A big bark for Sonoma’s Bart Park

By: DogTrekker Staff
mustard flowers grow in Sonoma vineyard
Photo by Tyke Jones.

Sonoma County is well endowed with public lands where you can spend quality time with your furry friend, but not so well known are the private preserves that welcome hikers and strollers accompanied by canine companions.

Put organically farmed Bartholomew Park Winery at the top of your list. This little-known gem just a few blocks east of Sonoma Plaza sits at the center of a 400-acre memorial preserve—known locally as “Bart Park”—with a 3-mile loop trail wending through oak-covered hills and redwood groves and opening onto vistas of valley and vineyards.

Start on the You-Walk Miwok Trail and schedule about an hour and a half to hike the loop, with a rest stop at redwood-shaded Benicia’s Lake about halfway around. You’ll enjoy a generous sampling of visual delights as you wander through woodlands, grasslands and forest, climbing about 450 vertical feet along the way.

Bring a picnic to savor afterward at a shady table overlooking vineyards and a replica of Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy’s Palladian Villa, which was destroyed by fire decades after the count, who planted the first vines, died in 1869 in Central America. (The current winery was founded in 1994.)

The winery’s intriguing history (it once was an annex of Sonoma’s “Home for the Feeble Minded”) is recounted in a museum whose exhibits include images from Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge and artifacts from previous owners who shared the place with 200 Angora cats.

For picnic fare, stop by Sonoma Cheese Factory or Basque Boulangerie on Sonoma Plaza or Vella Cheese (closed Sundays) a block or so away.


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