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Welcome to SCO!

A few things about hiking and participating with this group:

I started SCO because I have developed a real passion for hiking, and wondered if there were others like me in the Sonoma County area who wished to do weekday urban hikes, and local longer hikes that are within 30-45 minutes of central Sonoma County. Well the membership growth we've has so far would indicate a strong "yes" to that question.


Walking Together, The Original Social Network
(an article on walking groups in Petaluma, page 44)

The Neighborhood Files
by Rayne Wolfe

Trailhead Blog (3 articles)
by Greg Retsinas
(Greg's trailhead Blog is a great resource for local and Bay Area hiking. Look to it for hikes and useful information, and for his personal experiences in hiking our local outdoors)




We value each and every active member of SCO, and we encourage new members to come out and meet us within the first 30 days of joining. This is after all a place to meet people with common interests and do things as a group. If you choose not to participate with the group within the first 30 days, you might be dropped from the group.

To avoid being dropped from the group, you must have done at least one of the following within the first 30 days:
-Attended a Sonoma County Outdoors Meetup event.
-Personally spoken to the SCO Organizer (by phone or in person).
-Be personally endorsed (in person) by an existing active SCO member in good standing (someone who actively participates in the group that can vouch for you).

Although there are many single people in this group, this is not a "singles" group. The idea here is to meet other people (in person) with similar interests. If you happen to form a friendship or relationship with other people from this group after meeting them, well that's all the better. Do not contact anyone on this site directly, by email or otherwise, unless you've met them in person at a group function and received their permission to do so. Anyone abusing this privilege will be banned from the group.

Please use good taste when selecting a profile photo, or uploading a group photo. The SCO Organizer has sole discretion of whether or not a photo is fitting for display on the SCO Meetup Group. You may be asked to remove a photo that is determined to be offensive or in poor taste. If you do not comply, you may be asked to leave the group, or may be removed from the group at the Group Organizer's discretion.

Contact the SCO Meetup Group Organizer privately if you have an issue with any particulare photo. You can contact the Organizer privately by clicking on the "Contact Us" link on the left hand side of this Meetup Page, right underneath the Organizer's photo.

TUESDAY NIGHT FITNESS HIKE, PETALUMA, 4-5 Miles, Moderate/Difficult:
(The Tuesday Night Fitness Hike is evolving a bit.... stay tuned.)
I've put together a Tuesday Night Fitness Hike that we offer every week. It might change up a bit from to time to keep it fresh, but we generally hike in a portion of downtown Petaluma and the hills toward Helen Putnam Park and the Water Tower Hill. We usually start at Brixx Restaurant, but not always. Be sure to check the website for the particular week you are joining us. Noel and Jennifer of Brixx have been big supporters of the Tuesday Night Hike and participate themselves occationally. It's great to have that kind of support for this group, and I'm grateful for the use of Brixx Restaurant as a Meetup location. Thanks Noel & Jen. You can find out more about Brixx at: http://www.BrixxPetal...

WEDNESDAY NIGHT WALKS, PETALUMA, 4-5 miles, Easy/Moderate:
We've had requests for a little slower paced walk than out Tuesday Night Hike, so I've put together a Wednesday Night Walk that we offer every week. It'll likely change up a bit each time to keep it fresh, but will always be somewhere in downtown Petaluma, starting at Aqus Cafe, and will be 3+ miles in length. Thank you to John Crowley and Aqus Cafe for your support and use of the Aqus Cafe as a Meetup location. You can find out more about Aqus at http://www.aquscafe.c...

We usually offer a hike each weekend, sometimes two. The locations are different each week. These hikes will be more rural, but generally within an easy 30-45 minute drive time from most of central Sonoma County, and 6-12 mile in length. They will generally be moderately difficult.

Note: The Weekend Hikes are longer, and usually loop hikes in rural locations. Plan on doing the entire hike. If you're concerned we might hike too fast for you, or have any other concern about joining us for a hike, try a Tuesday Night Hike, or Wednesday Night Walk, before choosing a weekend hike. 


Fitness Hikes, such as the Tuesday Night Fitness Hike, are very fast paced. It may be too fast for some, but this is a workout, not a casual walk. We hike 4-5 miles in 80 minutes, and it's usually very hilly. That's about 3-1/2 - 4 mph. If you're new to hiking, or just looking for a little easier pace, please consider the Wednesday Night Walks as a place to begin.


New to hiking? Prefer a little slower pace than our hikes? Want to build up tpo faster walking and hiking? Then the Wednesday Night Walks are for you. We walk at about 2-1/2 mph (23-24 minute miles).

