Creek Regional Park,
Sonoma County Regional Parks,
1.1 mile loop through a very scenic small park featuring a creek and lots of old oaks.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 1.1 mile loop hike is very easy. Trailhead elevation is about 340 feet. The park's highest point is about 470 feet, and the lowest is around 260. This is a good destination for beginning hikers.
Almost completely exposed.
Under 1 hour.
Nice year round.
From US 101 in Sonoma County, exit Rohnert Park Expressway. Drive southeast on Rohnert Park Expressway about 2.5 miles, at which point Rohnert Park Expressway ends at Petaluma Hill Road. Turn right on Petaluma Hill Road, and drive south about 1.2 miles, then turn left onto Roberts Road (there's a brown "parks" sign at this intersection). Drive about 1.2 miles on Roberts Road, and where Roberts Road ends (Lichau Road makes a sharp turn right), continue straight, now on Pressley Road. Continue on Pressley about 0.5 mile, then turn left into the parking lot.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS coordinates* for trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, pay phones, stores, and restaurants back in Rohnert Park, near US 101. No camping.
Large paved parking lot. $7 parking fee (no parking along the road outside the gate) via self registration. There are 2 designated handicapped parking spots, and the trails are wheelchair accessible. You'll find pit toilets, a map under glass at the trailhead, and paper maps to take with you. No drinking water. There is no direct public transportation to this park.
Dogs are allowed on this hike: they are permitted on leash in the park. Park is open from sunrise to sunset. Some trails are signed hiking only, while others are multi-use.
The Official Story:
Sonoma County's Crane Creek page
Sonoma County's Regional Park office 707-565-2041
Map from Sonoma County Parks (download pdf)
This hike is described and mapped in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco (1st edition), by Jane Huber (yup, that's me, the creator of this website). Order this book from Amazon.com.
North Bay Trails, by David Weintraub (order this book from Amazon.com) has a good map and park descriptions.
Crane Creek in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.
View photos from this hike.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
I have my next "Calgon take me away" moment, I
believe I'll visualize an afternoon at Crane Creek. I will close my eyes
and feel a soft breeze floating across the green hillsides, smell the
blossoms on buckeye trees, and hear the murmur of a stream. And then once
I find the prefect spot under a sprawling valley oak, I'll stretch out
for a snooze, with the sound of hawk cries punctuating my dreams. Ah,
yes, Crane Creek is a soothing place. Although the park is only comprised
of 128 acres, its diverse habitats and close proximity to civilization
make it a fantastic destination, particularly in spring, when the grassland
is lush, fresh oak leaves bust from their buds, and wildflowers are abundant.