New trails for Hood Park funded
Lawson Addition will be integrated with Hood, Sugarloaf trails
On Sept. 10, the county approved spending over $300,000 to build long-anticipated trails that will connect the Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve trailhead on Pythian Road to Sugarloaf State Park, and build 4.2 miles of new trails in the process.
The Sonoma County Open Space District bought the 247-acre Lawson Ranch adjacent to Hood Mountain Regional Park for $1.16 million back in 2005. The Lawson family generously contributed $100,000 toward trail development at that time. In 2014, the property was transferred to the Sonoma County Regional Parks department along with $500,000 in development funding. A Master Plan for the new Lawson Addition was developed in 2016. The county is now ready to move forward with building the trails.
The new contract will be the first stage of accomplishing the goals set out in the Master Plan.
Yakima Construction will be paid $313,031 for a new multiuse trail, including 1.6 miles of natural surface trail and a 35-foot bridge. The new trails will be available to hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers and will provide “spectacular” views of the Sonoma Valley, according to a Regional Parks statement. While four companies qualified to bid on the project, the single first bid of over $900,000 was rejected. Yakima was the sole bidder on the second round.
The trail will also offer unique views of the destruction caused by the 2017 wildfires that ravaged the entire mountain.
Construction is expected to begin in early September, with the majority of the work done by late fall to allow the trail to settle during the winter rains. The trail is expected to open and be dedicated in spring 2020.
Hood Mountain is the second largest of Sonoma’s 54 parks and can be reached from Pythian and Los Alamos roads.