Montini Open Space Preserve

2.50 Miles
3stars (3.25)4
3stars (3.00)
3stars (3.00)
More Info

The Montini Open Space Reserve is a recent addition to the list of parks and preserves in Sonoma County.

The trail is occasionally rocky, but typically consists of packed dirt. Patches of trees provide cover, but the open grassland also ensures that the hiker is provided with views over Sonoma. From some points one can even make out the the northernmost waters of San Francisco Bay.

Easy connection with the Sonoma Bike Path is possible at the trailhead located at the Sonoma Police Station.

Sonoma Mountains
Looking west towards the Sonoma Mountains. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Hikers ascend on one of the trails in the foreground and Sonoma lies in the background. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Over Sonoma and beyond
Despite the overcast skies, visibility was good. Looking over Sonoma and beyond to San Pablo Bay. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
View of Sonoma
Sonoma as seen from the trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Looking toward Sonoma Mountain
A bit of rustic Sonoma remains looking west. In the distance is Sonoma Mountain. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Looking over Sonoma
A view of the town of Sonoma from the Holstein Hill Trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Two Goat Point
The view from Two Goat Point overlooking Sonoma Valley. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Going Up
The trail was a bit steep in places. Carefully laid stone stairs helped. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Both deciduous and evergreen trees can be found along the trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Trail View
The trails of the Montini Open Space Preserve near the 4th Street trailhead. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Log Entries
Three for one hike around Sonoma
By Austin Explorer on 8/26/2020
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 2.54 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Coppertone and I wanted an easy stroll around town today since the air had finally cleared of smoke from the wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties.  We made a circular route from Sonoma Overlook to Montini Preserve to the Sonoma Bike Path.  Since most of the distance was spent in Montini that's where I'll log this effort.

We parked at the Sonoma Overlook parking area and started uphill.  Because we wanted to take it easy today we did not go all of the way to the top of the overlook.  Instead, we turned on the Cutoff Trail that crosses Norbom Road and into the Montini Open Space Preserve.  We used Rattlesnake Trail, Spotted Fawn Trail and Holstein Trail to traverse the preserve.

Of course, we stopped by the old quarry along the way and stacked up some more loose rocks into cairns to join the many others already erected by others.  The views over Sonoma from the Holstein Trail were not crystal clear but they must have been MUCH better than what would have awaited us just a couple of days earlier due to smoke.

When we go to the entrance of Montini at 4th Street West we elected not to dump out on the road but walk along the well trodden path that parallels it before intersecting with the Sonoma Bike Path.  We walked along this paved hike and bike trail, stopping at the Vallejo Home State Historical site to check out the measures being taken to try and protect the small vineyard planted there.  Fencing, streamers, scarecrows and a hawk kite were all being used.  In the past some harvests were completely lost to ground squirrels as well and we could still see evidence of them around.  We could see grapes on the vines though, so perhaps there's hope.

We hoped off of the bike path at First Street West and walked north to get back to the Sonoma Overlook parking area.  We stopped briefly at the Sonoma Veterans' Cemetery to visit the fresh grave of friend Jim Hill who passed away just weeks ago.

It was the first time hiking in way too long.  Scheduling and things like fires keep getting in the way.  We need to work on what we can to remove those impediments.

Wooly weeders at work
By Austin Explorer on 6/21/2020
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 1.58 Miles Duration: 44 minutes

Coppertone and I walked past a large flock of sheep near the trailhead who were busy eating the yellowing high grass that hopefully would not be around the burn later in the year.  They were corraled into an area and closely watched by a nearby shepherd with a trailer.  We enjoy seeing these "wooly weeders" wherever they appear.

With COVID-19, most folks were wearing masks on the trail, but a few seem to refuse.  We steered clear of them as much as possible.

Overcast day hiking at Montini
By Austin Explorer on 3/8/2020
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 2.06 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 8 minutes

Coppertone and I braved the slightly chilly, overcast day to hike at Montini.  Our intention this visit was to hike to the top of the preserve at Two Goat Point.  I believe this was our last outing before sticking indoors for a few months due to COVID-19.  At the time we thought we were going to be gearing up for an active hiking season!

Details are a little scarce on this hike since the original writeup was lost with the server crash some time ago.

Open space adjacent to General Vallejo Home
By Austin Explorer on 1/18/2015
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 2.58 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 25 minutes

The set of trails here have not been open to the public for that long.  Though the nearby Sonoma Overlook Trail has some better views of the town of Sonoma, there are plenty of vistas to enjoy.

Once we mapped out the spur to the Sonoma Police Station we walked back to the car via the Sonoma Bike Path so we could get to our next adventure.

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