A Current Trail Map

As readers of this web site know, although we have re-opened the upper part of the Sonoma Overlook Trail to hikers, the lower, re-routed part remains closed until sometime in Spring so the rains (which we hope we get) can help pack the new trail. Therefore, for quite some time hikers will need to enter the Overlook system either by entering from the Montini Preserve (across Norrbom Road on Rattlesnake Cutoff trail), or hike up through the cemetery using the roads marked in purple (see map) and enter from the Toyon Trailhead.

Alternatively, you can drive up to the Toyon trailhead, where a limited number of parking spaces are available. If you do that, please be aware that the cemetery gate is locked around 4:00 pm, so be sure to be out of the cemetery by then.

Thank you for your bearing with us as we get the Sonoma Overlook Trail back into great hiking shape.

Come enjoy the Mountain Cemetery on your way to the Overlook Trail

Come hike the newly re-opened upper part of the Overlook Trail. Enter through the Mountain Cemetery entrance and follow the signs (they say Toyon Trail) in the cemetery to the Overlook entrance. The trail from this entrance leads to the Upper Meadow Loop and the fantastic views of Sonoma and San Francisco. You can also access the Montini Open Space Preserve through this entrance.

The sign at this entrance says trail is closed ahead, this refers to the new re-routed trail that starts at the kiosk. There are new stone steps leading up to the newly re-routed trail, but this entrance by the kiosk and trail isn’t open yet. This portion of the trail will open in the Spring, after the rainy season has given it a chance to “cure”.

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Photo taken in the cemetery by Sue Loesch this morning

The Overlook Trail is open!

After months of hard work and literally years of planning the trail rehab work is nearly completed. There’s plenty of hiking available, and plenty of views.

To hike the Overlook trail, start your hike from the Mountain Cemetery entrance—follow the signs if you aren’t familiar with how to enter it through the cemetery. The Upper Meadow Loop that leads to the scenic overlook is accessible from the Toyon Trail entrance in the Cemetery and through the Montini Open Space Preserve.

As you approach the kiosk at the trailhead you’ll see beautiful stone steps leading up to the newly re-routed trail. This portion of the trail will open in the Spring, after the rainy season has given it a chance to “cure”.

The Overlook Stewards, City officials and many trail fans hiked the trail to “welcome it back” this weekend. Come join us every Wednesday morning at 8:30 for a hike to the overlook and back. Meet 8:30 at the trailhead kiosk for an energetic one hour hike. . . and meet some new hiking friends.

IMG_5980Fred Allebach explaining how steps were built.

Susan Peterson talking about trail improvements. Hikers listen to Karen Collins tell trail tales.

The Upper Overlook Trail is Now Open!

A set of stairs to assist hikers and improve drainage.

The Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards are delighted to announce that the upper part of the Sonoma Overlook Trail is now open to hikers!

“Upper part” means that you can’t access the lower trail that starts at the kiosk parking lot. But you may park there and hike through the cemetery up to the Toyon Trail, and access the upper part from there. There are also a limited number of parking spaces at the Toyon Trailhead, so alternatively you could drive through the cemetery and park there. If you do, please be advised to be out of the cemetery by 4pm, as the City locks the cemetery gate between 4 and 4:15pm.

Alternatively, the upper part of the Overlook can be accessed from the Rattlesnake Cutoff trail from the Montini Preserve. Some hikers like to park at the 4th St. entrance to the Montini Preserve (cross-street is Haraszthy), hike across the Montini to the Overlook and back (that’s my personal favorite hike). Or, you could park in the parking lot at the Sheriff’s Office and Field of Dreams, hike up to the Spotted Fawn Trail and take that to Rattlesnake Cutoff.

While hiking the upper trail again, you will notice that a lot has changed.

The most obvious changes are new features — stairs, stone-lined drainage channels, substantial rock walls supporting the trail, small gravel that has been used to build up the trail to improve drainage off the trail, and new and substantial drainage channels. This work has the dual goal of both improving the quality of the hike for hikers, including increased safety, as well as getting rainwater off the trail quickly and appropriately, thus minimizing damage that can come from running water.

You will also notice new signs. These signs are temporary, but they are intended to model the eventual permanent replacements. We want to place these temporarily so that we can gather feedback from hikers whether they serve the required purposes of clarity and appropriate information. Please let us know what you think by sending an email to overlookmontini@gmail.com.

Also, as always, let us (the volunteer stewards of the trail) know if you have any questions or comments on this new work or anything else.

Up in the air, it’s a bird, it’s a plane. . . .

We had a surprising sight today on our Wednesday morning community hike–a balloon floated through the air overhead. Come join us on these hikes for beautiful vista views, camaraderie with other fellow hikers, and sometimes, even a surprise!

Starting next Wednesday we are back on the upper part of the Overlook Trail—it’s being re-opened Saturday, Oct 20. Meet at the Trailhead kiosk at 8:30, we finish at 9:30 and are known to sip coffee at Peets afterwards.IMG_9292

Upper Overlook Trail to Re-open October 20th!

The Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards and the City of Sonoma are delighted to announce that the upper part of the Sonoma Overlook Trail will reopen Saturday, October 20, 2018.

Please join volunteer Steward Jeni Nichols on a hike that morning, at 10am. Meet at the Overlook Trailhead parking lot.

The lower part of the trail must remain closed through the winter to allow the newly disturbed soil of the re-route to be properly compacted. See the map for a illustration of what is closed.

As of the 20th of this month hikers can enter the Overlook Trail from the Toyon trailhead (either walking or driving up to the trailhead in the Cemetery), or via the Rattlesnake Cutoff Trail from Norrbom Road or the Montini Preserve.

See the City of Sonoma Press Release for more information.

Cemetery Walk November 3rd

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS — DAY OF THE DEAD

WALK SONOMA HISTORY THROUGH SONOMA MOUNTAIN CEMETERY

Saturday November 3

10:00 AM OR 12:00 Noon

The Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards invite you to take a lively, informative walk through our historic cemetery with amateur historian Fred Allebach.

Meet cowboys and Indians, ranchers and real estate tycoons, farmers and farriers, carpenters and stone masons, quarrymen, grocers, butchers, bakers, maybe a candlestick maker, and many more!

Here in our back yard, the fabric of the town’s rich history is hidden right in plain sight,” tour guide Allebach has written about the historic cemetery.  “Sonoma had its Natives, then missionaries, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo Californios, Gold Rush and Manifest Destiny immigrants, Civil War refugees, and a Second Great Wave of Immigration from southern and eastern Europe from 1880 to 1910. Then came various immigrants on into the 20th century. All of these are represented in the Mountain Cemetery.”

Your $35 donation includes the walking tour and cookies and cider. All proceeds go to maintaining the Overlook Trailhead Kiosk. The Trail is solely supported by private donations. Questions? email Hope at hopenisson@me.com.

To Register: send a check to Hope Nisson, 3771 Cory Lane, Sonoma, CA 95476. Indicate which hike you prefer — 10 am or 12 noon

The event is sponsored by the volunteer Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards and participation is limited to 20 people per session.