In the 1990’s, two groups became interested in the area of what would become the Sonoma Overlook Trail: those who wanted to preserve it and those who wanted to develop it. The differing views on its best use aroused community interest. A vote of the citizenry strongly rejected any commercial development, and participation in subsequent community forums registered popular support for limited access to the property.

The trail itself was financed by individuals, civic groups, and local businesses; it was built largely by volunteers. Today, a hike on the trail offers an opportunity for all Sonomans, their guests, and visitors to our city to experience the area and enjoy views comparable to those of the original inhabitants and early settlers of Sonoma Valley.

The Montini Ranch occupied the area across Norrbom Road from the Sonoma Overlook Trail, and after many years the Sonoma Open Space District acquired a portion of the ranch abutting the Sonoma State Historic Park and City-owned Overlook Trail. The Open Space District, after building trails, turned over management of the trail to the City of Sonoma.