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Take a free hike in Sonoma County during inaugural California State Parks Week

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Jack London State Historic Park and Sonoma State Historic Park are participating in a new statewide celebration of the outdoors through Saturday.|

Sonoma County’s state parks are celebrating the outdoors with a series of free events as part of the inaugural California State Parks Week, which kicked off Tuesday and runs through Saturday.

Modeled after National Parks Week, which takes place each April, the new California State Parks Week is presented by California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, Parks California and the California State Parks Foundation, and offers no-cost access to the nation’s oldest state park system, along with guided hikes, workshops and other events.

“California State Parks Week is a fun and inclusive way to celebrate the wonder and sense of community that the outdoors provides to the people of California and visitors from all over the world,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, president and CEO of Parks California, in a statement.

Each day of the five-day celebration focuses on a different theme.

In Sonoma County, the week’s health and wellness day includes a Forest Therapy Walk at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood. Forest therapy, also known as forest bathing, is a Japanese practice promoting sensory awareness and mindfulness that has gained momentum in the West over the last decade. RSVP at bit.ly/3O5DbHS.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park will also offer a Fire Recovery Hike at 9 a.m. Friday as part of the week’s Stewardship Day. Sonoma Ecology Center community science coordinator Dr. Dan Levitis will lead a walk through the park’s Lower Bald Mountain Trail, which burned twice in the last five years, and discuss why it burned and how to prepare for it happening again. RSVP at bit.ly/3NSFMVP.

The week concludes Saturday with a day celebrating partners and volunteers who help sustain the state’s park system. In Sonoma County, enjoy guided docent tours at 11 a.m. of Wolf House and at 1 p.m. of Beauty Ranch at Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, and join the volunteer open house at noon at Sonoma State Historic Park, 20 E Spain St., Sonoma.

Also on Saturday, the Latino community is invited to take a walk in nature during a Spanish-language docent hike at Sugarloaf Ridge State park beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding with a potluck lunch. RSVP at bit.ly/3O9fe2N.

Championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, California State Parks Week aims to advance the “California Outdoors For All” initiative, launched in December 2021, that uses $548.3 million in state grant funding to create and revitalize parks across the state.

“The state is committed to expanding safe and equitable outdoor access for all Californians,” wrote Newsom in a June 14 proclamation. “We are advancing bold investments and innovative tools – including the new California State Park Adventure Pass and State Library Parks Pass programs – for children and families to explore our State Park System, regardless of their ZIP code or income.”

Editor’s Note: The story has been revised to correct times for tours at Jack London State Historic Park.

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