MILE-1 EASY OUT OPTION (Tuesday Night Hikes Only)
If we are starting from Brixx, the Tuesday Night Hikes offer an easy out option point about 1-mile into the hike. At the 1-mile mark, we will usually try to loop back to near the starting location. This is done intentionally so anyone can take the option of opting out early from the hike. Maybe the pace is too fast for you... Maybe you're new to hiking in this group and just want to see what it's like... whatever your reason... If you need to leave the hike early, this is your easy opportunity to do so.

The hike leader will announce when we are nearing the opt out location. Please let the hike leader know your intention to leave the group. Do not entice other participants of the hike to leave early. Come back next week and join us again, or RSVP for a Wednesday Night Walk, we'd love to have you.

We will usually offer an After-Hike Social Gathering for hikers. This is to both allow a little time to get to know each other a little better, and to say thanks to the Meetup hosts who are gracious enough to allow us to host our Meetup gatherings. Brixx is a fine example of this and has set the bar high in their support of this group in the Petaluma area. Please stop in and support the Meetup hosts who are supporting this group, and remember them when you chose to go out!

Most hiking groups prefer there is a leader for hikes, and that the group stay together as a unit during the hike. The hike leader has an obligation to the group to get them from the start of the hike all the way through to the end, as planned. Routes are usually well planned and even scouted out days or weeks in advance, well before the hike is offered. A lot of work goes into preparing for a hike before is offered to a Meetup group. This is common to almost all hiking groups on Meetup. The expectation is that you will participate as a group member, not be disruptive or try to pull people way from the group, and to generally go with the flow during the hike. Your cooperation during the hike is very much appreciated.

The leader takes a count of hikers many times during the hike to make sure no one is having trouble, or needs assistance. It is important to let the hike leader known if you intend to leave the hike early. The hike leader has an obligation to get everyone from start to finish safely, and on time. If you need to leave early, please let the hike leader know before you leave the group, and do not entice other participants in the hike to join you. You are on your own at this point. If you leave a hike early without notifying the hike leader, you may be dropped from the group.    

We hike fast. You will get thirsty. Bring water with you on all of our hikes. You'll be glad you did.

The Most Weekend Hikes will include a 20-30 minute rest about half way thru the hike to eat, look around a bit, and get generally refreshed before completing the hike. Bring food to eat and share. A small day pack or such is a good idea on these hikes. Bring a lot of water. Most hikes will not have a drinking water source during the hike.

You've got to be kidding... No smoking on our hikes!

Dogs are welcome on the weeknight hikes and walks so long as they are well behaved, on a 6 foot or shorter leash at all times, and the hike leader says "yes" to allowing your dog on the hike. Please don't assume they will say yes. Indicate in your RSVP your intention to bring your dog so the leader can let you know if it's appropriate for the hike. If your dog is disruptive, aggressive, on a long lead, or makes a hike member feel uncomfortable, the hike leader may ask you to leave the hike. Please come back next week without the dog. Most dogs are welcome though.

Dogs are not allowed on the Weekend Hikes. Please do not bring your dog to the weekend hikes. They will not be allowed to participate.  

Note that dogs are not allowed to attend the After-Hike Social Gatherings. These gatherings are generally at restaurants and such which cannot allow animals into their establishment. Please don't ask them if you can.

This is not only a hiking group, it's also an Adult Activity Group. Yes, our main focus is on hiking, but we also host social events to get to know one another and discover new things together as a group. It might be an evening of live music, a field trip to someplace interesting, an adventure of some sort, a crawl thru different and interesting places in a community. The Social Events are a great way to get to know the others in the group, and to discover new and interesting places. Bring your spouse, friends and significant others to these fun evnts. Note: Most of these are adult oriented events and are not appropriate for children unless it specifically says so. If you have any doubt, please ask.

We welcome all questions, suggestions, criticisms and ideas. The right thing to do is contact me through the Meetup group by clicking on the "Contact Us" link located under my photo on the left hand column of the main page of this group.

If you have a suggestion for the hike leader, please address it after the hike, or by email. The focus during the hike is to get everyone from start to finish as planned, safely and on time.

Let's have some!

Thanks and I hope to see you soon on a hike...

SCO Organizer

Table of Contents

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California State Park Closures - What can we do? May 16, 2011 10:20 PM Marv
About "SONOMA COUNTY OUTDOORS" August 16, 2016 7:24 PM Marv

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