Sonoma Valley Regional Park is located near downtown Glen Ellen, California. The official parking lot is off of Highway 12. A day or annual pass is required to enter the park. For convenience, we parked on the corner of Carmel Avenue and Coldspring Lane, but it is limited to a few spots along the side of the road. Hiking, biking, leashed dog walking, and horseback riding are allowed in the park. Dog waste bags are provided in a couple of places. There were no restrooms or water where we parked. Cell phone service was strong.
Starting and ending at Carmel Avenue, we hiked a 3.0 mile loop through the Sonoma Valley Regional Park. On our loop the elevation change was less than 200 feet. There are trails with steeper slopes that we navigated around because we had an eight month old and a four year old in tow.
The Carmel Avenue trail is paved to start and then transitions to dirt.
We hiked a clockwise loop by taking a left at the intersection below and returning on the path to the right.
Black Canyon trail is narrow and meanders through a patchy forest. This was the only single track trail. The others were at least double wide.
We identified the distinct red peeling bark to be that of Pacific Madrone trees.
Next, we walked on the multi-use paved trail, which was easy for both our toddler and two dogs.
Instead of reaching the official parking lot, we turned right onto the East Sutton Lake trail and followed it through a small ravine to Suttonfield Lake.
We hiked around the southern end of Suttonfield Lake, which also features a wide and smooth trail. Both wine tasters looking for an easy hike and tourists with dogs will find this park an ideal place for a quick outdoor adventure.
We used the multi-use paved trail to connect to the Carmel Avenue trail, which led us back to our car. The dog whose head is in the bottom left corner was happily walking with a Cycle Dog leash handmade in Portland, Oregon from recycled bicycle tubes.
In sum, the Sonoma Valley Regional Park is a fun place to go on an easy hike for both families and dog owners. Some of the trails allow mountain biking but we saw only two people riding. I recommend exploring the Jack London State Park, which is very close to this one.