, culinary delights, and even a touch of folklore.

Be prepared for two miles of leisurely walking and chatting over moderate and possibly muddy terrain. Please be aware this is not a foray; collection is permitted for this activity through a CA State Parks Scientific Research and Collecting permit. Tickets are $10-$15 sliding scale for the general public, $5 for students, youth, Sugarloaf members, Sugarloaf volunteers, and free for children under 12. You must have a ticket to attend. Meet outside the Visitor Center ten minutes prior to the event start time. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, bring water, and if you have them, mushroom identifying guides. We invite you to bring a reusable drink container so your little ones can enjoy hot cocoa after the walk, if desired. Heavy rains cancel; parking fees apply.

Ease of access: we’re unable to determine the ease of access for this hike as the route will be chosen day-of by the leader dependent on weather conditions and other logistics.

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

Sugarloaf New Volunteer Orientation & Social | Orientación para voluntarios nuevos @ Robert Ferguson Observatory (inside Sugarloaf Ridge State Park)
Feb 24 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

[En español abajo]

Enjoy the beauty of this special place in Sonoma Valley while joining our wonderful community of volunteers. Volunteer with Team Sugarloaf and become an integral piece in keeping Sugarloaf Ridge State Park operating. Join us for an orientation on February 24, 2024, from 11:00am-2:00pm to learn about the history of Sugarloaf, how Sonoma Ecology Center operates the park, and what volunteer opportunities we have. The orientation will take place in the Robert Ferguson Observatory classroom.

Volunteers play a vital role at Sugarloaf. We have a host of volunteer opportunities to restore and maintain this natural treasure and to help to keep Sugarloaf open to the public. Initial training is provided, with periodic docent enrichment events. We need volunteers to:

– Become docents at the Visitor Center
– Direct visitors at the entrance kiosk
– Assist with data entry
– Aid project research and grant-writing
– Work on trail and park maintenance projects
– Facilitate special events and parking
– Spanish/English literacy and conversational fluency is a plus

View more volunteer opportunities and specifics in our website. Experience is not necessary but welcomed, as well as a willingness to learn and the desire to share that knowledge with our visitors. We ask for a minimum of 4 hours per month of volunteer service. Please create a Better Impact account to start the process. Bring a notepad and pen, a reusable drink container for warm beverages, dress in layers, and if desired, a snack.

Attending a Volunteer Orientation is required to become a volunteer at Sugarloaf. English is needed for all positions. Spanish-English literacy or fluency is a plus for all positions. Please share this opportunity!

Ease of access: the Robert Ferguson Observatory has an ADA-compliant wooden deck/ramp to access the classroom. There is one van-designated parking spot and although not ADA or van designated, there is lots more parking adjacent to the Observatory/group camp. The group camp is a large area to the left of the Robert Ferguson Observatory. The ground is a mix of soil and woodchips navigable on a power chair. There is an accessible porta-potty and a water spigot on site. The picnic tables and benches are not ADA-compliant but are available.

CREATE YOUR BETTER IMPACT ACCOUNT

For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.


ESPAÑOL: Disfruta de la belleza de este lugar especial en el Valle de Sonoma mientras te unes a una maravillosa comunidad de voluntarios. Ven a ser voluntario con Team Sugarloaf y forma una parte integral en la operación del Parque Estatal Sugarloaf Ridge. Acompáñanos en una orientación para voluntarios nuevos el sábado 24 de febrero, de las 11:00am a las 2:00pm para aprender acerca de la historia de Sugarloaf, cómo Sonoma Ecology Center opera el parque, y oportunidades de voluntariado. La orientación será dentro aula del Observatorio Robert Ferguson.

