Fall Activities at Jack London State Historic Park
There are many fall activities that take place each year in the Sonoma outdoors, with Jack London State Historic Park having plenty. Being one of the most popular state parks in Sonoma County, the Jack London State Historic Park was once the home and working ranch of Jack London, who at one time was the most famous writer in the world.
The park is a place of lush forests, redwood groves, meadows, hills that afford amazing views, and 29 miles of trails. You’ll also find a museum dedicated to the lives of London and his wife, Charmian; historic barns, silos, and other ranch buildings; the cottage where the Londons lived until Jack’s death in 1916; and much more.
There’s a lot to see at Jack London, and something interesting is always going on. Many events are free (although a $10 parking fee usually applies). Here’s a peek at a few things happening in fall 2016:
Oct. 22, 9:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.: Fall Hike – Explore and enjoy the changing season with park naturalist John Lynch while taking an autumn ramble to the Ancient Redwood tree and Fern Lake. You’ll learn about the variety of oaks along this trail, "oak apples" and "flying saucer" galls, the importantance of oaks as a keystone species in Sonoma Valley, and much else. This moderate 2-mile round-trip hike is appropriate for all ages. Bring binoculars, a camera, water, lunch and wear appropriate shoes. Fee for the hike, limited to 12 participants, is $15 (which includes parking) so advance reservation is required.
November 3, 4 & 5: Jack London Classic Film Festival – The Jack London Classic Film Festival, held at Sonoma Community Center, will feature screenings of Call of the Wild (1935) starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young, Sea Wolf (1941) starring Edward G. Robinson and Ida Lupino and White Fang (1991) starring Ethan Hawk. A special highlight: an exclusive showing of recently-discovered vintage footage of Hollywood celebrities such as Edward G. Robinson, John Garfield and Ronald Reagan joining Charmian London for the 1941 film debut of Sea Wolf, which was held at Sonoma’s Sebastiani Theatre. $25/film (includes 2 glasses of wine), or $100 for a film and a themed dinner catered by Ramekins; a Backstage Talk & Dessert, with a talk by a London scholar, is $20. Tickets on sale at the box office.
November 12, 1:00 p.m.: Fall Watercolors in the Beauty Ranch – The dazzling fall colors will inspire you as popular watercolor artist Valorie Bader guides you in creating your own watercolor vision, taking your creativity to a new level while enjoying the outdoors. Valorie will share tips to take your paintings from Ho Hum to Wow! in a novel, innovative class. For beginners as well as experienced painters this class promises to be a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. An electric cart will be available to assist participants. Meet in the Ranch parking lot. Rain cancels. The $20 fee includes parking. Register here.
November 19, 10:30 a.m.: Jack London Memorial at the Gravesite – On the 100th anniversary of London’s death, a memorial will be held at his gravesite. The event is open to the public at no charge other than the parking fee. Gather at the House of Happy Walls Museum at 10:30 a.m., from where you’ll walk one-half mile to the gravesite. Refreshments will be served, and a golf cart will be available for those who prefer not to walk. There will be presentations about London’s life, and the known facts of his death. Please make reservations here.
November 25, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: After Thanksgiving Holiday Hike – Enjoy a refreshing and inspiring guided hike the day after Thanksgiving, hiking through mixed evergreens while enroute to the majestic Ancient Redwood. Bring family and friends on this moderate 4 mile hike. Please wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Rain cancels hike. Limited to 17 participants. Meet in the ranch parking lot. The fee is $10 per person, plus parking. Register here.
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