Taylor Mountain Regional Park offers hiking options for both family-friendly hikes and for more serious workouts!
Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve is a prominent Santa Rosa landmark, providing panoramic views of the city and distant peaks. The park's 1,100 acres include sweeping grasslands, oak woodlands, several creeks, and habitat for a variety of wildlife. The park has 5.5 miles of unpaved trails and an 18-hole disc golf course.
Taylor Mountain is a reasonably newly developed park, with its newest entrance from Petaluma Hill Road. The park is located between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park so is a very convenient option near town.
If you are looking for a short hike with your little ones, check out the Redtail Trail on the West Side of the park. Enter at the Petaluma Hill Road entrance.
You can start at the trailhead near the main parking lot, or you can start at the trailhead near the South parking lot, where the horse trailers can park. The latter is not as pretty, so we recommend starting at the main trailhead and finishing the loop at the other side.
The trail starts out with a bit of a climb, but nothing that your kids cannot handle.
Some switchbacks take you up the hill under the shade of Oak trees.
Most of the trails in this park are exposed so go early in the morning or it gets hot!
When you get to the fork in the trail, stay on the Redtail trail to keep the hike to a 1.2 mile minimum (great for little ones). You will loop around and come back down to the parking lot.
If you are looking for more of a challenging hike, keep going up towards the Eastern and Western Routes.
There is not much shade for most of the upper part of the trail, and it does go up! There are some steep parts so it is not recommended for kids who are not in great hiking shape. However, if you are looking for a great workout, this is a good one!
You can connect with the Eastern Route Trail which takes you all the way up to the top of Taylor Mountain at 1380 feet. From the top you get some great views of the Santa Rosa areas.
You can also begin at the Kawana Terrace entrance in Santa Rosa. This hike is more straight up the hill, possibly shaving off a few minutes from the Petaluma Hill Road trailhead.
The Petaluma Hill entrance Redtail Trail-Western Route-Eastern Route to the top and back again is approximately 2 hours.
Another kid-friendly option is to enter at the Kawana Terrace entrance, go up the Western Route Trail, and back down the Todd Creek trail. The Todd Creek trail is also very pretty with lots of shady Oak trees. This loop is about a mile and a half and good for kids.
Taylor Mountain Regional Park is part of the Sonoma County Regional Parks. Entrance fee is $7, or FREE with an annual parks pass. Dogs are allowed on leashes.