Annadel State Park – east end

stats - Annadel east

This hike started from the east end of Annadel State Park and connected to my previous hike of the west end of the park four weeks prior.  The forecast was for a warm day, with a high of 95 degrees inland.  The drive to the Lawndale Road trailhead passed through the Valley of the Moon area of Sonoma County, and the vineyards were beautifully lit by the morning sun.

The first part of the trail included some open sunny areas with views of the nearby hills.

picture of typical hill surrounding Sonoma Valley

Typical hill surrounding Sonoma Valley

There was an area near the trail with a kind of forest of post-like structures.

picture of new trees with deer-proof structures?

New trees with deer-proof structures?

At first I didn’t know the purpose of these structures, but later I saw similar structures on a different trail and each one seemed to contain a small tree.  I surmise that the tree plantings are purposeful, and the structures may protect the new trees from being eaten by deer.

Soon after this the trail entered the forest, where the cool shade was quite welcome.

picture of pleasant forest providing much-welcome shade

Pleasant forest providing much-welcome shade

The Bay Area Ridge Trail follows the Lawndale Trail from the trailhead, then goes along the Marsh Trail to connect with the Ridge Trail.  At the junction with the Ridge Trail, for some reason I mis-read the trail marking signs and made an incorrect turn.  I actually kept going for a ways before I was convinced, from the bread crumb track on my GPS, that I was no longer on the intended trail.  (A clue that I should have paid more attention to was that this trail passed a few houses.  I had thought that the Ridge Trail was completely within the State Park boundaries, so should not have passed any houses.)  Because I had essentially mis-identified which trail section was actually the Ridge Trail, as I retraced my steps I actually took another short detour on another incorrect trail.  This “adventure” shows clearly on my GPS track.

GPS track

GPS track

Sometimes it is tricky to correctly interpret the topology or exact layout and identification of trail segments at an intersection.  This turned out to be a good example of using my bread crumb trail to – at least eventually – help me get back onto the trail I wanted to be on.  The complete side trip / detour ended up being about 2.3 miles altogether.

When I reached the area near my previous turnaround point, I didn’t initially find the distinctive tree I’d used as a landmark on my previous hike, so it was fortunate that I had entered a waypoint into my GPS.  Because I’m kind of a purist about hiking an entire designated trail section, I decided to proceed about 1/8 mile past the waypoint, just to be sure there wasn’t a gap.

Elevation profile

Elevation profile

During the return hike to the trail head, I heard loud rustling in the underbrush and shortly observed a group of wild turkeys making their way through the forest.

picture of wild turkeys

Wild turkeys

I hope it’s interesting to readers when I note what I consider to be unusual wildlife sightings during my hikes.

This entry was posted in Bay Area Ridge Trail, North Bay, Sonoma County and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Annadel State Park – east end

  1. Pingback: Annadel State Park – west end | trailhiker

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