Friday, June 26, 2009

A Walk in the Hills

This past weekend, my dog Katie and I went exploring on a new trail that we've been hearing about: the "Healdsburg Preserve" located in the hills above the north end of town.

It's a lovely parcel of land (about 150 acres) that has been "preserved forever" (so says the entrance sign) and overlooks Healdsburg and the meandering Russian River Valley.

Katie and I struck out early in the morning and hit the dog-friendly trail that goes up, up, up through lots of oak trees. When we finally got to the top of the hill, we had this gorgeous view to the north:

and this beautiful view to the east:

That patch of blue water on the right is the Russian River as it twists and bends through the valley, heading (eventually) to the Pacific Ocean to the west. On the left-hand side of the picture you can see a few of the lush grape vineyards that line the valley.

We rested a bit at the top of the hill, looking out at the panoramic view. Then back down we went, listening to the birds and admiring all the different oak trees that lined the trail. Katie was on the lookout for squirrels and deer; I was on the lookout for poison oak....

But we both enjoyed the morning hike; it was a terrific way to start the weekend. And next time, I'll definitely bring some water so we can explore even farther. I've heard that there's a pond on the preserve, so I look forward to finding it....


Lisa said...

What a beautiful area - looks like it was a very nice walk. That is the thing about living in California...there are so many different types of areas and all are withing a drive or so: there is beach & ocean, snow & mountains, river valleys & nature preserves.
Thank you for sharing this - as it gives me another option when we are looking for family hikes nearby!

gatofish said...

Thanks for the lovely photos of Healdsburg. I grew up there, and my mom still lives there, but I don't get to visit very often. Where exactly is the Preserve so I can tell her about it? Thank you!

Wanda said...

Such a beautiful place to have near to explore! Great pictures...I really enjoy them!