Voluntarios desempeñan un rol vital en Sugarloaf. Tenemos muchas oportunidades para restaurar y mantener este tesoro natural y para ayudar a mantener Sugarloaf abierto al público. Proveemos capacitación inicial, con oportunidades periódicas de aprendizaje. Necesitamos voluntarios para:
-docentes en el centro de visitantes
-dirigir visitantes en el quiosco
-ayuda con entrada de datos
–ayuda con proyectos investigativos y propuestas para conseguir fondos
-trabajar en proyectos de mantenimiento en los senderos y alrededor del parque
-facilitar eventos especiales/estacionamiento
-continuar creciendo nuestros programas bilingües, especialmente en español e inglés

Encuentra más oportunidades voluntarias y especificaciones en nuestro sitio web. Experiencia no es necesaria pero bienvenida, al igual que la disposición de aprender y el deseo de impartir estos conocimientos con visitantes. Pedimos que voluntarios por favor estén disponibles un mínimo de 4 horas por mes. Por favor empieza el proceso creando un perfil en Better Impact. Ven abrigado, trae una libreta, un lapicero, tu contenedor de bebidas reusable, y si deseas, un bocadillo.

Se requiere atender la orientación de voluntarios para ser un voluntario en Sugarloaf. Todas las posiciones necesitan dominio del inglés; se valorará experiencia de candidatos bilingües en español e inglés. ¡Por favor comparte esta oportunidad!

Facilidad de acceso: Acceso al aula del Observatorio Robert Ferguson es mediante una rampa de madera que oficialmente cumple con los requerimientos de la Ley para Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA). Hay un espacio designado para estacionar un vehículo como una miniván o más grande, y aunque el resto del área de estacionamiento no es designada como estacionamiento accesible, puede ser utilizada como accesible. El área de asentamiento dentro del aula principal del observatorio está compuesto de sillas que fácilmente pueden moverse para acomodar ingreso accesible. Hay baños disponibles dentro del edificio, incluyendo un cubículo accesible en cada baño. El área de acampar en grupo es un área grande fuera del observatorio. El suelo es una combinación de tierra y astillas de madera, que pueden ser navegado en una silla de ruedas con motor. Hay un baño portátil accesible y una llave de agua en el sitio. Las mesas de picnic no son accesibles pero están disponibles.

 

ABRE UNA CUENTA EN BETTER IMPACT

Para ver más eventos en Sugarloaf, visita nuestro calendario

Mar
24
Sun
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.

Apr
14
Sun
Slow Wildflower Journeys @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Apr 14 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Do you enjoy a slow walks in a valley, breezes, wildflowers, the sounds of songbirds, the taste of a Douglas Fir needle or a California Bay leaf, the aroma of Tarweed, or watching wild turkeys and California Quail hunt for seeds and insects in the grass? Join California Certified Naturalists Judy Armstrong and Judy Withee for this series of meandering explorations. Each month (weather-permitting) we will explore one or two of our three accessible trails– the Creekside Trail, the Nature Trail, and the Meadow trail. Suitable for all levels and a range of mobility, these Sunday afternoon adventures will accommodate young children, parents with babies in strollers, and people using walkers or wheelchairs as well as those who just enjoy slow walks in nature that stimulate the five senses.

Our April program will focus on the wildflowers along Meadow Trail, an unpaved fire road that is mostly flat although not ADA-compliant. Some wheelchair users with off-road capacity chairs have successfully travelled this trail, which during the dry season is relatively accessible for viewing different habitats including a large meadow. We will travel from the White Barn about a mile out into Meadow trail, to the big wooden bridge that crosses Sonoma Creek in search of Diogenes’ Lanterns, California poppies, Brodiaia, Clarkias, etc. There will be frequent stops and opportunities for conversation, photography, nature journaling, wildlife viewing, resting, etc., so bring your nature journal, camera, or binoculars, if you have them.

Tickets are $5-$10 sliding scale for adults and free for children under 12. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, sun protection, bring at least a quart of water and if desired, a snack.

Ease of access: There is one van-designated accessible parking spot at the White Barn, as well as an accessible porta-potty. Recumbent bicycles are welcome!

