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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.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.
Confident hikers/walkers looking for an energetic hike to start their day need look no further! Join us for a Free Community Hike every Wednesday 8:30-9:30. During the Overlook Trail closure, we will hike the Montini Open Space Preserve.
Wednesday morning hikers on the Montini Open Space Preserve.
Meet in the police station parking lot located at 175 1st StreetEast at 8:30am. No RSVP needed
On June 17th The Sonoma Overlook Trail will be closed for a re-routing and rehabilitation project. More information is on the City of Sonoma’s web site, including alternative places to hike (the Montini Trails chief among them).