Lower portion of the trail to be closed through winter, a decision regarding the upper portion of the trail is pending.
The Sonoma Overlook Trail Rehabilitation and Reroute Project (Project) opening originally scheduled for mid-September has been postponed to a date yet to be determined, to protect the community’s investment in the trail.
The City, in close partnership with the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards (Stewards) and the Sonoma Ecology Center, started the trail maintenance and rehabilitation project on the Lower and Upper Sonoma Overlook Trail on June 17, 2018. The Project includes corrective maintenance, and in some areas, rerouted trail segments and the closure and rehabilitation of eroded areas.
The Stewards report that while the majority of construction is complete, a shortage of some materials including stone needed for several runs of steps and lack of adequate moisture in the ground have contributed to delays in construction. “Work is ongoing with progress being made every work day” says Steward Joanna Kemper. “Constructing stone steps, completing decommissioning of the old trail and putting the finishing touches on much of the project will take at least until the end of October. Rest and repair for the trail over the winter is also prescribed.”
Consequently, the trail closure for the new reroute of the lower portion of the trail, from the kiosk to the Montini trail junction, needs to be extended until soil-moisture increases and the new trail bed achieves final compaction. This “curing” period will prevent the new trail sections from premature damage and ensure that the community receives the full benefit of the investment in the Project. Some trail sections, including the upper portion of the trail from the Mountain Cemetery Toyon Trail to the top meadow loop, may be ready to open this fall. The extent of these areas will not be known until construction is complete.
“We appreciate the cooperation and patience of the public during the extended trail closure and ask that people stay off the trail until further notice,” says Sonoma City Public Works Director Colleen Ferguson. “If people access the trail prematurely, damage is likely to be done. I hope everyone will respect the hard work of the American Conservation Experience trail crew, the Stewards and the project sponsors by letting the trail cure as needed this winter.”
For more information about the rehabilitation project and updates on progress including photos of construction efforts, please visit www.sonomacity.org/sonoma-overlook-trail-improvement-project/ or overlookmontini.org.
While the Sonoma Overlook Trail is closed, the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards suggest these nearby alternatives:
- Mountain Cemetery, see map at the Overlook trailhead kiosk or download
- Montini Open Space Preserve, Trailhead at Fourth Street West near Haraszthy; and behind the Field of Dreams (adjacent to the police station parking lot). Free Community Hike led by Jeni Nichols every Wednesday 8:30-9:30 during the Overlook Trail closure, meet in the police station parking lot. See a trail map.
- The Sonoma Bike Path, Nathanson Creek Parkway, Fryer Creek Trail, download the Sonoma Bicycle Map to see trails and connecting streets.
- Maxwell Farms Regional Park, 100 Verano Ave, Sonoma, CA 95476
- Sonoma Valley Regional Park, 13630 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen, CA 95442,
- Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442
- Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd, Kenwood, CA 95452
- Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, 1450 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa
- Trione-Annadel State Park, south of Highway 12 on Channel Drive via Montgomery Drive (Lawndale entrance and eastern area of park closed), Santa Rosa, CA
- Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa, CA