What could be better than a spring day spent viewing wildflowers in Annadel State Park? A leisurely hike around Lake Ilsanjo offers a tranquil and meditative alternative to the demands of urban living.
What You’ll See
Spring wildflowers at their best. Among the many diverse species are golden poppy, iris, lupine, blue-eyed grass, popcorn flower, buttercups, Blue Dicks, shooting stars, hound’s tongue, Linanthus, and perhaps an orchid or two.
Lake Ilsanjo covers more than 25 acres and provides plenty of year-round fishing opportunities for bluegill and both black and largemouth bass (you’ll need a permit if you’re over 16). Landing a nine-pound black bass is not uncommon.
How to Get There
From San Francisco (GG Bridge) go north on Hwy. 101 for 49 miles. In Santa Rosa take Farmers Lane exit (488B) and go east on Hwy. 12 for 4.3 miles, turn left on Farmers Lane and then turn right on Montgomery Dr. proceed 2.7 miles, then turn right on Channel Dr. to the park entrance and parking area at the end of the road (6201 Channel Dr.).
- From the parking lot follow the Warren Richardson Trail 2.5 miles to the lake.
- Head south alongside the lake on the Canyon Trail for 0.5 miles.
- Bear right and proceed on the Rough-Go Trail.
- Complete the loop around the lake on the Lake Trail.
- Download a park trail map
Other Things to Do at Annadel
- Bring a picnic. Tables are dotted about the park (including Lake Ilsanjo), many with lovely views.
- Wymore Quarry. Take the Cobblestone Trail to Wymore Quarry where, at one time, cobblestones were taken away on a gravity-powered, narrow-gauge railway. From the late 1800s and into the early 1920s, cobblestones were quarried here for building projects in San Francisco, both before and after the 1906 earthquake.
- Bring Your Mountain Bike. Annadel is one of a handful of state parks that permit bicycles on many trails.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Santa Rosa is the largest city between San Francisco and Portland (we were surprised, too), so there are a bunch of eating options nearby. Wine tasting in the nearby Sonoma Valley starts as close as Kenwood on Hwy. 12.