Secret Sonoma

Secret Sonoma

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 Bartholemew 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 preserve—known locally as "Bart Park" —with a three-mile trail wending through oak-covered hills and redwood groves and opening onto vistas of valley and vineyards.

Bart Park

The winery's intriguing history (it once was an annex of Sonoma's "Home for the Feeble Minded") is recounted in an intriguing museum whose exhibits include images from Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge and artifacts from previous owners who shared the place with 200 Angora cats. Keep a handle on your dog for the privilege of exploring the preserve unleashed. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it with a bottle of single-vineyard wine savored at a shady picnic table. (Tasting fee, $10, is waived with purchase of three bottles.)

Posted on: October 13, 2011

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