Hike Date: April 4, 2012
Distance: 4.2 miles
Trail(s): Fox Pond Run, Ridge Trail, Serpentine Trail, Blue Oak Trail, All the Oaks Trail
Where’s it at? Healdsburg Simi Valley in Northern California
Had an interview at a nearby winery and decided to multi task on this hour drive from home by taking a quick evening hike through Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve in early Spring. Very scenic driving in this area in Spring! The Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve opened in late 2008 and offers a number of different loop trails for hiking or running.
I believe I hiked the whole park’s trail system (shown in the Google MyTracks loops on the map) and even took a trail loop not listed as officially part of the Preserve. I can’t remember the name of it, it was the northernmost loop and started around Fox Pond, something like Margaret’s Trail or something like that, I’ll update this post if I found out! You can park for this trail in the nearby residential streets. I parked at Arabian Way and Bridge Path. The trailhead is at the end of Arabian Way and obviously marked. One odd thing was you had to scramble off the road/trail right at the beginning just to get to the trail, a giant gate blocks use of the road here and there didn’t seem to be an obvious proper trail to get on!
In early Spring the trails were pretty soggy around the beginning. You immediately are hiking along Fox Pond, a fairly small but scenic pond with a bridge across it. I started out with the Fox Pond Loop and stopped for a few photos at the overlook there. This took me back to the beginning almost and I continued on to the Ridge Trail and the Russian River Overlook. Next stop was the serpentine and Blue Oak trail loop. Lastly I took the unmarked trail which I can’t remember the name of, which was actually probably my favorite once you get through the initial switchback section.
The trails here are very well built and maintained. There are two bridges within the hike I took. There is a good mix of being out in the open and being in a tree canopied forest of nice oak trees. There is also a good mix of wider fire-road type trails and narrow single tracks within this park. All in all I was very pleased with this 4+ mile hike, it’s ecology and the views.
Photos from Hiking Healdsburg OSP Trails (click to enlarge)
Useful Links about Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve
Directions to Healdsburg Ridge OSP Trailhead
View Healdsburg Open Space Preserve in a larger map