The Sonoma Valley Regional Park lies in the hills and valleys between the Mayacama Mountains and Sonoma Mountain, and is part of the Sonoma Valley Wildlife Corridor, land that has been preserved to protect the passage of wildlife across the valley. A combination of thick forest and shallow canyons that wind through the hills, the park is within walking distance of the quaint, pretty town of Glen Ellen with its restaurants and shops.
The entrance to the park is located on CA Highway 12 (Sonoma Highway) where the main trail, Valley of the Moon, has its trailhead, along with parking, restrooms and water. It's also where you'll find the Elizabeth Perrone Dog Park, a fully fenced, double-gated run where your pooch can release some energy and socialize with other pups before heading out on the trail, while you wait and observe from the gazebo shelter. The entrance also features several picnic areas with grills in the shade of the large trees.
Valley of the Moon loops its 1.2-mile paved path through lichen-covered oaks, past spring wildflowers such as poppies and lupine, and connects with the hills and ridges where it meets other trails to continue the loop. Short side trails branch off from time to time as well.
The mile-long Woodland Star Trail climbs from the Valley of the Moon to a ridge that offers intermittent views of the valley and its wineries. The loop is continued with the 1.5-mile Cougar Trail, which leads to and encircles the pretty Damselfly Pond, with sweeping views of the valley and the Mayacamas Range to the west.
While the trails lie close to busy Highway 12 and civilization, they provide a sense of tranquility and remoteness on their winding, narrow dirt paths where you may spy bobcats, elk and coyotes, as well as smaller mammals and birds, like turkey vultures and rabbits.
Whether you live in the area or are visiting, you and your fur-pup will find lots to see along the Sonoma Valley Regional Park trails any time of the year.
This is a system of multi-use trails where you may encounter equestrians and bicyclists. Be aware of their approach and move to the side to let them pass. Keep a secure hold on your pup's leash to avoid mishaps.