More switchbacks and mileage than expected
By Austin Explorer on 8/28/2016
Distance: 11.68 Miles Duration: 6 hours, 18 minutes
Coppertone and I headed to this park expecting to get in about 6 miles of hiking. We ended up doing about twice that amount!
We were the first people to drive into the park around 9:00 AM, the park's opening time. We saw a few people on trail through the day, but not erribly many. Mostly the sound of Highway 101 was the reminder about being close to civilization.
The hike out is all uphill. But thanks to switchbacks none of the segments are particularly daunting. One's trading distance for slope and it works out well here to keep you going without tiring you out too much.
At multiple points along the trail the tree canopy opens up, providing great views over the Petaluma River and the Petaluma Marsh Wildlife Area.
At the turnaround point the parks abuts Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve. We found a nice picnic bench in the shade and enjoyed our snacks while we surveyed Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Contra Costa Counties and probably some more. In the distance Mount Diablo could be easily seen.
On our way back down we investigated a trail not on the official map but seemed well used. A sign at the start said "Not a Through Trail", which didn't sound like trail closed or keep out. In the end it was a bit of a dud and merely lead to the Mt. Burdell OSP as well.