Lake Sonoma to reopen some trailheads, parking lots ahead of Memorial Day weekend
What’s Open At Local Reservoirs?
Visitors heading to Lake Sonoma over the upcoming holiday weekend will have a variety of hiking opportunities to choose from, with the opening Friday of several more trailheads and parking lots at the 17,000-acre recreation area west of Geyserville.
They include four trails off Rockpile Road, as well as the Southlake Trailhead off Skaggs Springs Road, the first additions to recreational opportunities off the water, which opened last Saturday.
Though damp and drippy weather prevailed, traffic at the newly opened boat launch and marina remained “pretty steady” last weekend, said Chris Schooley, area operations manager for lakes Sonoma and Mendocino, both operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Everybody was distancing,” he said Wednesday. “It wasn’t crowded. People were doing the things they needed to be responsible in the recreational areas, so that was encouraging.”
As a result, he and his team coordinated the opening of additional amenities for the coming weekend, including multiple trailheads and additional parking areas, all of which should help disperse crowds.
They include the Bridge East Vista, Little Flat, Gray Pine, No Name, Lone Rock and Southlake trailheads, and the public boat ramp overflow parking lot, depending on gate maintenance issues.
Still closed are the Milt Brandt Visitor Center, VC Recreation Area, the Warm Springs Recreation Area, including the disc golf course and dog run area, the Overlook, the Yorty Creek boat launch and beach, the Liberty Glen Campground and all boat-in campsites.
High-touch areas like picnic grounds and playgrounds also remain closed, though portable toilets will be available. All facilities at Lake Mendocino remain closed, with tentative plans to reopen on May 26 the south boat ramp and overlook, as well as the parking lot at Coyote Dam and Joe Riley Day-Use Area.
All park visitors need to be ready to maintain proper physical distancing from others and always carry a face cover to put on when they need to pass someone on a trail or otherwise can’t be sufficiently far away, Schooley said.
“It’s a holiday weekend and we’ll see what happens this weekend,” Schooley said. “We’ll have our rangers out just in the park patrolling, and we’ll see how things go. But based on last weekend, we’re optimistic that thing will continue to progress well.”