Apr
20
Sat
Headwaters to Headwaters Hike: A Mayacamas Hiking Adventure @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Apr 20 @ 6:30 am – 5:00 pm

Join Sonoma Ecology Center and Team Sugarloaf and embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Sonoma County’s most pristine and breathtaking landscapes with our exclusive fundraising hike. 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. This unique adventure offers participants a rare opportunity to traverse through areas usually closed to the public, such as the recent Perry Addition to Sonoma County parks. Whether you choose the 11-mile classic route or the 17-mile epic option, you’ll be treated to a day filled with stunning vistas, challenging trails, and the camaraderie of fellow nature enthusiasts. As you navigate through rolling hills, serene creeks, and towering oaks, you’ll push your limits and contribute to a noble cause. The hike culminates in a communal barbecue dinner, where stories of the day’s journey can be shared among new friends.

Sign up today to secure your spot in this remarkable experience and help us support the preservation of Sonoma County’s natural treasures. Sponsorship opportunities are available for those looking to make an even greater impact.

This year, we have two versions:

  1. Classic Route  – from the Los Alamos parking lot in Hood Mountain Regional Park to Sugarloaf’s day-use picnic area via the McCormick Addition and Bald Mountain Trail. 11 miles; 3,200 ft of elevation (bus from Sugarloaf).
  2. Epic Option – Sugarloaf’s main parking lot to Goodspeed Trail into Hood Mtn, down to the McCormick Addition and joining the rest of the group. 17 miles; 5,600 ascent. This is a rigorous hike for advanced hikers only (limited to 15 tickets).

WHY SUPPORT US?

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is operated by Sonoma Ecology Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. While Sugarloaf is a California State Park, we do not receive operational funding from the State. It is our visitors, donors, volunteers, and members who make it possible for us to keep Sugarloaf Ridge State Park open for the community to enjoy.

Since 2012, Sonoma Ecology Center has worked to make the park accessible and welcoming to a broader audience through community-focused programs.

Some of our programming highlights include:

  • Our Senderos Program targets the Spanish-speaking community, bringing thousands of new visitors to the park for nature events and first-time camping experiences. Learn More.
  • The Slow Journeys Program offers nature hikes and events on flat, smooth paths, ensuring accessibility for all visitors. Learn More.
  • The ParkRx Program at Sugarloaf is the nation’s most active, providing over 1,000 participants annually free access to approximately 90 activities, including fitness hiking series, yoga hikes, Tai Chi classes, and forest therapy sessions, all prescribed by medical providers. Learn more.
  • We have earned recognition as a role model in establishing impactful relationships with the local Native American tribe, the Mishewal-Wappo. Our relationship is grounded in respect, patience, and courage. Learn More.


What are the keys to our success in building
vibrant and inclusive programing?

  • Deep community ties: We continuously strengthen our connections across all community sectors, enhancing our understanding of community needs and fostering collaborations with other local organizations.
  • Innovative marketing and outreach: Our multi-channel marketing strategy reaches every community member, featuring a large email list, a dynamic social media presence, collaborations with local newspapers and websites, online advertising, and partnerships with numerous local organizations and groups.
  • A Committed Volunteer Program: Many of our programs, including ParkRx and Slow Journeys, rely on a dedicated and skilled volunteer force, allowing us to offer these events at a significantly lower cost than other organizations.
  • Test-and-learn philosophy: We continuously evolve our programs through learning, modifying, and documenting, ensuring they become impactful and financially sustainable.

By supporting us, you contribute to a legacy of inclusivity, innovation, and community engagement at Sonoma Ecology Center’s management of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

Tickets: $95 each. Tickets include parking, shuttle transportation to Hood Mtn, snacks, drinks, and a BBQ dinner.
Underwriting Options: Help us defray the event’s costs and make it a true fundraiser. All of these options are tax deductible and include one ticket to the classic route of this hike.

