Ahhhhh....this is a great place to wander around!
This is what I call the "Vista Loop" which provides the easiest climb, and allows those not familiar with Shiloh the opportunity to get up to the vista point to see great views of from northern Santa Rosa to Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg.
It's a quick mellow walk around Shiloh Ranch Regional Park. Our pace will be relaxed and steady. It's about 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of around 600 feet. This will probably take us about an hour and a half. It's a great way get a good stretch in after work, and still leave time to get home for dinner.
We head out on Big Leaf Trail and quickly take a left onto Creekside trail for a walk up a canyon under shady pines and oaks. After leaving the canyon we enter a grassy valley complete with a scenic pond. We continue up the Ridge trail and take a left on South Ridge trail to reach the top of the park and the vista area. We then continue down on South Ridge to Big Leaf trail to reach the parking area. This hike does have hills but they are gradual and somewhat rolling. As long as you are comfortable with hiking on trails and hills this is a great hike for the beginning to intermediate hiker.
It's a short hike, but as always it is a good idea to come prepared with the following:
- Layered clothing - even if it is a warm day, sometimes it cools off quickly as the sun gets low and our coastal climate moves in.
- Comfortable walking shoes
FYI--There is a park entry fee to park at this park, but alternatively, there is generally ample free parking along the road at the park entrance.