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Four of Sonoma County's Best Hikes

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This article is a part of KCET and Link TV's “Summer of the Environment,” which offers a robust library of content on multiple platforms from June-August intended to ignite compassion and action for helping to save and heal our planet.

One of the original counties established when California became a state in 1850, Sonoma is home to some of the state's best coastal trails. From the little-known but stunning Kortum Trail to the popular Bodega Head Trail, Sonoma County has a diverse selection of hikes for all skill levels. See below to the find the right hike for you.

 

1. Bluff Top Trail

bluff top trail
Sea Ranch | Spiros Vathis/Flickr/Creative Commons

6 miles, Moderate

Running near the architecturally-significant private community of Sea Ranch, the Bluff Top Trail offers timeless views of the rugged Pacific coast. Enjoy the sandstone bluffs below your feet after you begin your trek through a ravine of redwood groves at Gualala Point Regional Park. And if you come between November and March, you'll have the chance to spot migrating whales on their journey along the West Coast.  Visit here for more information.

 

2. Kortum Trail

Learn more about Kortum Trail from the California Coastal Trail

3.5 miles, Easy

The Kortum Trail, named after legendary activist Bill Kortum who worked for decades to protect the coastline in Sonoma County, is memorable for its stark views of the shore and rolling hills of the coast. This little-known trail through coastal grasslands also features stunning wild flower displays in the spring. It's an ideal hiking experience for all skill levels. Visit here for more information.

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3.  Pomo Canyon Red Hill Trail

shell beach
Shell Beach | cgiven/Flickr/Creative Commons

6 miles, Difficult

Following an ancient trading route of the Pomo and Miwok people, the Pomo Canyon Red Hill Trail is rich in Sonoma history. The trail crests the north slope of Red Hill, home to flowing grasslands and chaparral, offering lush vistas of the Russian River below. You'll encounter charming stream crossings before landing at the mighty Pacific at Shell Beach. Visit here for more information.

4. Bodega Head Trail

bodega head
Bodega Head | mtch3l/Flickr/Creative Commons

1.8 miles, Easy

Another hike for all skill levels, Bodega Head Trail offers a loop trail with views of the Pacific around every corner. Rising above the rugged cliffs of Bodega Head, hikers are advised to bring a jacket to protect against the strong gusts. Pack a lunch and enjoy the view the whole day on one of the many picnic benches overlooking the coast. Visit here for more information.

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