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Outdoor Events in Sonoma County for January 2018

Learn about the dynamic biodiversity of California’s northern coast at the Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory.

Even in the dead of winter there is plenty of outdoor adventure to be found in Sonoma County. Eleven state parks and nearly 60 regional parks offer countless trails for hiking, cycling, running, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. Go golfing, fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, or rock climbing. Or just stroll along a beach until you find a good place to hunker down and scan the horizon for migrating whales.

You can also join in on planned outdoor activities, many of which will help you learn more about the wonders of Sonoma County. Here are a few such events planned for January: 

Every Friday in January (Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26):

Tour Bodega Marine Laboratory

bodega bay marine laboratory tourLearn 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


Jan. 6 & 7 (Saturday & Sunday):

Learn about Sonoma County Waterfowl

As a stopover point along the Pacific Flyway, the Laguna de Santa Rosa is a prime location to view ducks, geese, and other waterfowl or water-loving birds. This weekend offers two events to see and learn about these feathered wonders.

Santa Rosa’s Laguna Environmental Center hosts the Saturday afternoon class on “Waterfowl of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the Pacific Flyway.” Learn basic identification and characteristics of waterfowl found here and elsewhere in Sonoma County at different times of year. Class leader Dave Barry is a certified California Naturalist who does volunteer work mentoring young birders, leading bird tours and nature hikes, and giving natural history talks. Fee: $12.

On Sunday, Barry will lead a sunrise Natural History Walk on the Laguna de Santa Rosa, including two to three waterfowl hangout sites not normally open to the public.  The walk is open to novice and advanced birders alike; fee: $35.

Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa


Jan. 7 (Saturday):

Grasp the Basics of Animal Tracking

tolay lake regional parkWouldn’t you love to wow your friends by identifying animal tracks on a hike? Learn how to do just that by taking “Animal Tracking Basics” at Petaluma’s 3,434-acre Tolay Lake Regional Park on Jan. 7.  The class is free, but a $7 parking fee applies (Regional Parks members park for free). For more information: 707-565-2041.

Tolay Lake Regional Park, 5869 Cannon Lane., Petaluma


Jan. 18 (Thursday):

Explore a Redwood Grove

Riverfront Regional Park redwoodsMeandering on a guided hike through a redwood forest in winter is a great way to build your knowledge about the world’s tallest trees. On this hike at Healdsburg’s Riverfront Regional Park you’ll learn how redwoods adapt for survival, what lives in and around them, and how you can help them continue to thrive as an integral part of our Northern California coast. This family-oriented program is bilingual (Spanish/English), as well as interactive. It’s free, but a $7 parking fee applies (Regional Parks members park for free)

Riverfront Regional Park, 7821 Eastside Raod, Healdsburg


Jan. 27 (Saturday):

Go Wild Over Mushrooms

mushrooms bohemia ecological preserveJoin George Riner of the Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA) at the Bohemia Ecological Preserve for a workshop about wild mushrooms; SOMA is dedicated to learning about, and educating the public about, local fungi. On a moderate, two- to four-mile hike with some steepness, your group will walk and explore the preserve while searching for mushrooms. The mushrooms collected will be identified and discussed.  This event is sponsored by LandPaths. Fee: $25 (register  here). For more information, email [email protected] or phone 707-544-7284.

Bohemia Ecological Preserve, 6773 Bohemian Highway, Occidental


Looking for more things to do on your visit? See more fun things to do in Sonoma County. 

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