City: Kenwood Park: Annadel State Park
The hike starts at noon so you can sleep in and still have time to drive there. However, you'll have to give yourself at least 90 minutes for driving. Carpooling is encouraged.
The trails in the park are well graded so as long as you are in shape, you'll do fine. However, be prepared to sweat as the first three miles are uphill (900 foot elevation gain). We'll hike at a leisurely pace with rest breaks at the various benches along the way. Bring a camera and a snack; dress in layers.
Note: If you like to hike fast and don't like taking rest breaks with a group, this hike is NOT for you.
Our mileage will be around nine miles, plus or minus a mile depending on how we feel. The last mile and a half will be on a country road as we backtrack to the parking lot.
Our hike will take us to the junction of the Marsh and Two Quarry trails. Then depending on how we feel, we'll continue on to Buick Meadow or turn around and explore Ledson Marsh. Then, we'll descend the Schultz Canyon Trail and stop at the scenic vista halfway down before walking back to the cars on beautiful Schultz road.
We should be back to the parking lot no later than 4:45 pm. After the hike, there will be an optional stop at either The Vineyards Inn Restaurant in Kenwood for chips and salsa or Yeti Restaurant in Glen Ellen for Himalayan appetizers.
There are no restrooms or drinking fountains at the trailhead. However, Glen Ellen Village Market in Glen Ellen Village and Kenwood Market in Kenwood have restrooms as do many of the wineries and restaurants along the way. Gas is available in Kenwood. Annadel is a State Park so dogs are not permitted. There is no parking fee at the Lawndale Trailhead.
From central Contra Costa County, take I-680 North across the Benicia Bridge (toll) to I-780 in Benicia. Go West on I-780 to Vallejo.
Or from Oakland/Berkeley, take I-80 East across the Carquinez Bridge (toll) to Vallejo.
From Vallejo, take I-80 East. Go East 2 miles and get into the right lanes which will take you to State Route 37 West to Napa. Make sure you stay in the lane marked Napa.
Go two miles on state route 37 West and exit at state route 29 which is Sonoma Blvd (Exit 19). Turn RIGHT and follow state route 29 for 7 miles. You will see a split in the highway ahead. Get into the LEFT lanes which are marked state routes 12/29 Napa/Sonoma/Calistoga. Stay in the leftmost lane for another 1.5 miles. You will see an intersection with a traffic light. Get into the left turn lane and turn LEFT onto state routes 121/12. Follow state routes 121/12 WEST for 5 miles.
The highway then comes to another split. You will see an intersection with a traffic signal ahead. Do NOT go straight through even though the sign reads 12/121 Sonoma/Petaluma. Instead, take the right lane which leaves the highway and is Napa Road. If you see a milk dairy on your right after the intersection, you are going the wrong way.
Continue on Napa Road for 4.6 miles. There will be a few traffic signals. When you reach the traffic signal at Broadway, you may be tempted to turn because of the sign which reads state route 12/Sonoma. DON'T TURN. Instead, continue straight. You will now be on Leveroni Road. Go 1.8 miles further until it dead ends into Arnold Drive.
Turn RIGHT onto Arnold Drive. Follow Arnold Drive NORTH for 6 miles. You will pass through Sonoma Developmental Center and Glen Ellen Village. It then dead ends into state route 12 where there is a traffic signal.
Turn LEFT. Follow state route 12 NORTH for 4.4 miles. You will pass through Kenwood. Just after leaving Kenwood, you will notice the Vineyard Inn Restaurant on your right and some signs that read Adobe Canyon Road and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. As soon as you see the restaurant and signs, you will want to slow down to 25 miles per hour. Continue NORTH on state route 12 for about another half mile. Turn LEFT onto Lawndale Road. It is a one lane paved road. (If you reach the intersection and traffic signal for Pythian Road, you have gone too far.)
In about 1 mile, you will see Trailhead Lodging and Stables on the right. About a quarter mile further up the road on the right you will see a dirt parking area. (If you come to an intersection with Schultz Road, you've gone too far.)
Allow at least 90 minutes to drive to the trailhead as it is about 60 miles each way from both central Contra Costa County and Oakland/Berkeley