Studies show that time spent in nature can improve mood, mental health and emotional well-being. With seasonal creeks flowing, and crisp air mixing with sunshine, why not find some peace and quiet – and peace of mind – with an intentional Awe Walk, or take a winter hike on a trail you've never traveled before?
With trails across 50+ parks, your regional parks are loaded with places of inspiration – such as Whale Watch Point in Gualala Point Regional Park (pictured above).
Black bears are an increasing presence in Sonoma County – and not just in its regional parks. This is cause for excitement (because it's a sign of a healthy ecosystem) and it also comes with great responsibility. Co-existing alongside bears means learning to manage our food and trash in news ways. Done well, we can keep these animals – and their human neighbors – healthy and safe. Read our blogs for more on the History of Bears in Sonoma County and How to Be Bear Aware when out on the trails.
The annual south-to-north Pacific gray whale migration hits its stride along the Sonoma Coast from late winter through spring. Your coastal regional parks offer some of the best viewing spots from which to catch glimpses of these nomadic behemoths. Find out where.
Love is in the air – and not just for those who celebrate Valentine’s Day. February through March is striped skunk breeding season, which is why you may see more of them out on the town, like these two seen here at Mark West Creek Regional Park and Preserve. During this time of year, please slow down on the roads and keep your eyes peeled: many become casualties of fast-moving vehicles. And, as with any wild animal, give them plenty of space if you see (or smell) one nearby.
Develop your bird-watching skills while learning more about our feathered friends and their world on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Tolay Lake Regional Park. Flittering, fluttering, singing and hopping: Birds are rarely still and, by simply observing, there's plenty we can learn about them. Discover what they might be communicating with their various behaviors. Sign up.
Stories of the Land: Crane Creek
Take in the rolling hills of Crane Creek Regional Park while imagining what life was like on a rancho or homestead over 150 years ago. Join us on Sunday, Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Explore how Sonoma County has changed over time and how regional parks help preserve the history of those who came before us. Sign up.
Kick-start your morning by kayaking confidently on Spring Lake! Join us Wednesday, Feb. 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Learn the basics of how to handle your paddle, turn and become comfortable on the water while enjoying the scenery Spring Lake has to offer. All ability levels and ages 7 and older are welcome. Kayaks, paddles, safety gear and instruction provided. Sign up.