Thanksgiving is a time to both indulge and give thanks. And when it comes to bounty, there is much to be thankful for in Sonoma County, including outrageously gorgeous hiking spots located right in our back yards. Some of them even offer wine tasting afterward. Whether you’re looking to work up an appetite before the feast, or break out of the food coma and get some fresh air and circulation afterward, or continue the party, here are 13 great hikes to enjoy and help you give thanks for what nature has to give.
Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve: The expansive 805-acre redwood grove in Guerneville can rejuvenate the soul. The state park is great prime for picture taking, exploring the massive redwoods and for picnicking with the family, but taking the 1-1.7 mile Pioneer Trail is a must. Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily with an $8 fee for parking and entrance, $7 for seniors 62 and older.
Taylor Mountain Regional Park: One hike that comes highly recommended is the Eastern Route Trail at Taylor Mountain Regional Park. This 3.2-mile trail was once an old mill farm road, but today it will take you up a 1,000-foot hill. Depending on the season, lupine, tidy tips, woodland stars, poppies and hypnotic gold curlicues of fiddleneck can create the perfect Instagram photo to share with your not so local friends and family. The park is open from 7 a.m. to sunset and charges a $7 parking fee per vehicle.
The Kortum Trail: This path in Jenner is one of the most picturesque hikes in the county. A 4-mile roundtrip coastal trail will take you from Goat Rock to Wright’s beach. Soak in that fresh sea air while exploring the coastal cliffs and gullies. This Sonoma Coast State Park charges an $8 parking fee per vehicle. For park hours, call 707-875-3483.
Kunde Family Winery: The Kenwood winery offers you a firsthand look at sustainable grape-growing practices while you get breathtaking views of the Sonoma County scenery. The hiking program will take you 1,400 feet up from the Sonoma Valley floor to the Mayacamas Mountains. Why is this hike every adventurer’s and wine lover’s dream? At the end of the hike you get treated to the Kunde tasting room — only for the lucky 21-year-and-older crew though. Tours are $30 per person and begin at 9 a.m. Reservations are required (since space is limited to 50 people per tour), and packing a lunch is advised.
Alexander Valley Vineyards: If you’re looking for less of a hike and more of a leisurely stroll, the Healdsburg winery offers a “grape-to-glass” outing at the Wetzel Family Estate among the vineyards and winery grounds. This tour also ends with wine tasting, but straight from the barrel in an underground cave. This 21-and-older day outing is $50 per person and requires a 48-hour reservation beforehand.
Seghesio Family Vineyards: The Geyserville winery offers walking tours of the Seghesio Family ranch that will immerse you right in the middle of 120-year-old vines. Take advantage of the opportunity and discover Zinfandel and Italian varietals as you make your way up to the top of Rattlesnake Hill. This hike that includes lunch and wine is $75 per person.
Jack London State Park: Nestled in Glen Ellen, the historic 1,400-acre landmark features a striking natural landscape and literary history. You can check out the ruins of London’s dream home, “Wolf House,” and choose between a short half-mile loop or a two-hour countryside stroll. The park is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and admission is free through Dec. 31.
Where: 29 E. MacArthur Street, Sonoma
When: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 5:30 to 9 p.m. Fri. & Sat.
Contact: (707) 938-2929, macarthurplace.com
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
Price: Very expensive, entrées $26-$75