After an extensive rehabilitation effort, buoyed by volunteer hours and a state grant to help cover the $200,000 costs, Sonoma’s Overlook Trail reopens on April 28.
“Crews from American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit organization that trains young people in trail building and restoration, did most of the heavy lifting, literally ” said Joanna Kemper, chair of the Sonoma Overlook Trail stewards project team. “They worked from late June to early October last year and did a great job.”
Kemper estimates an additional 1,000 community volunteer hours, organized by SOT stewards, have been devoted to the project. The rehabilitated Upper Trail reopened for use last fall, but the two-mile Lower Trail continued to be off-limits to allow a new re-route segment and a decommissioned, re-seeded stretch to set over the winter.
Kemper said the trail receives about 50,000 visits annually from residents and visitors, and has experienced much wear and tear since its construction almost 20 years ago.
A reopening celebration with refreshments will be held at the entry kiosk, off First Street West near the Mountain Cemetery gate, at 11 a.m. to thank the hundreds of community members and others who funded, supported and worked on the project. Guided tours are available with volunteer SOT stewards who will be on hand to explain the improvements and changes.