【North Carolina Campground】Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Sugarloaf ridge state parkThe park is located in Kenwood, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco. There are a number of hiking trails in this park, ranging from easy to difficult. The views are mainly along the Mayacamas mountains, which is the ridge separating the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Because of its proximity to Sonama andNapa, there are quite a few nice wineries in the neighborhood. If you're looking for a restaurant, the neighborhoodKenwoodIt is also quite convenient. The volunteers in this park are especially warm and friendly. As soon as you enter the park, you can see that the visitor center is well organized, and you can tell that it is seriously operated. The observatory in the park sometimes has stargazing activities organized by volunteers, so with the good location and the abundant activities, it is a very suitable place for camping on weekends. If you have time, you can also arrange to go to the neighboringJack London Historic ParkVisit.

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Camping Environment

  • Camp Comfort: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Camp Space: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cleanliness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Location: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sugarloaf ridge state park has a total of 49 campgrounds in the southern part of the park, the campgrounds are all surrounded by trees, the environment is quite comfortable. The size of the campsites is usually big enough for two small tents, but the campsites here are not very big, and they are a bit closer to the neighbors, but not too noisy. This time, we stayed at a premium site, which was completely shaded by trees and right next to Sonoma Creek, so it was very cool and shady. Because of the rain, it was still a bit wet on the ground, so it would be the most comfortable location in summer.

In terms of public areas, the restrooms are small, but probably the cleanest I've ever seen. There is a large grassy area right in front of the campground to run on, which is convenient for families with small children, and you can see a lot of stars at night from the campground on a clear day. It is very close to several southern hiking trailheads.

hiking trail

Hillside trail/Meadow trail loop

We did two trails this time. On the first day, we did a loop of the Hillside trail/Meadow trail, which is about 2 miles in distance. The difficulty level is labeled as moderate in the brochure, but in fact, except for the uphill section in the beginning of Hillside, the rest of the trail is basically gently uphill and flat, and most of the trails are very easy. After walking up the Hillside, there are many wildflowers along the road at the end of April. Near the bottom of the slope, there is an overlooking spot where you can have a picnic and look at the mountains.

After a half circle, the trail descends to the flat Meadow Trail, which passes by The Robert Ferguson Observatory, which organizes stargazing activities in the evening for a $10 fee, with volunteers explaining the activities, which is quite popular.

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Lower Baldman Mountain Trail

The trail on Baldman mountain is the most difficult trail in the park. If you walk all the way to the top, you will have to walk about 7.6 miles, and the slope is steep and there are almost no trees at the back. The view from the top of the mountain is said to be very beautiful, and when the weather is good, you can even see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance when you climb to the top of the mountain.

We followed the advice of the volunteer at the Visitor Center and took the Lower Baldman Mountain Trail to the Vista Trail to see Vista Point, which had a nice view. Although the uphill section was sweaty and difficult, the climb to Vista Point was only about 2 miles round trip, but there were many hills along the way.

We walked to Vista point and turned back. This side of Vista point is not marked, but you will see a big rock that you can climb up to see the view. On the other side of the hill are the vineyards of Sonoma Winery and a nice ridge.

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