New trail and parking open at Helen Putnam Regional Park | Press releases | To learn

The additions are part of a larger reinvestment project completed over three years

Holy Rose, CaliforniaDecember 14, 2021 Fans of Helen Putnam Regional Park in Petaluma have more to celebrate with the opening this month of a new entrance and multi-use trail on the north side of the park. The 31-space parking lot on Windsor Drive is one mile closer to downtown than the parks south entrance on Chileno Valley Road and gives visitors access to the new West Wind Trail.

The 9 mile trail climbs from the recently completed parking lot to the Pomo and Filaree trails inside the park. The trail design avoids steep inclines, increases accessibility for visitors of all skill levels, and showcases stunning views of Petaluma and the surrounding landscapes.

The parking lot and trail are the latest projects completed as part of a comprehensive renovation of the 256-acre park in recent years. Launched with donations from the community, work on the 40-year-old park began in 2017 with the goal of improving access to all-season trails, improving trailheads, updating road signs, signage, add parking spaces and support the regeneration of native plants and oaks.

“The Petalumans are fortunate to have the Helen Putnam Regional Park on their doorstep. It was never more evident than when the pandemic struck and the park was teeming with visitors,” said the Sonoma County Supervisor, David Rabbitt, whose 2sd The district includes Petaluma.II am grateful for devoting the necessary resources to enhancing this invaluable community asset. Adding a second entrance to the park and a parking area will make it easier for more people in our community to enjoy the park.

Totaling over $ 500,000, the park improvements stem from a $ 50,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor to the non-profit Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation for Helen Putnam. The Parks Foundation supporters then matched the donation, and with that initial $ 100,000, the regional parks were able to secure an additional $ 300,000 in state and federal grants and raise an additional $ 100,000 from sales tax revenues. county M measure parks, park mitigation fees and other funds. The nonprofit Bay Area Barns and Trails, which provides grants for equestrian projects, helped fund the expansion of the equestrian parking lot and helped improve the trails.

“We are deeply grateful to our original challenge grant donor and the hundreds of local park lovers who have enthusiastically responded to this need,” said Melissa Kelley, Executive Director of the Parks Foundation. “Their contributions have tripled, tripling the impact of these local donations. Many of these supporters are hiking, biking and horseback riding in the park, and I am delighted that they can experience the exceptional improvements they have made possible.

The renovations included repairs and drainage improvements along approximately 4.5 miles of the park’s 6-mile trail. One of the fixes was the diversion of the important Panorama Trail, which climbed sharply from the entrance to Chileno Valley Road to a popular vantage point. A straight climb, the trail had eroded up to 60 feet wide in places. It has been replaced by two alternative routes: one a winding hill crossing which offers better access to the viewpoint, and the other a staircase of 121 steps for those who prefer a more aerobic hike.

Other updates at the entrance to Chileno Valley Road include a new ADA accessible trail and washroom accessibility improvements.

At Cattail Pond, unauthorized trails were decommissioned and nearly 500 native plants were planted with the help of students from Spring Hill College. An accessible fishing area should be completed in 2022, along with the installation of new interpretive panels.

All projects were completed with volunteer hours and days of community service coordinated by the Redwood Trails Alliance, in addition to labor and contract labor from the Regional Parks Youth Crew and the Conservation Corps North Bay .

“We warmly thank the community for their cooperation and support,” said Bert Whitaker, Director of Regional Parks for Sonoma County. “We hope you are all as happy as we are to open the door to the new and improved Helen Putnam Regional Park. We have focused not only on expanding access to leisure, but also on improving natural resources and providing educational opportunities. We are proud to improve and manage this park for future generations.

Helen Putnam Regional Park is located at 411 Chileno Valley Road (south entrance) and 373 Windsor Drive (north entrance). For more details and a map of the park, visit Parking is $ 7 or free for regional park members.


EDITORS: Find photos of the improvements here. Please use “Courtesy of Sonoma County Parks” as photo credit where applicable. Higher resolution available on request. Watch a video on Helen Putnam’s improvements here.

Contact details:
Sarah Phelps, Marketing Specialist
Sonoma County State Parks
[email protected]
(707) 331-9027

Sonoma County Regional Parks preserve irreplaceable natural and cultural resources, and provide recreational and educational opportunities that enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents and visitors to Sonoma County. Learn more at