Today, gloriously sunny and clear, we grabbed together a picnic lunch, and zipped to Bartholomew Park, just a few minutes from downtown Sonoma.
Bartholomew Park is a hidden gem, 375 woodland acres, filled with oak and redwood trees, bubbling creeks, colorful wildflowers in spring, overlooks, picnic tables and hiking trails.
Our hike today is a loop trail, combining two trails Grape Stomp Trail (going up) and You-Walk Miwok Trail (returning back down.
We walked through the vineyard, chock full of bright yellow mustard flowers. Stop to watch the windmill turning, and look for any ducks or birds on the Duck Pond.
Pass through the North Gate, check out this posted trail map, and start hiking the hillside through the oak trees.
At this season, hillside was dotted with blooming wildflowers – yellow buttercups and sunflowers, orange monkey flowers, pink shooting stars, spiky red clover.
At the first overlook is the Grape Stop bench.
Through the trees, on a very clear day, see the skyline of San Francisco. (Tower sticking up looks like a big pickle).
Continuing on the trail, it winds down the hillside and crosses Arroyo Seco Creek, hop on the rocks across the creek.
Cross the paved road, and continue on the trail up the hill.
The shaded trail passes under redwoods and Douglas fir trees, crossing another creek, and passes above Benicia’s Lake.
Continue further up the hill to a junction of two trails – You-Walk Miwok and Angel’s Flight Trails.
Take the left trail, You-Walk Miwok Trail, which follows along the top of the ridge, then stairs going down.
You’ll pass by another shady bench under the trees, perfect for a break and snack.
At Szeptaj Point is another bench to stop and rest.
Follow You-Walk-Miwok Trail down, until trail ends at a large grassy area and gazebo.
Continue on the trail across the stone bridge over the creek, walk through the vineyard to a gate.
Go around the gate, at this point, you’ll see the big grassy area, kids playing, families tossing balls, and the parking lot. Back to where we started.
Tips for Bartholomew Park
- Bartholomew Park is free. Around the parking lot are big grassy areas and picnic tables.
- Grape Stomp and You-Walk Miwok Trails are dirt trails, level at times, stairs going up and down.
- Round trip loop is 2.5 miles, easy for older kids. With younger kids, just go up Grape Stomp Trail as far as you like, then return back down.
- Footwear – Dirt trail is not a super rocky, but there are stairs, and places where you need a good grip with your shoes; don’t hike in flip-flops.
- Stay on the trail. Along the sides of the trail is poison oak, you don’t want kids to brush the leaves.
- Bring masks. Both trails are narrow, you walk single file. When passing people, it’s polite to move higher or lower to the edge of the trail, providing as much distance to pass.