Sonoma Raceway Hike is Back!

unnamed (1)After two years of cancellations due to COVID-19, we are thrilled to invite you once again to join us on this self-guided hike on the pristine 1,600-acre Sonoma Raceway property which is not usually accessible to the public. This special place offers gorgeous 360-degree views; come and see spectacular wildflowers!

Saturday, May 14, 2022 
9 am-12:00 noon

3 mile self-guided hike (approx. 1.5 hours)
5 mile self-guided hike (approx. 2.5 hours)

Cost: $50 Tax deductible, non-refundable donation

REGISTER HERE

8:00am – 8:20am: Arrival/Gates Open
8:20am – 9:00am: Refreshments (Donuts & Coffee) on the Redwood Deck overlooking the Raceway and Sonoma Valley. Sonoma Raceway hosts Chelsea Lazzari, Randall Brown, and Bobby O’Gorman will provide an introduction to the 1,600 acre Sonoma Raceway property before the hike begins.

After two years of cancellations due to Covid, we are thrilled to invite you once again to join us on this self-guided hike on the pristine 1,600-acre Sonoma Raceway property which is not usually accessible to the public. This special place offers gorgeous 360-degree views; come and see spectacular wildflowers!

 

The Wildflowers are Busting Out…Here’s How to Find ’em….

Walking the Overlook and Montini trails is a treasure hunt these days, with an artist’s palette of wildflowers making themselves seen early this year. Grab one of our newly updated Wildflower brochures at the kiosk, and take a gander at the new Wildlife Panel as well to get an overview of all of the flora and fauna.

“On March 9th, a beautiful new Nature Panel was installed in the Kiosk at the main trailhead of the Overlook Trail. Funded solely by donations from Trail Stewards, the new panel features all of the up-to-date common names of many of the wonderful birds, mammals, reptiles and plants that help make the Trail such a delightful place. To assist even the casual hiker with identification, several of the most frequently seen and most lovely wildflowers are depicted in greater detail in a special expanded section. Superb original artwork by Irene Guidici Ehret is now also joined by artist Don Boucher’s stunning portrait of the native Gray Fox. The Overlook Trail Stewards that assisted in the installation of the panel included Michael Studebaker, Kurt Teuber and Dan Noreen.”

Dan Noreen, Overlook Flora Specialist

Rain, Rain, Please Stay AND Come Again Another Day!

Waterfall on Holstein Hill Trail, Montini Preserve

Today, the second day of an “atmospheric river” storm, I hiked the Montini and Overlook properties to check out how well the water was getting off the trails. More water was running off than I recall ever seeing before, although I had missed the October storm which by all accounts was a gangbuster.

You know it’s a major storm when the waterfall on the Holstein Hill trail on the Montini Preserve is running as it was today (see photo).

Most of the trail structures put in place to get water off the trail were working as intended, although a few need to be cleaned out or enhanced. The properties are so rocky, however, that in places water seeps from the hill above and sheets over the trail. In other words, there’s just no getting around having water on the trail, so be careful.

And So it Begins…

IMG-1011Today I realized that the invasive species removal season had started — earlier than it ever has during my tenure. The earliest I had started removing Italian thistle from the Sonoma Overlook and Montini Preserve properties had been in December. But now, with our early rains this season, the thistle has already started coming in (see pic).  This essentially cuts my “down time” from four months to three, meaning the thistle removal season is going to be nine months long this year. Ouch!

One nice thing, though, is that I will have a three-week “vacation” in May, when I put in on the Colorado River rowing an 18-foot raft for 17 days. Since I just recently got off a 19-day trip doing the same thing, call me one lucky guy!

But mostly I’ll be out there, day in and day out, pulling these plants so that we can eventually eradicate them, as we almost have with the Yellow starthistle.