Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is part of the California State Park System. Well, it was. Several years ago, in a cost saving move, several parks were dropped from funding. The park is now run by Team Sugarloaf, a group of five non-profit organizations. There is a nominal day-use fee.
The park is under 10 miles from Santa Rosa is about an hour from San Francisco. Nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains where Napa and Sonoma Counties merge, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park contains the headwaters of Sonoma Creek. The creek runs through the park’s gorge and canyon, through a meadow and beneath scenic rock outcroppings. There are 25 miles of hiking trails as well as some camping spots. It is a great little hidden treasure!
I first visited Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in late April, hunting wildflowers. An article had noted that the wildflowers were impressive this spring, somehow in response to the wildfires that permeated the area in late 2017. The article was right. In fact, the area leading to the park was pretty as well, passing through some vineyards, open fields and even neighborhoods where flowers were also in bloom. I also stopped at Trione-Annadel State Park, a few miles further down the road.
The drive to the park offered some pretty views and flowers.
Inside Sugarloaf Ridge State Park:
Inside Trione-Annadel State Park, there were no wildflowers along the road, but the greens were delightful, peaceful, cool.
If you have not yet visited these wonderful state parks, add them to your To-Do List. Next spring would be a good time for a visit.
Last year, the Super Bloom was gorgeous, especially in areas such as the Carizzo Plain National Monument and the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
This year, given the rains were not very extensive at the end of last year, Spring was a bit slow in coming to my area. But some color did pop up along various hills, roads and neighborhoods.
Here is some color from local neighborhoods:
I enjoyed a nice afternoon drive on Highway 138, heading out towards Arvin:
Late in March, I took a lovely drive through the Wind Wolves Preserve. The drive was as calm and peaceful as always, but the wildflowers were not fully evident. The hills showed only a few splashes of yellow, but the grasses were green and graceful in the breeze.
I waved hello to a park ranger but saw very few other people out and about. Still, I did have some company on this delightful little afternoon drive.
Anyone who lives in Central California can readily enjoy the fruit and nut orchards that are prevalent in the area. Driving up and down the area along I-5 or Highway 99, the trees line the road. Early each year, the white and pink colors seem to stretch for miles. However, racing down the roadway makes it hard to stop and snap a photo or two.
This year in February 2018, I decided to seek out the Fresno Blossom Trail. It is a marked route through Fresno County in and about various orchards on local roads, where it is much easier to stop and take a photo. It would be ideal, if all the trees were in bloom at once. But, of course, that is not the case.
During my afternoon drive, no orange blossoms were evident, but there was some fruit.
The nut orchards—white blossoms—were the most evident on the day I was out.
But the fruit orchards—pink blossoms—were getting started as well.
All in all, it was a productive and enjoyable afternoon!