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Nature Trail: Crane Creek Regional Park

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 | Posted by | no responses

Disc golf at Crane Creek (Courtesy of Kevin Parkhurst)

If you’re looking for a break from your holiday cooking or need somewhere to start moving those muscles after the big meal, Crane Creek might be your place.

The 128-acre park, located just east of SSU off Roberts Road,  is one of almost 50 in Sonoma County’s regional parks system. It’s a favorite among locals for hiking, horseback riding. mountain bikes and disc golf. The 18-hole Steve Werner Memorial Course, where disc golfers meet each Tuesday at 5 p.m., is spread out on the grassy hillsides and under mature stands of oaks.

Several trails, including Fiddleneck, Lupine, Hawkridge and Buckeye, can be combined for a loop of .7-2 miles. The lower creek trails, quite wet after autumn and winter rains, stay cool under the old oaks with their twisted limbs. Here, listen to frogs in the seasonal creek, keep an eye out for California Quail feeding en masse, or see a snake slithering into the undergrowth.

Crane Creek, bordered by stands of California Buckeye, White Alder, Black Oak and Maple on surrounding hills of Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa, offers sweeping ridge-top vistas. You can settle into a bench after a trek up the hillside, especially great for sunset or raptor-viewing.

If it isn’t too cold, bring your leftovers to eat at picnic tables located throughout the park — along grassland meadows or at the trailhead near the restroom facilities and parking lot.

Crane Creek Regional Park, located at 5000 Pressley Road in Rohnert Park, is open from sunrise to sunset year-round, including Thanksgiving.

For trails, see a Map of Crane Creek Regional Park.

$7 per vehicle for day use, but special rates apply to buses or trucks carrying more than nine people.

For more information, visit: SonomaCountyParks.com.

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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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