Just a 15 minute drive from our wine country inn, this beautiful body of water has it all - hiking, swimming, horseback riding, boating, fishing, camping and hunting. The Lake Sonoma Visitor Center and Fish Hatchery is a wonderful place to learn the history of the area and see a variety of ranger-led and audio-visual programs.
History and Details
Created by the construction of Warm Springs Dam in 1983, the lake has a surface area of more than 2,700 acres and 50 miles of shoreline, forming the perfect setting for a wealth of recreational activities. More than 40 miles of trails welcome hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers to Lake Sonoma, a 17,615 acre park 13 miles northwest of Healdsburg.
The trails provide access to hard-to-reach areas of the park. Passing through shady woodlands of oak, alder, bay and madrone, over sweeping grasslands and into redwood groves, the trails open onto impressive panoramas of the lake and surrounding hills. You will see a variety of wildlife including deer, jackrabbits and many birds. For hints on what, where and how to look for wildlife and plant life, stop by the Visitor Center near the park entrance and talk to a ranger.
Nature at The Lake
From early spring to early summer, the park puts on a brilliant display of color as wildflowers burst into bloom. Here are a few that will be on show: Fawn Lily, Spice bush, Iris, Wild Onion, Indian Pink, Lupine and California Poppy.
The peregrine falcon, one of our nation's endangered species, is found at Lake Sonoma. Although sightings are infrequent, if you see a small, hawk-like bird with a steel-gray back, white front and black cap, you will have caught a glimpse of the falcon. Peregrines have faced extinction because the pesticide DDT builds up in their bodies. The DDT causes the birds to lay eggs with thin shells, which break before hatching. With nest manipulation, the peregrine falcons at Lake Sonoma have successfully fledged young birds back into the wild