By James Webb

About James (Jim) Webb: Jim began volunteering with Sugarlaof Ridge State Park last February 2023 as a trail patrol volunteer. His experience in previous work with USFS lends itself to very detailed trail reports. His reports of “What’s Blooming/Fruiting?” are a naturalist’s weekly treat, and his most recent efforts, concentrated on meticulous examination of data from our trails has led to improved data concerning ease of access descriptions of trails and areas in the park.

Woodland Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata) brought to you by Jim Webb

Creekside Nature Trail 

The Creekside Nature Trail has two distinct sections: an ADA compliant trail that is wide, relatively flat and easy for all users and a second section that crosses Sonoma Creek on a narrow bridge and has a couple of somewhat steeper sections.  The trail is in good condition.  Flowering plants currently in bloom along the trail include Broad Leaf Lupine (Lupinus latifolius, shown above), Common (Annual) Agoseris (Agoseris heterophylla), Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa), California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica), Goldwire (Hypericum concinnum), Harvest Brodiaea (Brodiaea elegans), Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum), Forked Tooth Ookow (Dipterostremma congesta), California Helianthella (Helianthella californica), and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata) brought to you by Jim Webb

Canyon Trail 

The Canyon Trail is a steep trail running down into the canyon of Sonoma Creek, providing access to the most dramatic waterfall in the park.  The trail is in good condition, though the trail has more than 100 constructed steps that can be difficult for some hikers.  The rellowering plants currently in bloom along the trail include Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata, shown above), Little Tarweed (Madia exigua), California Milkwort (Rhinotropis californica), California Buckeye (Aesculus californica), California Skullcap (Scutellaria californica), Orange Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiaca), Trail Plant (Adenocaulon bicolor), Pacific Water Parsley (Oenanthe sarmentosa), Bush Morning Glory (Calystegia occidentalis), and Rigid Hedge Nettle (Stachys rigida). 

Woodland Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata) brought yo you by Jim Webb

Pony Gate Trail

The Pony Gate Trail is in good condition, though there are multiple constructed steps in several places and a steep section of trail through Pony Gate Canyon.  Flowering plants in bloom along the trail include Woodland Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata, shown above), Muehlenberg’s Centaury (Zeltnera muehlenbergii), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica), Cespitose Poppy (Eschscholtzia cespitosa), Annual Agoseris (Agoseris heterophylla, ver. heterophylla), Yellow Mariposa (Calochortus luteus), Hayfield Tarweed (Hemizonia congesta), Deerweed (Acmispon glaber), Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa), Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata), Venus Thistle (Cirsium occidentalis, var. venustum), Orange Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiaca), Harvest Brodiaea (Brodiaea elegans), Woolly Sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum), Common Madia (Madia elegans), Turkey Mullein (Croton setiger) and Coyote Mint (Monardella villosa).