Stay on Established Trails
Trails are established to grant public access to natural areas. However, when hikers deviate from these designated paths, it can result in the creation of unauthorized trails known as "social trails." These user-generated paths often form shortcuts, like bypassing switchbacks, or veer off from the main trail, leading to areas that may be protected or dangerous for hikers.
Sonoma County experiences an awe-inspiring display of wildflowers during the spring. Preserving these vibrant blooms relies heavily on adhering to designated trails. Venturing off the trail can lead to trampling delicate flowers, preventing them from seeding in the following seasons and beyond. In coastal regions like Sonoma Coast State Park and Salt Point State Park, sticking to the established trails becomes crucial in preventing erosion, which not only harms the landscape but also poses potential hazards for other hikers.