The Kenwood Press
News: 04/15/2018

Trails re-open after the fires



Hood Mountain Regional Parkís Pythian Road entrance reopens

On March 30, the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department officially opened the Pythian Road entrance to Hood Mountain Regional Park.

The southern half of the park accessed from Pythian Road had been closed since the October 2017 wildfires swept across large portions of the mountain. This section of the park experienced some of the more severe fire impacts, with forested slopes scorched and other areas significantly marked by the firefight.

Parks staff, partners, and contractors have worked for the past several months to assess burned trees, repair trails, reinforce retaining walls and rebuild culverts to make the park safe for public access.

Most of the trails reached via Pythian Road are open, including trails leading to the summit (2,700 feet elevation) and Gunsight Rock. The areas around Merganser and Blue Heron ponds are closed for ongoing restoration.

Visitors will notice burn scars, bulldozer scrapes, and erosion-control efforts as well as significant regrowth, including green grasses, vibrant wildflowers, and new leaves on trees and shrubs.

Hikers are urged to follow new directional signs and stay out of closed areas. Due to terrain and elevation gain, many of Hood Mountainís trails are considered moderately difficult to challenging, including the initial climb from the parking area at 1450 Pythian Road.

Hood Mountainís northern entrance at 3000 Los Alamos Road reopened in January.

To learn more about the fireís impacts, Regional Parks is hosting a Wildfire Ecology Hike from Pythian Road on May 19.

Hood Mountain hours are 7 a.m. to sunset. Visitors should bring plenty of water, as drinking water is not available in the park.

Sugarloaf opens new trails

Volunteers have spent hundreds of hours repairing trails, bridges, retaining walls and steps on Sugarloaf trails. Thanks to their efforts Vista, Headwaters and Goodspeed trails are now open.

You can view the current trail status at www.sugarloafpark.org.