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Upcoming Outdoor Events this August in Sonoma County

Soaring above Doran Beach Regional Park in Bodega Bay.

It’s the height of summer, which means that — each day! — outdoor lovers are forced to pick and choose from dozens of fun things to do in Sonoma County.

Wow, what a task. All those parks with trails, all the beaches, all the festivals, the fish to catch, the bike races to ride, marathons to run, tents to pitch…

Here are a few exceptionally fun things you might want to take in:

Now through November: Check Out Doran Beach’s Temporary Visitor Center

That’s right: A temporary visitor center, located in a trailered cabin near the boardwalk, has opened at the coast’s very popular Doran Regional Park. You’ll find fascinating interactive displays that interpret the diverse habitats found at Doran’s sand dunes, ocean, wetlands, and intertidal zone. A particularly interesting exhibit shows the preserved skeleton of a sea lion; there are fun discovery activities for kids, park memorabilia is available for purchase, and knowledgeable park volunteers are on hand to answer questions. The center is open weekends through November from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free, but $7 parking fee applies.
Doran Regional Park, 201 Doran Beach Rd., Bodega Bay, CA

Every Saturday: Take a Stroll and Tidal Marsh Interpretation at Sears Point

Over the last 20 years, Sonoma Land Trust has restored more than 1,000 acres of beautiful tidal marsh lands on San Pablo Bay. Known as Sears Point, these lands are now part of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge; they include four miles of the San Francisco Bay Trail, an additional trail, a non-motorized boat launch, and interpretive signs. The area is open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily, as well as on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m.-noon, when volunteer docents provide site interpretation and answer questions. Free.
The parking area is on Reclamation Road just south of the Highway 37/Lakeville Highway intersection.

Every Thursday in August: Horseback Ride with a Ranger at Lake Sonoma

Get your cowboy or cowgirl fix on an interpretive horseback ride at Lake Sonoma with U. S. Army Corps Park Ranger Poppy Lozoff. As you trot along, you’ll enjoy gorgeous views of the lake surrounded by late-summer’s gold-colored hills, and Ranger Poppy will explain the history and purpose of the county's largest 17,000 acre park while pointing out the beautiful flora and fauna. There’s a limit of five riders per tour, so reserve early. No riding experience necessary. Participants must be over 12 years of age and weigh less than 210 pounds. Fee: $119. For information: call Nikki Baxes or write [email protected].
The Ranch at Lake Sonoma, 100 Marin Drive, Lot A, Geyserville, CA

Aug. 12 (Saturday): Enjoy a Family Fun Day at Jack London State Historic Park

Geared toward young learners (pre-k through second grade), this event takes a fun look at the roles of color and pattern in plant and animal kingdoms. Through trail activities and games, kids will learn about this science on a nature walk and then switch to a fun discussion on how humans use color. The walk leaves at 10 a.m. and ends in the meadow at an outdoor art studio, where kids can create watercolor paintings from the inspiration they gathered along the trail. Meet in Beauty Ranch Meadow. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Event participation is free, but a park entry fee of $10/vehicle applies.
Jack London SHP, 2400 London Ranch Rd., Glen Ellen, CA

Aug. 17, 24 & 31 (Thursdays): Exercise Your Pooch at Hikes with Hounds

Take a scenic walk with your favorite friendly, well-behaved woofer in the company of other like-minded dog-lovers and their pets. Bring water for both of you, dog waste bags, and a leash no longer than six feet. Please refrain from bringing dogs that may be uncomfortable and/or aggressive in large groups. 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Event participation is free, but a parking fee of $7/vehicle applies. Registration required: To register, click the link below for hike of your choice. For more information, call 707-483-0940.


Aug. 21 (Monday): View the Eclipse at Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO)

In Northern California, one of the best ways to view the celebrated Aug. 21 solar eclipse in at Robert Ferguson Observatory, the western USA’s largest observatory completely dedicated to public viewing and education. Located within Sonoma Valley’s Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, RFO will be open to the public that day from 8 a.m.-noon; the observatory’s solar telescopes will allow you to safely view the sun.
Robert Ferguson Observatory, 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood, CA

Aug. 26 (Saturday): Listen to Family Nature Stories At Gualala Point

Relax with the family and a beautiful ocean view, all while listening to nature-inspired children’s stories in the Visitor Center at Gualala Point Regional Park. Afterward, create a craft based on the books’ themes. Please wear appropriate attire for the weather and bring water and a snack. Event participation is free, but a parking fee of $7/vehicle applies. For more information: 707-565-7888.

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