Slight Loosening of Park Restrictions

The Sonoma County Health Officer is loosening park restrictions as of Wednesday, May 13, according to this new order. The key takeaway is that you can now drive to local parks, bathrooms may once again be open if the park you are visiting has such. You must continue the practices of social distancing and facial coverings when they are appropriate (for example, when coming close to others such as in parking areas or passing on the trails). Of course, if you have any symptoms of CoViD-19 you should stay home (these are listed in the order, see the link above).

Also, “If the potential Park visitor has had direct contact with a COVID-19 positive individual(s) in the past 14 days that person shall not enter a Park, and should contact their primary health care physician for further instructions.”

Please be smart out there, or else:

“In the event of crowding, widespread non-compliance with the limitations of this Order, or other evidence of activities presenting an unacceptable risk of spread of COVID-19 through Park use, any or all Parks may be closed again in their entirety or on a case-by-case-basis by the Health Officer, or by the individual Park owner, including but not limited to County Parks as determined by the Director of Regional Parks, as needed.”

Many of us deeply value our access to open areas. We’re trusting each other to do the right things.

LIMITED Opening of the Overlook and Montini Properties: PLEASE READ

According to an order by the County Health Officer, many (not all) parks in Sonoma County, including the Sonoma Overlook Trail and the Montini Preserve are open for hiking as of Wednesday, April 29th, under the following conditions: 

  • You must have NO CoViD-19 symptoms.
  • You must be able to get there by walking or biking (no driving and parking).
  • You must practice social distancing when within 6 feet of others (such as when passing on a trail).
  • You must wear a facial covering.

Please be aware that if you don’t comply, the parks could be closed again.

From my experience, people have not gone off the trail in the past to provide social distance. So please do this. It is necessary.

We Love You, But Keep Your Distance

As volunteers tasked with taking care of our beloved trails, we love anyone who also loves to get out on those trails and experience the beauties of nature. But in these days of a global pandemic, it’s very important that we heed the warnings to stay away from others at least six feet.

I’ve been out on the trail a lot in the past several days, and I’ve been dismayed to see the increased number of hikers simply passing each other on the trail, barely a foot away. Whenever I see someone coming, I get off the trail, and afford us both at least six feet of distance. I implore you all to do the same. If just one party leaves the trail, that’s all we need. Be that party.