Rincon Valley’s Spring Lake

Rincon Valley has one of the BEST parks in Santa Rosa!  If you are trying to decide what part of Santa Rosa to move to, this article will give you one more reason to want to live in Rincon Valley.  

Spring Lake is a 320 acre county regional park located in eastern Santa Rosa between Summerfield Rd. and Montgomery Drive.  Spring Lake was originally built in 1961 as part of global flood control program for Rincon Valley, Bennett Valley, and downtown Santa Rosa.  In 1974 Spring Lake was further developed into what is now one of Sonoma County’s most used parks.

Spring Lake really is your “one stop” park.  You can find almost any park activity you want here.  

Spring Lake

72 acre Spring Lake

Spring Lake: is the parks biggest attraction.  The 72 acre lake which (except during extreme drought) is usually full year round is a great place to boat, fish, kayak, paddle board, and bird watch.  There is a 2.3 mile paved trail that circles that lake, great for walking, biking, and jogging.   The trail is wheel chair accessible.  Boats are available to rent at the lake.  No swimming or gas-powered engines are allowed in/on the lake. 

Boating: Sailing, kayak, stand up paddle board, and small boats with electric motors may use the lake.  A boat ramp can be accessed off the Newanga entrance at a cost of $4 per boat.  Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and peddle boats can be rented during the summer months near the Violetti entrance.  No swimming is allowed in the lake.

Spring Lake boat rental

Boats available for rent

Fishing:  Big mouth bass, Sunfish, Catfish, and other fish can be caught in the lake.  Fishing poles can be rented from the concessionaire off Violetti Rd.  Fishing license is required.

Fishing on Spring Lake

The Lagoon:  The swimming lagoon is a 3 acre spring fed swimming area adjacent to Spring Lake.  The swimming lagoon is open to the public Memorial Day thru Labor Day.  It is surrounded by sandy beach with lots of manicured lawn and mature trees to sit under on a hot day.   Picnic tables and some barbecue pits are available for use.  It’s the perfect place to escape hot summer days.  The lagoon is lifeguard protected.  Recently an inflatable playground was added to one end of the lagoon where kids can play for an additional fee.  Inner tubes can be rented at the concessionaire stand.

Spring Lake swimming lagoon

Inflatable floating playground at the Spring Lake swimming lagoon

Picnicing & barbeque:  There are 200 picnic tables throughout Spring Lake including 5 group sites that are wheelchair accessible. Some sites have barbeque’s

Group picnic area at Spring Lake

Group picnic area with BBQ

The Otter Cafe:  Serves affordable lunch and dinner items, along with snacks and beer & wine.  There is an outdoor seating area with lounge chairs and tables where patrons of the cafe can sit and look over the lagoon. 

Camping: Spring Lake offers camping with 31 sites that can be reserved.  RV’s, trailers, and tent camping is popular.  There are 3 cabins that have recently been added and a site for group camping that can accommodate up to 75 people.  Camping is accessible from the Newanga entrance.  Camping is daily Memorial Day – Labor Day, and weekends and holidays only during the rest of the year. 

Camping at Spring Lake

Spring Lake campground

Hiking/walking/jogging/biking: There are 10 miles of hiking and biking trails around Spring Lake.  There is one main 2.3 mile paved trail that circles the lake.  

Spring Lake Trail

Paved 2.3 mile trail circles the lake

Environmental Discovery Center: The Environmental Discovery Center is a hands on interactive science museum designed for elementary school aged children.  Open Wed – Sun, 12 to 5pm.  Access the Discovery Center from the Violetti entrance.

Summer Camp: Spring Lake is host to many kid’s summer camps through both the city of Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County Parks.  Visit their websites to see what is available.  

