Soulful Travel: Trione-Annadel State Park

Trione-Annadel State Park

Sonoma County is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, painted with historic redwoods and biodiverse open spaces that are ideal for connecting with nature and enticing all five of the senses. 

Here we help you have that experience at Trione-Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, CA.

Water of Life

When you go for a hike, you bring a bottle of water with you. But what does the water bring? No, we’re not talking about some kind of energy-giving electrolyte powder, but something that dissolves invisibly, for just because water is clear doesn’t mean there’s nothing in it. 

One of Sonoma County’s most spacious and centrally located nature escapes is Trione-Annadel State Park, prized by hikers, bikers and equestrians for its terrain, which varies from tumbling brooks and craggy inclines to fern-filled forests and grassy plains. And right in the middle sits Lake Ilsanjo, your destination for a revelation on the mysterious workings of the universe, where modern science and ancient wisdom meet and mix, like water poured from separate cups into a golden chalice of wisdom. Drink from it with a calm mind and open heart, and it can change your life forever.

Trione-Annadel State Park
Trione-Annadel State Park

Encompassing 5,500 acres and accessible from multiple entry points, Trione-Annadel State Park resides on the eastern edge of Santa Rosa, a gateway to Sonoma Valley Wine Country. The land boasts a colorful history that includes the Pomo Indian tribe, Russian fur trappers, Gold Rush prospectors, and cobblestone quarrying. A local businessman named Henry Trione purchased what was then known as Annadel Farm in the ’60s in order to save the splendid ecosystem from development, and in 1974, it officially became part of the California State Parks system, with a nod to its benefactor added recently. 

Many paths lead to the manmade oasis of Lake Ilsanjo, where birds quietly circle overhead and sweaty summer adventurers pause to cool down – often by wading right in. For an expeditious route, which also happens to be picturesque, take Summerfield Road to Stonehedge Drive, where an entrance leads to the border between Trione-Annadel and Spring Lake Park. After proceeding along a gravel path and over a footbridge into Annadel proper, you segue onto Spring Creek Trail, which begins as a shady forest passage before becoming a rocky ascent of moderate steepness. 

As the birds circle gently overhead (they’re called turkey vultures, though are much more handsome than their name implies), you finally reach your destination, where blue sky and blue waters combine in the perfect tonal harmony of a summer’s day. 

Trione-Annadel State Park
Trail at Trione-Annadel State Park

Wiping the perspiration from your brow and taking a sip of hydration, you return to the question posed at the start of your trek: You’ve brought the water, but what has the water brought? 

Is this some kind of Zen riddle? Something like that, since we’re now going to fly on the wings of fancy to the land of the Rising Sun and learn about a Japanese scientist who discovered strange properties about water, the implications of which will shock you out of your everyday complacency. Dr. Mosaru Emoto developed a special way of freezing water and photographing its ice crystals under a high-powered microscope, but the pioneering part is what he did beforehand. The scientist first played classical music in close proximity to a cup of water – Bach and Mozart – for example, then pelted different cups with violent and angry music. He also spoke words like “You’re beautiful” and “I love you” to certain water beakers, and spiteful words to others. What he discovered will crystal-rock your world. 

The water exposed to positive vibes froze into beautiful crystals that looked like snowflakes or mandalas, exhibiting an innate beauty often referred to as sacred geometry. The water that received angry music and hateful words, in contrast, froze into distorted and chaotic shapes. Emoto concluded that water must have “memory” in the sense that it can preserve the vibrations that pass through it. His 2004 book “The Hidden Messages In Water” became an international bestseller, though his work is considered pseudoscience by some of his peers. 

Trione-Annadel State Park
A view of the lake at Trione-Annadel State Park

This is all very interesting, you find yourself thinking, but what does it all mean? “I don’t get it,” you sigh, but no sooner than the words are spoken and a fresh gulp slides down your throat that you realize what you’re doing. You’re drinking water. Because you have to. Because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t survive. Because your body is mostly water – 60 percent, to be precise. 

A moment later you realize, therefore, how careful you must be about what kind of vibes you allow into your body – and into your life. We all must bear certain less-than-ideal circumstances, but there’s no sense in compounding the situation. These “bad vibes” will attach to your body’s energy field, and they are not easy to purge. According to the law of attraction, bad vibes also lead us to other things that look tantalizing but are in fact bad for you. Pretty soon you feel flat and lifeless inside but can’t figure out why – after all, aren’t you just leading a normal life? Then you must starkly ask yourself if what passes as normal these days is actually quite abnormal. 

One thing’s for sure: There are no bad vibes in nature, and Trione-Annadel State Park makes this, shall we say, crystal clear. 

From the perspective of the perennial wisdom of the implication of Dr. Emoto’s work is not that water has some special property that allows it to receive and hold invisible vibrations, but rather that everything has this property. “Nada Brahman” is the phrase from Hindu metaphysics – “all is vibration.” Specifically, sound vibration. The invisible energy field astrophysicists call Dark Energy, and whose impressions Dr. Emoto captured by freezing water, is called akasha in India, chi in the Far East, ether in Ancient Greece, and The Force in the science fiction universe of “Star Wars.” 

Making your way from Lake Ilsanjo back to everyday reality, you feel a newfound spring in your step, and not just because you’ve been mindful of staying well hydrated. The mysterious magic substance that creates, destroys and maintains the entire universe is in everything, and everything is in it – including every cell in your body. You vow to learn how to harness this energy and use it for good. 

“After all,” you say to yourself, “the positive vibes will be their own reward.” 

Other Soulful Adventures 

This trip through Sonoma County’s Trione-Annadel State Park is just one of a series on soulful travel. For other experiences, visit our Soulful Travel page

Remember the Leave No Trace Principles

Experiencing our destination through the Sonoma County Leave No Trace Seven Principles gives travelers an opportunity to make a difference. Together, we can protect and preserve this special corner of the world for generations to come. Find more info about sustainable travel in Sonoma County here.  

For a list of local businesses helping promote the important message of Leave No Trace, click here.

Written by Christian Chensvold

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