Outdoor Events in Sonoma County in February 2018
It’s winter, all right, but here in Sonoma County there is always plenty to do in nature here — on, in or around our mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, and coastline — throughout the year. Here are just a few exciting outdoor happenings coming your way in February:
Get Out and About in Sonoma County Regional Parks
Nearly 60 beautiful Sonoma County Regional Parks are open every day, ready and waiting for you to come hiking, biking, horseback riding, walking on the beach, fishing in a lake, packing a picnic, bird watching, and all kinds of other things. In addition, a diversity of planned outdoor events (most of them free) are scheduled for February in regional parks, including a Winter Warm-Up Walk, a Family Hike, a class about gathering local seaweed edibles, a bird walk, and more. Learn about these and other events when you check out the calendar.
Every Friday in February (Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26):
Tour Bodega Marine Laboratory
Here’s your chance to learn about the dynamic biodiversity of California’s northern coast during a free, docent-led tour of the Bodega Marine Laboratory. All ages are welcome. You’ll enjoy numerous marine aquarium displays containing colorful fish, invertebrates, and other sea creatures (some of them are unique). One of the highlights is an aquarium with a small kelp forest that holds residents of the local estuary. Friday tours are 2-4 p.m., with no reservations required.
Bodega Marine Laboratory, 2099 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay
Feb. 2 (Friday):
Go Kayaking on World Wetlands Day
If you love the beauty and wildlife to be found in marshes and wetlands, you’ll want to attend Celebrating World Wetlands Day: Laguna Kayaking Adventure. The staff and guides at the Laguna Environmental Center will assist you in looking for wildlife, enjoying birding, and cruising through the Laguna de Santa Rosa, one of 2,289 sites around the world designated as a Wetland of International Importance. Meet at the center’s Heron Hall for snacks and an overview, and then it’s onto kayaking. Kayaks, life vests and paddles will be provided (or you can bring your own). Heavy rain or wind cancels. Fee: $50. For more information: Anita Smith at 707-527-9277 or [email protected].
Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa
Feb. 10 (Saturday):
Have Fun at the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival
Join the state’s largest celebration of the Steelhead Trout’s migration, the 10th annual Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival. It’s a family-friendly event, with fishing for kids, food trucks, arts and crafts projects, live music, archery, tours of the fish hatchery, and wildlife/conservation exhibits. For adults, Bear Republic beer as well as wines from Dry Creek Valley winegrowers will be on hand. This event happens rain or shine — and entry is free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More info: [email protected] or phone 707-431-4533.
Milt Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma, 3288 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville
Feb. 11 (Sunday):
Play with the Kids at the Family Fun Series
Take part in a new once-a-month Rohnert Park event, the Family Fun Series, with free activities and family-friendly games, live entertainment, food, fun, and more. February’s event, under the theme “I Heart Rohnert Park,” takes place indoors at the community center. On the agenda: a performance by rock and blues band The Rotten Tomatoes, playing at the Indoor Kid Zone, face painting, and a community art project in the lobby. Admission is free. The event runs from 1-4 p.m. For more info: rpcity.org/secondsunday or phone 707-588-3456.
Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park.
Feb. 17 (Saturday):
Go Whale Watching at Gualala Regional Park
Here’s a great opportunity to spot the world’s largest marine mammals cruising off the Sonoma Coast. On this guided walk you’ll head to the northern reaches of the county for a guided tour. Walking along the coastal bluffs of Gualala Regional Park, you’ll learn which whale species migrate along the California coast, learn about their migration patterns, and chances are good that you’ll be able to see whales in action. This event is bilingual in English and Spanish. For more info: 707-565-7888
Gualala Regional Park, 42401 Coast Highway 1, Gualala
Feb. 17 (Saturday):
Join a Bill & Dave Hike at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
The Bill & Dave hikes have a devoted following and newcomers are always welcome. February’s hike, a moderate ascent to the top of Bald Mountain at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, will last from 3 to 3.5 hours, cover approximately six miles, and gain about 1,500 feet in elevation. Hikers will be able to view the destruction caused by the fires while seeing new life emerging. Dress appropriately for the weather, and bring a lunch with plenty of water. For more info, call Bill at 707-833-6288, Dave at 707-539-8847, or visit billanddavehikes. A parking fee of $8 applies (free for regional park members).
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood
Feb. 24 (Saturday):
Discover the World of Fungi at Pepperwood Preserve
A one-day class, “Fascinating Fungi,” lets you discover the many forms and roles of mushrooms. Class begins with an overview of the fungi kingdom, after which students will take a moderate 1-3 mile walk in the field to observe and collect fungi samples. Back in the classroom, you’ll learn how to examine the fungi you collect and then identify them using field guides. Instructor George Riner first became fascinated by mushrooms in the early 1990s and is an active member of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Fee: $30 ($25 for Preserve members). Ages 13 and up. Reservations required. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Pepperwood Preserve, Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa
Feb. 25 (Sunday):
Learn to Build a Bird Box
Join University of California Certified California Naturalist Shelly Spriggs at Helen Putnam Regional Park to learn how to build a bird box. You’ll discover the different designs that suit various bird species, as well as assemble your own bird box. For ages 8 and up. The fee is $10, and registration is required. 2-4 p.m. More information: 707-565-2041.
Helen Putnam Regional Park, 411 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma
Looking for more things to do on your visit? See more fun things to do in Sonoma County.