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Kids attend Lifeguard Camp at Spring Lake

Other Events: Sonoma County Parks hold other events at Spring Lake such as:

  • Water Bark
  • REI equipment boat trials
  • Fishing lessons
  • Intro to SUP
  • Science Saturdays
  • Paddle Board Yoga
  • Event Calendar

 

Where: Spring Lake

  • South entance 5585 Newanga Ave Santa Rosa (camping, boat ramp, Horse trailers)
  • North entrance 393 Violetti Road Santa Rosa

When: 

  • Park is open year round 7am – sunset
  • Swimming lagoon & Otter Cafe Memorial Day – Labor Day

Cost:

  • $7 per car
  • $4 per boat
  • Both are free with park membership.
  • Park Membership: $69

Dogs: yes with some restrictions see park web page for more info

Ranger: 707.539.8092

More info:  Spring Lake

I love living in Rincon Valley! I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community. Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa
  • Cert Tourism Ambassador

 

5 Places to beat the heat in Sonoma County

It is going to be a hot one this weekend. Here are 5 places to beat the heat:

1) Lake Isanjo

I love Lake Isanjo because it is rarely crowded. Even on a hot weekend there maybe less than 20 people around this large lake. Why? Because it’s hard to get to! Parking is a good 2+ mile hike away. Yes, it’s hard to get to, but it’s worth it.

  • Park at Spring Lake and hike the Spring Creek Trail up to the Lake. It’s worth it.

  • Or park at Annadel State Park and hike Warren Richardson Trail 2.5 miles to the lake

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A picnic bench sits at the shore line of Lake Isanjo

  • Where: Annadel State Park but best access is from parking at Spring Lake Park 5585 Newanga Ave Santa Rosa
  • Fee: Parking $7 at Spring Lake
  • Dogs: No dogs in Annadel State Park
  • More Information: Annadel

2) Spring Lake Lagoon:

It’s much easier to get to but it can be crowded on a hot weekend. The good news is that most kids don’t care if it’s crowded. There is a great inflatable playground that kids love and the Otter cafe is a nice place to enjoy an adult beverage.

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Spring Lake Lagoon with inflatable water playground

  • Where: 393 Violetti Rd Santa Rosa
  • Fee: $7 parking
  • Dogs: not allowed on beach
  • More information: Spring Lake

3) Riverfront Park

This is a great place because it’s a 1-mile hike to the river so a lot of people won’t do it. The shoreline is covered by a canopy of trees, and it’s a nice cool place to spend the day. Bring food and drink because there is nowhere to buy food. From the parking lot, walk directly through the park on the service road past the percolation ponds till the road makes a sharp left turn. Instead of turning and staying on the road, go straight you’ll see a trail to the river.

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Riverfront Park

  • Where: 7821 Eastside Rd Healdsburg
  • Fee:  $7 parking (Free with county park pass)
  • Dogs:  Yes on <6' leash
  • More information: Riverfront

4) Del Rio Woods Beach

Del Rio Woods Beach is a newer park along the Russian River. It is a parking lot only, and there is only room for about 20 cars so get there before it gets too hot or you won’t be able to park your car

  • Where: 2749 Rio Wood Road Healdsburg
  • Fee:  $7 parking (Free with county park pass)
  • Dogs: Yes < 6' leash
  • More information: Del Rio Woods

5 ) Doran Beach

Doran is a 2 mile stretch of beach with tons of parking although, on hot afternoons, park rangers might close the entrance if the park gets too full. On really hot days I recommend getting there before noon.

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Beautiful Doran Beach in Bodega Bay

  • Where: 201 Doran Beach Rd Bodega Bay
  • Fee: $7 parking (free with county park pass)
  • Dogs: Yes <6' leash required
  • More information: Doran

 

Rincon Valley’s Wine Country Polo

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Wine Country Polo

I wonder how many people know that they can watch polo free in Rincon Valley at the Wine Country Polo Club field? I went to my first game this last weekend and had an absolute blast!  Polo is a fast moving game with only 8 players (4 per side) on the field at a time.  To prevent exhaustion to the horses, each quarter is only 7:30 mins each.   There is 1 umpire on horseback.

There are plenty of places to watch the matches for free, or you may prefer to pay to have a more luxurious experience, as we did.  This particular event, photographed below, was a benefit for Wounded Veterans and was $180 per plate.  Lunch was delicious, and wine tasting  generous.

