Above image is from this video taken near where we picnicked. This hike is the prettiest one I have been on so far in the Sonoma County area. I could not recommend it more highly. (P.S. I suggest when you play the video you put it on 1080p HD and full screen on YouTube, if you have the bandwidth.) See route map.
Start of Wildcat Creek trail, which quickly becomes much better defined.
Grandmother Oak, reputed to be the largest known coast live oak tree
Yes, that is a butterfly, see below. And the picnic was tremendous!
We started down Alder Glen Trail, but as soon as we crossed the creek, we found there was no Wildcat Creek trailhead right there. Instead, we climbed up a short bit and headed northeast, following and above the creek, with a barbed wire fence between us and the creek part of the way. It was not easy going, but by holding tree branches and, I believe, following animal trails, we made it along the steeply inclined hillside without too many stumbles. After less than a 1/4 mile, we saw a gate in the fence (see below the map). A barely readable sign on the gate said "End of Trail". We then got on Wildcat Creek trail, which is shown in the second photo at the top of this page.
Later we met a guy going the other way and he told us that when he got to the "End of Trail" gate, he just went over the gate (in spite of the "No Trespassing" sign) to get back to the parking lot. Probably a simpler way than we took.
By The Author:
UC Berkeley in the '60's
Civil War Diaries