February 2020 Outdoor Events Roundup

Suzie Rodriguez

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One thing most outdoor enthusiasts love about living in Sonoma County is the ability to enjoy nature every month of the year. From earliest spring through deepest winter, most days find people hitting the trails, hopping on bikes, edging their way up a rock, casting a fishing line, jumping onto a board or into a kayak, or just sitting on a beach while listening to the sound of waves.

Here are just a few exciting outdoor happenings you might enjoy in February 2020: 

February 1 (Saturday): Rise with the Sun for a Wetland Walk

bird in water in wetlands in Sonoma County

What better way to celebrate International Wetlands Day than with a Sunrise Wetland Walk on the Laguna de Santa Rosa with local wetland birder “Duck Man” Dave Barry? You’ll visit two Laguna sites (not normally open to the public) where waterfowl hang out during the winter months, learn basic identification techniques and key characteristics of local waterfowl, and come away knowing the difference between “dabbling" and “diving” ducks. This walk is open to novice and advanced birders alike who are 10 years and older. 7:30 a.m.-noon. Fee: $35. To learn more and register, visit this page.

Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, 900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa

February 8 (Saturday): Observe Raptor & Tidal Marsh Bird Behavior

people watching birds through spotting scopes in Sonoma County

Winter is bird season at Sears Point, thanks to seasonal migration along the Pacific Flyway. Join raptor expert Larry Broderick at the Sears Point Flyway Festival to observe and learn about the dynamics of bird behavior at this tidal marsh, which hosts vast numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl and is therefore a feasting ground for raptors. Expect some easy walking on mostly level ground over the new levee. 9 a.m.-noon. For more info, contact [email protected] or phone 707-526-6930 x. 110. This event is free, but please register in advance.

The parking area is on Reclamation Road just south of the Hwy 37/Lakeville Hwy intersection.

February 8 (Saturday): Take the Family to the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival

person fishing on Lake Sonoma in Sonoma County

Big fun awaits at the 12th annual Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival, which celebrates the annual Steelhead Trout migration. On the agenda: tours of the fish hatchery and the chance to see Steelhead leaping from the water as they climb the fish ladder—not to mention fishing for trout (for kids), food trucks, wine and beer, silent auction, live music, archery, and wildlife/conservation exhibits. Free entry. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. To learn more, email [email protected]; to see how much fun you’ll have, watch this video.

Milt Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma, 3288 Skaggs Springs Rd., Geyserville, 707-431-4533, lakesonoma.org

February 14 or 15 (Saturday/Sunday): Experience a Jungle-Style Valentine’s Weekend

giraffe and guests at Safari West in Sonoma County

No better time than right around Valentine’s Day for the 19th annual “Wild Jungle Love Amour Party (also known as the “Adult Romantic Safari Tours”) at Safari West Wildlife Preserve. Begin with oysters and move on to a decadent repast featuring wild love bite main courses and guilty pleasure desserts at the Preserve’s Savannah Café. After a fascinating discussion about animal courtship, you’ll be off on a 3-hour, adults-only Safari Amour Tour in an open-air vehicle, learning about the romantic lives of rhinos, giraffes, wildebeests, cape buffalo, zebras and other exotic animals. $165/person. 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. both days. For more information: 707-566-3667 or email r[email protected].

Safari West Wildlife Preserve, 3115 Porter Creek Rd., Santa Rosa; 707-566-3667; safariwest.com

February 16 (Sunday): Explore Plate Tectonics and Volcanic Activity

Gualala Point Regional Park in Sonoma County

If you’re curious about how plate tectonics and volcanic activity have shaped Sonoma County’s landscapes, this event at Gualala Point Regional Park is for you. You’ll explore the boundary of the North American and pacific plates at unique geological sites along the Sonoma Coast, view sandstone formations, and study 90-million-year-old rocks that were once connected to the Monterey coastline. Be prepared for about 2 miles of hiking with mild/moderate inclines. This event is free; parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. For more information, contact Ellie Muelrath ([email protected] or at (707-539-2865).

Gualala Point Regional Park, 42401 Coast Highway 1, Gualala

February 18 (Tuesday): Unite Your Toddler with Nature & Books

Sonoma County Regional Parks has joined forces with the Sonoma County Library system for a series of free bilingual mornings filled with song, nature stories and nature-themed crafts and geared to children ages 3-5. This month the event takes place at Healdsburg Regional Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m. For more info, contact Irma Cuevas (707-565-7888 or [email protected]).

Healdsburg Regional Library, 139 Piper St., Healdsburg

February 22 (Saturday): Study the Night Stars at Robert Ferguson Observatory

Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sonoma County

Visit Sonoma Valley’s Robert Ferguson Observatory, with its three main telescopes, including a 40-incher, for the monthly Star Party. The fun starts at 6 p.m., when the scopes are available for public viewing, and docents with additional telescopes in front of the building will be on hand to answer questions. Robert Ferguson Observatory is located in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, which is far removed from the glare of city lights, so the opticals here are excellent. Fee: $5/adult, free for those 18 and younger (plus a $10 state park parking fee per vehicle). For more information, visit the website.

Robert Ferguson Observatory, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park,
2605 Adobe Canyon Rd.
, Kenwood

February 29 (Saturday): Enjoy Family Fun While Kids Learn to Safely Ride Bikes

Take a scenic bike ride at Spring Lake Regional Park with children age 7 and older. The whole family will learn about trail-sharing etiquette and safety gear, how to properly fit helmets, the safest way to pass cyclists and pedestrians, and other important aspects of safely riding a bike. Child bicyclists should be able to keep a steady pace while cruising the paved, flat path. This event is free; parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. For more information contact Lesley Pfeiffer ([email protected] or at (707-565-3080).