Generally, polo can be watched most weekends at the Wine County Polo fields beginning at 9:30 am through Oct 1st 2017.  Additional practice/play can be observed on Thursdays beginning at 3:30.

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa
  • Cert Tourism Ambassador

 

Get out of the house! 5 things you can do tonight!

Summer isn’t going to last forever. Here are 5 things you can do tonight

1. Funky Friday

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Enjoy music and food in a family friendly environment at the Hood House.  If you haven’t been yet, there are only 2 shows left after tonight’s show.  Tonight, The Soulside Blues Band.

When: Tonight (Friday) 7pm – 9pm +/-

Where: Hood Mansion N. Pythian Santa Rosa

Cost: $10 plus parking unless you have a Son. Co. Reg. Park pass

Food: Beer, wine, food available for purchase

More info: Funky Friday

2. Friday Night Live in Cloverdale

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It’s a drive, but well worth it.  Great outdoor venue, warm weather, tons of food for purchase at the outdoor market on Cloverdale Blvd.  Tonight, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, a latin big band.

When: Tonight (Friday) 6:30 – 9:30 +/-

Where: Cloverdale Blvd plaza

Cost: Free

Food: Wide variety of food and beverages available to purchase, or bring your own.

More info: Friday Night Live

3. Rincon Valley Dog Park social

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Bring your best friend to the Rincon Valley Dog park for human food and beverages.  Well behaved dogs can play in the fenced park while adults socialize over pot luck type food and snacks.  Bring something to share.

When: Tonight (Friday) 5:30 – Dark

Where: Rincon Valley Community Park Montecito Blvd (near the library)

Cost:  Free

Food: Bring a beverage of snack to share

4. Sebastiani Friday Night Concert Series

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Food trucks are available on the last Friday of the month, otherwise, bring a picnic and buy a glass or bottle of wine and enjoy a meal out by the fountain in front of the tasting room.  Inside the Blues Burners will be entertaining an enthusiastic audience with danceable hits from the past.

When: Tonight (Friday) 6pm – 9pm

Where: Sebastiani Winery 389 Fourth St Sonoma

More info: Sebastiani Friday nights

5. Movies in the Park

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Bring the family and a picnic dinner to Howarth Park and catch Lego Batman.

When: Tonight (Friday) 7:30 – 10pm

Where: Howarth Park 630 Summerfield Rd

Cost: Free

More info: Movie

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

  • Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa
  • Cert. Tourism Ambassador 

Hike with your hound

Hey Rincon Valley, looking for some exercise that’s close to home? Take your dog for a Hike with the Hounds at Taylor Mountain Regional Park tonight (Thursday Aug 17) for an energetic sunset hike.

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Bagel and Jerry are up for the task
  • When: Thurs Aug 17th 5:30 pm
  • Where: Taylor Mountain Regional Park , 3820 Petaluma Hill Road
  • Bring: your dog w/ 6′ leash (or shorter), water, doggie waste bag
  • Registration: required at Son Co. Reg. Parks 707.483.0940
  • Cost: 7$ parking unless you have a park pass

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

  • Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa
  • Cert. Tourism Ambassador 

Wine Country Horse Racing

It’s fair time in Sonoma County. The fairgrounds in Santa Rosa are alive with food vendors, carnival rides, livestock exhibits, concerts, the famous Hall of Flowers, and of course Wine Country Horse Racing.

The fair runs from now until Aug 13th and is located at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds 1350 Bennett Valley Road Santa Rosa, CA.

Horse racing dates:
Aug 3-6
Aug 10-13
Aug 18-20 (post fair race)

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Hat Day at the Sonoma County Fair

This photo was taken of Gwen and me at the track on opening day. We attended a special “Hat Day” event which included lunch, grandstand seating, and a hat competition. The photograph was taken by WB Photography of Santa Rosa who always does an outstanding job capturing the fair’s excitement.  Click on the link to see more great picture of the fair and opening day: WB Photography

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa

5 things to do tonight (Friday)

We have a friend visiting from Southern California, and Gwen asked me to find some things we could do with him tonight that are unique to Northern Ca.  After looking at the social calendar, I realized how lucky we were to have so many choices.

