Sonoma County Regional Parks #2: Foothill, Helen Putnam, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Ragle Ranch, Taylor Mountain

For the rest of this year and into 2021, we’ve given ourselves a challenge: to visit as many of the 54 Sonoma County regional parks as we can, and identify our top-ten favorites (the favorites are marked with an asterisk).

This post adds five more regional parks to our series.

Foothill Regional Park, Windsor

Foothill was damaged in one of the more recent Sonoma County fires, but it’s making a comeback. It’s located in one of the Windsor suburban neighborhoods and is easily accessible.

Helen Putnam Regional Park, Petaluma

Helen Putnam has beautiful views.

Some of the trails are wide and not too steep. We chose to go up and back on one that fit that description, but we were a little horrified to see (fortunately, from a distance) what our second choice would have been.

It pays to check AllTrails!

* Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sebastopol

Laguna de Santa Rose is a wetland complex just east of Sebastopol. The parking lot is north of Highway 12. We’ve seen it only during the dry season, and we’re anxious to go there during after a few more rains.

The trails are wide and almost flat, and some of them pass by a vineyard to the north. Already it’s one of our “go-to” places for a relaxing walk or run before having lunch at the Barlow.

* Ragle Ranch Regional Park, Sebastopol

It’s just on the outskirts of Sebastopol, and the trails wander through a wetland filled with blackberries, which are on both sides of the trail pictured above.

The park is dog friendly and also contains a traditional fenced-in dog park that accommodates smaller dogs during special hours.

Taylor Mountain Regional Park, Santa Rosa

We found the trails at Taylor Mountain a bit steep, and we didn’t make it all the way to the top of the mountain, but we enjoyed our hike and the scenic vistas.

A press release in April 2020 announced that the Sonoma Land Trust in partnership with Regional Parks and Sonoma County Ag had purchased additional acreage to the north of Taylor Mountain.

This “Cooper Creek Addition” will provide access to Taylor Mountain, and will become part of the Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway, which will link to Spring Lake Regional Park and Trione-Annadel State Park.