Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through land untouched by tourists and experience what settlers would have seen a hundred years ago? The hubs and I attended a guided wildflower hike last weekend with a couple rangers from the Wildlands Conservancy. It was INCREDIBLE!
We started the hike out at a non-descript future parking spot just north on Pacific Coast Highway from Jenner. The fog was settling in and we were all getting to know each other while we scouted out this beautiful piece of land. We’ve been on a few group hikes and the people we were with were just amazing. I love the excitement and how much our fellow hikers love the area.
This soon to be park has some trails already marked and ready for the public to eventually experience. The views of Jenner, where the Russian River meets the ocean, are absolutely gorgeous!! We stopped and looked at wildflowers along the hike. Too many to rattle off here and just enough to keep us climbing up the hill with excitement!
The rangers stopped us about 3/4 of the way up to quietly watch a white badger digging a hole just about 20 feet away from us. The little guy kept digging as if there were no one else around…little did he know there were 15 of us watching him quietly. So awesome to see this up close!! As we watched him digging we also noticed some wild boars near the trail we had just come up. Love that the wildlife are still very wild on this trail!
Our group then explored a great little serpentine rock outcrop with some bay trees growing very healthy. It was a small little wonderland for all of us. The diverse grassland and wildflowers on this foggy day were amazing.
As we reached the top of the hill the old historic barn came into sight. It was built with no foundation from redwood trees and is still standing pretty straight and has stood the test of time and all of the weather. This is where we met up with the Oreo cows (belted galloways). They were super friendly and just let us wander around their home. I so desperately wanted to go up and pet one but refrained a little out of fear and a lot out of respect. They are grazers just chilling and enjoying the peacefulness of their home.
We then descended a gravel road and veered off to the left to walk through the prairie grass to see the amazing amounts of wildflowers flourishing everywhere! In the distance we heard turkeys chatting, the fog was so thick all we could see was what was near to us. A perfect spot for a break and lunch. Amazing how mother nature finds ways to grow in places where others wouldn’t be able to grow. She sure put on a show with all the native flowers and grasses. Always in awe of how nature always prevails.
After our break we headed back up the hill and once again said hello to the Oreo cows and passed the old barn that has seen so much over the years. All of the excitement on the way up with the badger and the anticipation of the flowers had declined a bit. The weather had turned and the fog turned into heavy mist and most of us were ready to get into our warm cars and dry off. We checked out a few more spots on the way back and managed to dodge any more wildlife sightings.
The hubs and I absolutely recommend this hike if you can get a spot with the Wildlands Conservancy! It was so worth the wait!!! We cannot wait until this park is open to the public and more trails are opened up.
Docent led only right now, 4+ miles semi-strenuous due to the incline and badger holes, absolutely worth it!
Don’t forget to stop in the town of Guerneville for lunch after!