Summer of Love Art Night

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  • 6 pm – 9 pm Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
  • Cost is $25 but that gets admission into the exhibit, 2 drinks, and snacks.  Enjoy the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with live music by Rubber Soul, and taking in the art work of the 60’s.

Music and dancing at Sebastiani Winery Friday night music series

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Sebastiani Friday Night Music

  • This is a weekly FREE event. Wine is available for purchase at the winery.  Bring your own food and picnic in the courtyard.  Local bands play inside the tasting room.  Gwen and I hit this about once a month and it’s always a good time.  Wine is available for purchase by the glass or bottle .  Several food trucks are on site on the last Friday of the month. Tonight, enjoy music by Magic

Funky Friday lawn concerts at Hood Mountain

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Funky Fridays

  • Come sit, sip, eat, listen, and dance to local bands. Tonight its Frobeck which is a combo of jazz, soul, and rock and roll.  Think Tower or Power!  Tix $10, parking is free if you have a Sonoma County Park Pass

Punchline Palooza

More info

  • Tonight Amy Miller (Last Comic Standing) does a live performance at Palooza restaurant 8 pm – 10 pm 8910 Sonoma Highway.  Tix $20 and up

First Friday at Fog Crest Vineyard

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Fog Crest

  • Everybody enjoys the views of the west county hills from Santa Rosa.  Tonight is an opportunity to look back at Santa Rosa from beautiful Fog Crest Vineyard in the the west county hills of Sebastopol.  The event is free, and a gourmet food truck is on site dishing out great grub.  Enjoy some of Fog Crest’s great whites and Pinots while sitting on the deck over looking Santa Rosa.

 

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

 

  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa

 

 

 

 

Hood Mountain Regional Park

Rincon Valley’s Hood Mountain Regional Park is a wonderful 1,750-acre protected wildlife park on the east side of Santa Rosa. There are no attractions at this park other than hiking and wildlife. Don’t come to this park if you are looking for playgrounds or places to swim. This is strictly for getting away and enjoying nature.

The park is in the Mayacama Mountain Range and runs east/west on the north side of Hwy 12. There are 2 entrances, one at 3000 Los Alamos Road, and the other at 1450 Pythian Road. Each entrance access’ different trails so have an idea of what trail you want to hike then pick the appropriate entrance.

Hood Mountain Regional Park

The Mayacama mountains rise above the fertile valley floor

The Los Alamos entrance accesses the Hood Mountain Trial which is a fire road that leads to other trails that branch off it. There are moderate hills on the Hood Mountain Trail.

One of my favorite hikes on this side of the park is the hike to the Grandmother tree. Here is a link to this hike: Grandmother tree

Hood Mountain Regional Park

The Lower Johnson Ridge Trail is the place to start.

From the Pythian entrance (1450 Pythian Rd), expect a tough 1/4 mile hike up a steep paved road before you come to any trails. Once you hit the trailhead for Lower Johnson, the hike becomes less of a workout and more of a walk in the woods. One of my regular hikes is to hike to Merganser Pond, about 1 mile, then doing the Valley View Loop Trial, an additional 1 mile, and back to the parking lot for a total hike of 3+ miles. This is an intermediate hike with steep elevation.

Sonoma County Regional Parks recently established 2 environmental campgrounds at Merganser Pond that are “hike-in” only. There are 3 sites and only 4 people per site are allowed.

There is no running water to the campground, however, there is a creek nearby where water can be collected then filtered for cooking. There is a portapotty near the campground. Contact Sonoma County Regional Parks for more details about reserving these camp site.

Two of Sonoma County’s pinnacle hikes are at Hood Mountain Regional Park.

#1 is the hike to Gun Site Rock. This is an advanced hike for athletic people who can handle the 1700′ elevation ascent to the summit of Hood Mountain and then the descent back to the parking lot. Count on this being a 4-hour strenuous hike.

Hood Mountain Regional park

Panoramic picture for Sonoma Valley from the top of Gun site Rock

#2 is a one-way hike from Sugarloaf SP, to Hood Mountain Parking lot on Pythian with an optional drop in at Gun Site Rock. This is an advanced hike for people who are athletic and can handle the steep uneven terrain. This hike requires setting up a shuttle or utilizing the once monthly shuttle offered by the Friends of Sugarloaf. For more shuttle info click: Shuttle

Hood Mountain Regional Park rules:
Parking: $7
Dogs: yes on 6′ or less leash
Hours: 7am – sunset
Emergencies: 911
Non-emergencies:
Sonoma County Regional Parks: 707.565.2041
Spring Lake Ranger Station 707.539.8092

Hood Mountain wildflowers

Wildflowers on the way up to the Grandmother Tree

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

 

  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa

 

 

Healdsburg Water Carnival

 

72cdefb7ba1f46c406ec5f1b89180038The annual Healdsburg Water Carnival is coming next weekend to Memorial Beach in Healdsburg. This has been a Sonoma County tradition since 1905. The carnival hasn’t exactly been uninterrupted, WWII, and the retrofitting of the Healdsburg bridge have caused the festival to skip some years.

The carnival brings in thousands of guests who want to enjoy a safe (lifeguarded) place to swim while enjoying water floats, a 60′ water slide, music, food, and vendors from around the county.

This year, the carnival benefits Sonoma County Regional Parks “Water Safety Patrol” program. The program consists of bilingual parks staff and lifeguards who travel up and down the river passing out free life vests for nonswimmers who want to play in the water.

Healdsburg Water Carnival Sandy the swan

Come enjoy this one-day festival Saturday, July 15th 11 am – 5 pm.

Water Festival Events:
Floating wine barrel races
Zoom Flume 60′ river slide
Kids games
Live music: Rosetown Soul (R&B review)
Pedal boats
Food trucks to include:
     Diaz Catering
     Rossoti’s Hot Dogs
     The Wurst
     And more…

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A Healdsburg tradition since 1905

When: Saturday, July 15th 11 am – 5 pm
Where: Memorial Beach 15 Healdsburg Ave Healdsburg, CA
Cost: Free for walk-in. Standard park parking fee
More info: Carnival

 

 

I love living in Rincon Valley!  I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community.  Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

 

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  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa

 

 

 

 

 Originally posted on ActiveRain 7/10/2017

 

Walk, Wine, Woof

Kunde Winery and the Sonoma County Humane Society team up for a great outdoor wine experience that you can share with the one you love.

 

2016-04-30 11.38.49.jpgFor the second time, I have taken my dogs over to Kunde Winery for a guided wine tasting hike through the vineyards.  The hikes vary in length and route.   They seem be  4 miles +/- and last about 3 hours.

The hikes take place on Saturday mornings.  The number of hikers and dogs is limited so advance registration is required.  Hikers and their dogs meet at the Kunde tasting room, 9825 Sonoma Hwy Kenwood, at 9:00 am. for a pre-hike check in and to get a wine glass for each human over 21.  The hikes are $60 (2016 price).  A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Sonoma County Humane Society, and Canine Companions.

We departed for the vineyard with our guide, Jeff Kunde and his dog cooper at about 9:20.  We were able to take the dogs off leash as soon as we crested the first hill.    For the rest of the hike, the dogs were able to remain off leash, and were allowed to run free through the vineyard and play in the many irrigation ponds.

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Could this be an adoption in the making?

Our first tasting of wine came within 15 minutes, a Sauvignon Blanc.  A perfect choice at 9:45 am.  Later tastings were Chardonnay, Old Vine Zinfandel, and blend or two.  Of course there were strategically placed dog watering stations so nobody had to go thirsty.

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At the completion of the hike we were served a buffet lunch with an endless supply of wines to taste.  Doggy treats and flavored water  (bacon, mojito, and of course garden hose) for the dogs.

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If you want to try something different with your best friend, check out one of these hikes.  Here is a link to the 2016 schedule: Schedule .  You can also call the hospitality desk at 707.833.5501 ext 334.  As of this writing, more hikes are scheduled in July, and in October.