Spring Lake Regional Park

9.70 Miles
2point5stars (2.50)2
1point5stars (1.50)
1point5stars (1.50)
393 Violetti Rd.
Santa Rosa
More Info

Spring Lake as seen from the Spring Lake Loop.
Spring Lake as seen from the Spring Lake Loop.
Bracketed between Annadel State Park and Santa Rosa's Howarth Park, Spring Lake Regional Park is administered by the Sonoma County Regional Parks system. At 320 acres, the park manages to pack a reported 9.7 miles of trails.

There are two loop trails that encircle the lake that gives the park its name, Spring Lake. The smaller loop, called Spring Lake Loop, is an easy paved path that provides ADA accessible mileage almost completely surrounding the lake. A small section of the trail is broken up by a parking area which does not provide too much of a barrier.

Spring Creek Trail heading back into the park from the adjacent Annadel State Park.
Spring Creek Trail heading back into the park from the adjacent Annadel State Park.
The larger outer trail is called the Horse Loop. Many signs marking entrance to the Horse Loop shows a horse rider only, which may cause visitors to wonder whether other users are welcome. But most users you'll find here are hikers and a smaller number of bicyclists.

The two loops provide options for visitors. Whereas the Spring Lake Loop is suitable for every walker imaginable, the rougher Horse Loop's trail surface is a mixture of packed dirt, rock and in some sections gravel. If you're looking for more of a traditional hike, then look for the Horse Loop. An added benefit of the Horse Loop is that it tends to be a bit better shaded.

Several trails heading out of Spring Lake Regional Park lead into the two parks that sit on either side of the park.

The parking at Spring Lake is spread out over meandering driveways. So don't panic if the first parking area you come across is full. Though the swimming area was closed at the time of our visit, by the look of things the crowds here, and thus the parking, may be more at a premium at the height of the summer season.

Children's Memorial Grove
The Children's Memorial Grove has some interesting mosaic artwork commemorating children taken away too soon. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Lake and Trail
The Spring Lake Loop passes close to Spring Lake. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Trail View
Spring Lake Loop meanders as it descends from the North Dam. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
North Dam
One of three earthen dams that contain the waters of Spring Lake. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Some artwork along the trail near our trailhead. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Horse Loop
Coppertone leads the way on the Horse Loop Trail. Despite its name, the trail is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail system and is open to all users. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Boat in the lake
A couple of sailing boats were plying the lake during our visit. Looking over Spring Lake Loop from the outer Horse Loop trail. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Spring Lake Loop
A view of the Spring Lake Loop trail as it passes between Spring Lake and the swimming lagoon. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Log Entries
An easy walk to check off another Trails Challenge entry
By Austin Explorer on 6/15/2019
Rating: 2stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: 2.61 Miles Duration: 53 minutes

Coppertone and I had been to this park before, but we're in the midst of the 2019 Sonoma County Trails Challenge (2 down, 3 to go) and wanted to knock off another easy trail prior to meeting some friends later in the day.  We chose the easier Spring Lake Loop given our time constraints.

The weather was almost a little chilly due to the thick cloud cover, but a brisk walk kept things pleasant.  The water park area said it was open but the temperature at that point in the day was still a bit too cold to encourage many patrons.

Don't expect to get any solitude, particularly along the heavily used Spring Lake Loop.  Some of the non-paved paths farther from the lake provide a small taste of solitude.

Take your pick
By Austin Explorer on 5/22/2016
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 7.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 28 minutes

Coppertone and I did two of the main loops around the lake in the park.  Depending on what you are looking for the path can be trivially easy or of average hiking difficulty.

The Spring Lake Loop is a paved path closer into to the lake and provides about an easy a stroll as one can hope for.  We felt a bit over dressed in our hiking boots and attire.

The Horse Loop (don't let the name fool you) is the longer outer loop (usually) whose trail surface consists mostly of packed rock and dirt.  It's not terribly hard, but provides more of a genuine "hiking experience" and also far fewer people.

We follwed the Spring Creek Trail along the namesake creek up to the boundary of Annadel State Park.  It's possible to get into both Annadel and the adjacent Howarth Park from Spring Lake, greatly expanding the range and variety of hiking available here.