We are finally official trail walker volunteers for Sonoma County Parks! We met with the nicest ranger on Sunday at Shiloh Regional Park in Windsor for our field orientation and got to hiking right away. The hubs and I had been looking for something to volunteer in the community that was flexible enough to fit in our schedules and interesting for us. This fit the bill! Off we go helping to keep an eye on our trails…
We have hiked Shiloh a couple times in the past year mainly because there’s a few different trails to take and feel like you see something completely different each time and the proximity to home is great. We can do a nice moderate 5 mile hike without a long drive. My camera battery was on it’s last bar by the time we were done with the hike. I took a ton of photos because everything looked amazing in the morning light and was all covered in dew and moss.
We started out going left just passed the bathrooms (yep, flushing toilets here!) and followed the Creekside Trail which was mostly shaded. There were forests of moss growing on the tree branches, on the side of the trail in the dirt and on any tree trunk either standing or fallen down. Once we got to the Pond Trail it was time to shed the sweatshirts. The pond is a bit low right now but we are hoping for a wet winter to fill it back up! From the Pond Trail to the Ridge Trail there is no shade on the trail. This hike in the summer can be hot for that stretch. The Ridge Trail takes you up about 500 feet to a spectacular view of Windsor and Santa Rosa. This time of year was great seeing all the fall foliage mixed in with the evergreens down below. Up on the Ridge Trail we saw a mama deer and her fawn. They let us get pretty close to take pictures without being spooked. Then down the South Ridge Trail we went back into shade. Watch out for mountain bikers. They enjoy the wide trails with twists and turns and ups and downs. Once you hang a right on Big Leaf Trail you are lower but have great views of a small vineyard. Here you are on the home stretch to the parking lot on a nice level trail. This seems to also be where the horses like to, shall we say ‘mark their spot’ so careful where you step!
One of the reasons we moved to the area is to be able to be outside most of the year. It’s a wonderful change to be able to hike in mid-November in just a sweatshirt!
This post is also for photography 101 pop of color and warmth.