Hike Date: December 23, 2013
Distance: < 2 miles Trail(s): Verano Trail, Three Meadows Trail, Creek Trail, Nature Trail, Back Meadow Trail, Bay Tree Trail, Homestead Trail
Where’s it at? North in the city of Sonoma, CA off Hwy 12


Maxwell Farms Regional Park is run by the Sonoma County Parks Department and is an 85 acre park, 40 acres of which is dedicated to walking trails. The park also has ball fields, picnic grounds, tennis courts, a skateboard park and volleyball courts. Check the parks website for official regulations but as of this writing dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed and the leash is less than 6′ long. On my visit there were no dog walkers. There is a $7 day use parking fee though if you’re just here for a quick walk you can probably find nearby street parking or combine it with a shopping trip in the adjacent shopping center. I recommend trying Gourmet Taco Shop in Sonoma if you get hungry and there’s also a Starbucks in the shop.

Ok, so I would probably never have visited this park if it weren’t true that I work right near it and have seen it listed in other hiking websites and books covering Sonoma. And I don’t really recommend this as a destination hike by any means. If you’re having a picnic, attending a sporting event, or live nearby this is certainly a welcomed touch of nature for one to walk or jog in. The trails are 100% flat and I think I hiked every inch of them coming in under 2 miles. Nonetheless it is scenic and I have to admit I was impressed at how many trails they pack into such a small area yet each one feels a little bit isolated from any other.

The portion along Sonoma Creek was the highlight for me and I found some pictures of beaver dams here so you might get lucky on your visit. There are also a lot of very large and old trees in the park and several areas of the trail are through a covered tunnel of tree branches. It was very pretty to visit this time of year and probably even better in the fall. Surprisingly to me, while it has been one of the dryest years on record this year and no recent rainfall, there were areas of the trail that caked my hiking shoes with mud.

If you’re local or already in the park, take the time to take a stroll through these back meadow trails.

Photos from Walking Maxwell Farms Regional Park (click to enlarge)

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Directions to Maxwell Farms Regional Park


View Walking Trails at Maxwell Farms Regional Park in a larger map

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