  • Epic Underwriter: $5,000
  • Monumental Mover (and Shaker): $2,500
  • Peak Provider: $750
  • Sugar Sponsor: $500

ROUTE DETAILS

Classic Route:  Participants will arrive at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park by 8:45am, with shuttle buses departing at 9:00am for Hood Mountain Regional Park. The hike begins at the Los Alamos parking lot, taking the Santa Rosa Creek Trail to Homestead Meadow and entering Sugarloaf via the McCormick Addition. The route ascends Quercus Trail, passes the former site of the Grandmother Oak, and stops briefly at Red Hill before continuing up Maple Glen Trail. After lunch atop ‘Hill 2530,’ hikers return to Sugarloaf via ascending Bald Mountain, concluding with a barbecue dinner in the day-use area around 3:30pm. The journey spans roughly 11 miles and climbs 3,200 ft in elevation.

Epic Option (for advanced hikers only): Meet at Sugarloaf’s Visitor Center at 6:15am for a 6:30am departure via Pony Gate and Goodspeed Trails. Meet up with the group hiking from the Los Alamos parking lot at the Santa Rosa Creek crossing (in Hood Mtn Regional Park) at about 10:00am, before entering Sugarloaf’s McCormick Addition.

Pack a lunch for the stop at Hill 2530, at least half a gallon of water and electrolytes, sun protection, and additional socks. Be prepared to walk 11 or 17 miles (depending on the route you registered for) over steep and sometimes rough terrain, with a stream crossing of minimal depth. Dress appropriately for the weather and the ticks.

Ticket sales end on 4/16 to give us an estimate of how many buses we will need for shuttling and how much food to prepare.

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For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.

May
26
Sun
Slow Habitat Journeys @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Do you enjoy slow walks in a valley, breezes, wildflowers, the sounds of songbirds, the taste of a Douglas Fir needle or a California Bay leaf, the aroma of tarweed, or watching wild turkeys and California Quail hunt for seeds and insects in the grass? Join California Certified Naturalists Judy Armstrong and Judy Withee for this series of meandering explorations. Each month (weather-permitting) we will explore one or two of our accessible trails– the Creekside Nature Trail, or the Meadow Trail. Suitable for all levels and a range of mobility, these Sunday afternoon adventures will accommodate young children, parents with babies in strollers, and people using walkers or wheelchairs as well as those who just enjoy slow walks in nature that stimulate the five senses.

Our May program will focus on the serpentine grassland along Meadow Trail, chaparral along Hillside Trail, the riparian area and oak woodlands adjacent to Creekside Trail, and the fir forests on Sugarloaf Ridge above the campground. There will be frequent stops and opportunities for conversation, photography, nature journaling, wildlife viewing, resting, etc., so bring your nature journal, camera, or binoculars, if you have them. We also invite you to bring a small, foldable camping chair, if you think you might need it.

Tickets are $5-$10 sliding scale for adults and free for children under 12. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, sun protection, bring at least a quart of water and if desired, a snack.

Ease of access: There is one van-designated accessible parking spot at the White Barn, as well as an accessible porta-potty. The Lower Bald Mt Trail trailhead from the Observatory is a rough gravel hiking trail of approximately 671ft in length and 54ft of elevation gain. Meadow Trail is an unpaved fire road that is mostly flat although not technically ADA-compliant. Some wheelchair users with off-road capacity chairs have successfully travelled this trail, which during the dry season is relatively accessible for viewing different habitats including a large meadow. Hillside has three trailheads; the northernmost one that connects the Meadow Trail with the White Barn is relatively flat and compacted gravel. The Creekside Nature Trail is a 0.49-mi (one way) ADA-compliant trail. The path from Creekside to the amphitheater is a 433ft unpaved road with a maximum running slope of 13%. The path from the amphitheater center to the campground is 77ft, concrete paved, with a narrow bridge with tall side rails.

For more events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar.