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Sonoma Overlook Trail 2022 Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project

Trail Closure March 23 - April 14, 2022

The Sonoma Overlook Trail  Maintenance & Rehabilitation project  (March 23, 2022 - April 14, 2022).

Project Location: Sonoma Overlook Trail located on the upper Mountain Cemetery property in the City of Sonoma.

Project Objectives: The Sonoma Overlook Trail was constructed in 1999 and provides a wonderful resource for hikers and nature enthusiasts. High usage has contributed to soil erosion and exposure of bedrock, creating unsure footing. This project would preserve and restore the hiking trail for hikers to enjoy.

Project Description: This project has been led by a local volunteer group, the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards (website can be accessed here: https://overlookmontini.org/). In recent years, the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards have become increasingly concerned that segments of the Sonoma Overlook Trail are eroding, which lead to a number of problems, including increased maintenance, safety concerns, and the creation of rogue trails as hikers attempt to avoid the eroded segments. This project is expected to address these issues.

The City, in close partnership with the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards,  will start this trail maintenance and rehabilitation project on the Lower Sonoma Overlook Trail on March 23, 2022.  The Trail is expected to be closed to the public during construction. This project consists of corrective maintenance, and in some areas, rerouted trail segments and the closure and rehabilitation of the eroded areas.

Examples of the improvements, which will be undertaken by a crew of 12 young adults and two experienced trail-building supervisors with the American Conservation Experience, include: stone steps at the badly eroded main trailhead; a 795-foot reroute to avoid a severely degraded segment on the Lower Trail; rebuilding of climbing turns and junctions; and short runs of steps at key locations to alleviate gradient and erosion issues.

Project Schedule:  A portion of the City of Sonoma’s Overlook trail will be closed  to walkers and hikers for repairs to trail surfaces from March 23 to April 14.

During this period, the affected trail segments are not safe for foot traffic, due to the movement of heavy materials and the need for trail crews to work unimpeded.  Walkers and hikers may still access the Upper Trail’s summit by using the Toyon trailhead in the Cemetery. Park at the kiosk and follow the temporary signage on foot through the cemetery to the Toyon entrance.

The Toyon entrance may also be reached on foot through the cemetery entrance at the top end of 2nd Street East and then following the temporary signage. The main trailhead and part of the lower trail will remain open for those desiring only a short walk to the junction of the Lower trail with Rattlesnake Cutoff, or who wish to connect with the Montini trail at Norrbom Road via the westernmost portion of Rattlesnake.

Montini trail will remain fully open during this period. It can be accessed via the entrance behind Field of Dreams or the main trailhead at 4th Street West.

Project Budget:  A large portion of the project budget comes from local fundraising in our generous community led by the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards.

Contractor: American Conservation Experience (USAconservation.org)

City Contact: Pat Echols, Interim Public Works Director

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