If you are looking for a family-friendly hiking spot, Foothill Regional Park offers a network of trails that offer short hikes for smaller feet and longer hikes for those more experienced junior hikers.
Foothill Regional Park is part of the Sonoma County Regional Park system, offering 211 acres of recreational space and 6.8 miles of trails. There are three small lakes on the property, which can be used for fishing or, more importantly, some good rock skipping. Bass and bluegill are usually caught in the ponds. The park offers outstanding vistas of the town of Windsor and surrounding areas.
The park's trails are open to hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding (some trails are hiking only, see website for more information). The trails are clean, easy to hike, and well-groomed.
The main entrance is located on Hembree Lane in Windsor. Here there is a parking lot, restrooms, and a drinking fountain. Parking fees apply (currently $7), or free with a Sonoma County Parks pass.
From the main entrance you can choose short treks that lead you directly to one of the small lakes in the park. You can follow Three Lakes Trail which will take you to all 3 lakes. This trail is wide and reasonably flat.
If you are looking for a little more of a challenge, you can hike the perimeter of the park and come back to the ponds at the end of the hike. A good option is the Westside Trail to Oakwood Trail to Three Lakes Trail. This route is approximately 2 1/2 miles.
From the main entrance start at the far left trailhead: Westside Trail. This trail starts going uphill almost immediately. Not strenuous, but definitely moderate.
The trail starts wide open, plenty of room to share with other families.
It then winds through Manzanita and other scrub trees.
The trail gets more shady with a forest canopy.
There are a couple vista points where you can catch glimpses of the Windsor area.
Even a bridge over a small creek, so fun!
As the trail winds down the hill, you will see the pond.
If you have boys, you are destined to remain here for a while throwing and skipping rocks!
There are places to sit, chill, and have a snack around the lake.
If you are looking to enhance your workout a bit more, the Alta Vista Trail offers 600 feet of elevation gain to the top.
Foothill Regional Park is a great place to spend the afternoon whether you want to get a good hike in or if you want to just get some time outside with your family.