Bodega Bay Rentals, LLC

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

One of my favorite to recommend places to visit in Sonoma County.  Its about a 45 minute drive (26 miles) from Bodega Bay but your transported to what feels like another world. Sitting on 800+ acres it boasts some of the planets oldest and tallest living things. The oldest tree is Colonel Armstrong at 1400+ years old.  The tallest tree is Parson Jones at more than 310 feet. Located just north of Guerneville, the land was set aside as a natural reserve by lumberman Colonel James Armstrong in the 1870’s. The State of California took it over in 1934.

Trails among the Redwoods are easy to moderate and some are accessible by wheelchair (Discovery Trail and Armstrong Nature Trail).  You can hike a few together for a more vigorous workout or take a trail leading into the Austin Creek State Recreation Area with 20 miles of trails.

My favorite app for hiking is AllTrails.  You can purchase or use the free version.  Great maps and tips/comments by fellow hikers.  Find it here: AllTrails info for Armstrong Redwoods Best Hiking Trails.

Suggested hikes:

Pioneer Nature Trail – Easy 1-1.7 mile depending on turn [Easy]

East Ridge Trail – 2.2 miles with a 400′ climb [Moderate]

Pioneer Trail from entrance to the Armstrong Tree to Pool Ridge Trail back to Pioneer – 2.3 miles with a 500′ climb [Moderate]

Combine the above hikes for a moderate to strenuous 3.3 miles with elevation climbs

Things to Note:

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reseve (17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville) is open daily from 8 a.m. to one hour after official sunset.

Dogs are not allowed on the reserve’s trails.  Dogs on leash are only allowed on the main, paved road, in one of the developed picnic areas.  Dogs are NOT allowed on any dirt trail or dirt road. Admission is $8 per vehicle, and free to pedestrians and cyclists.

What to do after a day or hiking nature’s beauty?  Head over to Korbel Winery (10 min drive) and toast to a wonderful day spent in nature.

 

Doran Regional Park upcoming events and FUN!

Doran Regional Park
201 Doran Beach Road
Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Parking: $7 (I leave a Parks Pass in our vacation rentals to bypass having to pay)
Park hours: 7AM to Sunset
Dogs: Allowed on leash
Ranger Phone: 707.875.3540

Doran Beach Weather Station

I’ve mentioned this park/beach ad nauseam but its worth repeating.  AND… there are some fun scheduled events coming up!  October is a great month to visit the coast.  In fact my favorite months are Nov-Feb.  The weather is usually quite nice in Northern California and the ocean is wonderful to behold when there are storms.  There is usually always a few hours to get out and comb the beach even after a good rain.  Lots of objects wash up on the beach and I try and make it a point to head out at low tide. The winds seem to be at their worst during the late spring/summer months in the afternoons.  Evenings say post 6pm can be quite lovely for a sunset walk.

Things to do at Doran Park:

  • Camping: If your a camper, there are a 120 tent and RV campsites year-round.  It can get VERY breezy here so cautions on tent camping…been there, done THAT!  RV’s are great though!  Of course another option is vacation rentals.
  • Trails: Pinnacle Gulch and Short Gulch located in the Bodega Harbour community.  From the rocks on the Eastern Bodega Harbor end of the beach to the jetty at Doran Beach the length of beach is about 2 miles. I absolutely love walking this stretch.  Its flat with a gentle slope and the waves are wonderful.  Occasional sleeper waves even in this area so never turn your back on the ocean.  I MUCH prefer walking in this area then other beaches along the Sonoma Coast.  My pooch (on leash) loves it as well and I know its generally safe for him to run in the water.
  • Extras: There are accessible campsites and boardwalk areas for handicapped individuals and even Beach wheelchairs available.  There is also an electric vehicle charging station in the Cypress day-use parking lot.
  • Beach Play: My kids have grown up on this beach.  Its gentle slope and easy waves have provided for HOURS of boogie boarding, wave jumping and occasionally surfing.  Always nice knowing as well there is the Coast Guard Station located adjacent to Doran Beach should something go south during the day.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tide Pool Talk: November 3, 2018 11AM-12PM; See sea stars, hermit crabs, sea anemones and more.  Listen as a park naturalist walks you thru exploring animals found in our local tide pools.  Meet at the amphitheater the second Saturday of each month  in August, September and November. Free. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. For more information, call Kristina Stanton at (707) 539-2865.
  • Natural Exploration: Being a Sea Steward November 17, 2018 1PM-3PM: Junior Ranger Program at Doran Beach; Help with a beach cleanup and then explore the tide pools.

Lace up the sneakers or if your like me roll up the pant legs and barefoot it thru the sand and surf. Bring your pet. Forget poop bags? They are provided at the start of beach paths [pack it in..pack it out ;)].  Lots of canine enrichment to be found on the beach.  Every log, bit of seaweed or other vegetation and sea life that washes ashore gets a thorough sniffing from my Aussie Tony along with his anointing it in his own special way ;).  I’m frequently out on the 2 mile stretch up and back.  I start out from beach paths located in the Bodega Harbor South area.  Beach paths are super easy walking distance from our vacation homes. Out the door and to the sand is roughly 5 minutes.  Faster if you have 60lbs of eager fluff pulling you behind on a leash. Early in the day is best for less wind but quite often Nov-Feb afternoon/evenings absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  Lots of seals to watch, the occasional whale pods swimming in the inlet and occasionally horses as well trotting thru the waves.