Changing weather disrupts hikers

A few weeks ago, it was pouring rain and in the low-50’s, but this past week it’s in the mid-70’s with the sun shining bright. It’s clear that the weather is fluctuating and cannot seem to make up its mind. With the wildfires in the fall of 2017 affecting the hiking terrain surrounding Sonoma State University, the nearby trails have lost their appeal. The extreme weather northern California is experiencing now, especially with all the new rainfall, hiking is not at the top of student’s bucket lists.

 Due to the wildfires, many trails were destroyed. But, because of the heavy amount of rainfall northern California has been receiving, the areas that have been affected are making a slow recovery. 

Although the rainfall affected southern California with the outrageous mudslides, especially, Montecito, Sonoma County has yet to experience a mudslide that extreme in our local area. This  back and forth extreme weather has been making a huge effect on not only our nearby hiking trails, but the hikers as well.

“The past few times I’ve gone on hikes here it’s been super muddy, said junior and rec center employee Michelle Tadlock. Tadlock explained that the weather has been putting a damper on her day plans when the high winds and chilly weather makes it unappealing to go outdoors on a hike. My white Nike’s got completely ruined, but I did not expect that at all on such a sunny day!” 

Sonoma State University is placed in a region full of natural beauty and with many different hiking options. Some popular hiking trails in the area include; Taylor Mountain, Crane Creek Regional Park, North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park, Annadel State Park, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and many more.

“I went to a state park in Petaluma and  it was super foggy,” said senior Jessica Campigli. “The ground was very damp, and everything was wet. I stepped into so many puddles on accident. It was so nice to get outdoors, even though it was so cold; we were freezing. But, when we got to the top, the only thing we could see was fog. So it was kinda all for nothing.”

 If students are ever wanting to get out of Sonoma County for a good hike and a change of lookout, Mount Tamalpais is another option. Mount Tamalpais is located in Mill Valley and is only about an hour to an hour and a half drive away. According to the state site, all the trails are opened, except a portion of the Redwood Creek Trail because of the winter storms; which created a hazardous environment.

These rainy storms and the extreme weather have affected not only Mount Tamalpais, but the other trails in Sonoma County. They are opened for the pleasure of the students and locals, but be careful of sneaky, muddy puddles.