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The 9 Best Parks in Santa Rosa, CA
Health & Fitness

The 9 Best Parks in Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa is rich in diverse landscapes and a top visited coastal city in Northern California. Here are the best parks in the area.

Heather Thurber


5 min read

October 31, 2022

Welcome to the charming city of Santa Rosa, where a lively atmosphere always awaits. As the county seat of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa has no shortage of activities and fun to offer anyone visiting, or even future residents. It is also very well located, being only about 55 miles north of San Francisco. The city is well known for its picturesque environment, with lush vegetation, mountains, and rolling hills. It also gives off a rustic-small town vibe, where a feeling of relaxation and quietude will take over your stressed mind. Santa Rosa’s neighborhoods are evidently also part of the city’s charms, attracting a great number of people to actually settle here. 

Get to know the city and its natural offerings intimately by heading over to the best parks in Santa Rosa

Trione-Annadel State Park

Santa Rosa parks are brimming with life, as you will see while immersed in nature.

 Nestled right in the heart of Santa Rosa, the Trione-Annadel State Park is where people get in their outdoor workouts while admiring the gorgeous backdrop all around them. This is where you will encounter hikers, mountain bikers, and cyclists, as the park offers miles of trails dedicated to these activities. 

If you are a fan of wildflowers and often go out looking for some, Trione-Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, CA is definitely the right place for you. During the months of April and May, you will stumble upon a great variety of wildflowers in full bloom. Take the trail up to Lake Ilsanjo, where the most beautiful flowers are

Spring Lake Regional Park

Time for a refreshing dive into the swimming lagoon of Spring Lake Regional Park.

Spring Lake Regional Park is an outdoors lover’s paradise; with an endless amount of things to see and do, your day spent at this charming park is guaranteed to be an eventful one. It’s also a popular water park in Santa Rosa, and one visit will be quick to make you realize why. The park offers a long list of exciting activities, some of which include hiking, camping, boating, picnicking, a visit to the Environmental Discovery Center, and a seasonal swimming lagoon!

You can access all the splashing fun at the swimming lagoon during its open season which begins on Memorial day weekend until Labor Day. 

Camping here offers a memorable experience, with 31 campsites located within an oak woodland just above the lake. It is one of the many RV parks in Santa Rosa, offering RV camping opportunities perfect for the whole family. Three of the campsites even have sleeping cabins for maximized comfort. 

Galvin Park

Galvin community park features 23.37 acres of refreshing recreational opportunities. It’s home to a plethora of different facilities, including a dog park, soccer fields, barbecues, picnic tables, and tennis courts. The park is an ideal destination for a family outing, where you will be able to indulge in outdoor sports and end the day with a picnic at one of the many tables available for reservation. 

It is also connected to Bennett Valley Golf Course which features fantastic golfing and catered events. 

Howarth Park

Come to Howarth park for a day full of beauty to discover.

Being a 138-acre community park in Santa Rosa California, Howarth park is quite spacious - so it comes as no surprise that the activities found here are great in number, each one more fun than the next. It’s home to a beautiful lake that offers fishing and boating opportunities, a softball field, picnic areas, tennis courts, and so much more.  Howarth Park also borders Spring Lake Regional Park. You can start a walk or hike at Lake Ralphine in Howarth Park and loop through Spring Lake for a lovely longer jaunt.

Howarth Park has something that sets it apart from the other parks in this list, and that is the stunning carousel and train visitors can ride. The train ride takes guests on a quarter-mile ride through the tunnel, all the way down to the pond, and across the bridge. There is also an animal barn where you can meet and pet the various farm animals such as goats, pigs, bunnies, and more. It’s the perfect place to take your little ones along for a day out in the sun. 

Taylor Mountain Regional Park

Visit this glorious park in the spring to enjoy the fresh grass and blooms in all their glory.

A prominent landmark of Santa Rosa, Taylor Mountain Regional park is a destination for people wanting to clear their mind and soak in the sheer beauty of the wilderness of Sonoma County. This is one of the many parks in Santa Rosa that boasts absolutely breathtaking scenery with unobstructed panoramic views from the summit. Many people hike up the trails that lead to the highest point of the area and simply relax to enjoy the moment. This 1,100 acre park is full of grassy oaklands, multiple creeks, and a wide variety of wildlife.

Rincon Valley Community Park

Rincon Valley Community park is a charming park where you will be able to indulge in more than one fun outdoor activity. There are softball fields, barbecues, horseshoe pits, and picnic areas. A limited number of picnic tables are available for reservations, so it’s recommended that you plan ahead if you want to guarantee one. A dog park is also available for visitors wanting to spend a day with their four legged friends, with a fenced area and soft grass. 

Finley Park

Seeing Finley Park from afar already makes you bubble with excitement due to how attractive it looks. The paved walking trails give the park its unique vibe, making you want to get up and walk all around the beautiful area - instant motivation to get your body moving. Finley park includes a large Community Center and Aquatic Center where you can take a variety of classes, enjoy craft fairs, and rent spaces for events. Finley Park is also an amazing destination with large grass areas, playgrounds, pools, basketball courts, and barbecues. A little bonus that you will have once you are at Finley park is that it has Wi-Fi! You could come here to do your work or simply surf the web surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of the park.  

Doyle Community Park

The Doyle Community park is an urban park located on the eastern edge of downtown Santa Rosa. This 21.76 acre park has an area designated for off-leash dog play from 6am to 8am every morning. The park is also where you’ll find the Doyle park clubhouse, where you can host meetings with small groups of people to add a bit of nature into your work day. Doyle Community Park is the home of the Sonoma County Horseshoe Pitching Club and also has lovely shaded areas including picnic tables and playgrounds.  

Bayer Park & Gardens

A concept brought to life through a series of community meetings in 2009, the park finally became functional in 2013. This breathtaking park receives a great deal of visitors wanting to play and enjoy the warmth of the outside. The plaza is usually where it gets lively because it’s where you’ll find an open-air community pavilion, an outdoor kitchen, ethnic cooking ovens, picnic areas, community gardens and more!

Allr buildings found at Bayer Park & Gardens have been constructed in a way to be mindful of the site’s rural history and climate. This way, the man-made blends in with the natural, creating a coexistence between the two, which is quite refreshing. 

All in all, Santa Rosa is an absolute joy to visit, filled with a wide variety of activities. One too many visits here and you just might want to settle in!

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