Jenner Headlands and Pole Mountain are opening to the Public
Beginning September 7, both the Land Trust’s Pole Mountain and The Wildlands Conservancy’s Jenner Headlands will open to the public daily from 8am−sunset. Visitors to Sonoma County’s stunning coast will now have the opportunity to explore at their leisure and free of charge the 15 miles of trails on the spectacular, 5,630-acre Jenner Headlands Preserve and to climb to the top of Pole Mountain, the highest peak along the Sonoma Coast. Parking and access to both preserves will be provided free of charge at TWC’s beautiful new “Gateway to the Headlands” along Highway 1, two miles north of Jenner. Hikers taking up the challenge to summit Pole Mountain from the Gateway parking lot are encouraged to head out early to complete the strenuous, 14-mile round-trip hike on the Sea to Sky Trail by sunset. Large crowds are expected on the opening weekend of September 7−9 so please plan accordingly as the parking lot may fill. Remember, it will be open every day! .
Jenner Headlands is a spectacular 5,630-acre mosaic of redwood and Douglas fir forests, oak woodland, chaparral, and coastal prairie overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The property adjoins Pacific Coast Highway for two and one-half miles adjacent to Sonoma Coast State Park just north of the Russian River Estuary. Many rare and endangered species inhabit the property including the northern spotted owl, peregrine falcon, and red tree vole. Deer, bobcat, coyote, mountain lion and steelhead trout are also found on the property .
At 2,204 feet, the summit of Pole Mountain is the highest peak along the Sonoma Coast, offering unobstructed, 360-degree views of Sonoma County, from the coast to the Cedars, and far beyond. A longtime conservation priority, Pole Mountain’s 238 acres bring together the Jenner Headlands and Little Black Mountain Preserve, creating more than 6,300 acres of connected habitat.
Still wild and scenic, with the only development being an historic fire lookout tower critical to the local community.
As the highest point along the Sonoma Coast, Pole Mountain offers visitors and hikers unobstructed, 360-degree views of Sonoma County and beyond, including Sonoma Mountain and the Santa Rosa Plain, the Cedars and the Mayacamas. On a clear day, it is possible to see Mt. Diablo (79 miles away), Mt. Tamalpais (49 miles away) and the Farallon Islands (56 miles away).
Primarily a mature oak woodland habitat, the landscape also consists of open grasslands, pockets of coniferous forest and ancient madrones. It is home to the headwaters of Kidd Creek and Pole Mountain Creek, both of which feed into Austin Creek (and, ultimately, the Russian River), and also to the East Branch of Russian Gulch, which drains through the Jenner Headlands to the Pacific.
TThe 2009 acquisition was a result of the dedicated four-year effort by the Sonoma Land Trust and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. Five other funding sources: the California Coastal Conservancy, the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Forest Legacy Program. The Wildlands Conservancy loaned and guaranteed loans totaling $10.6 million to insure this acquisition when funding was threatened. It is the single largest conservation land acquisition in Sonoma County history.
Location and info links
The parking lot will be open daily free of charge, providing access to The Wildlands Conservancy's magnificent Jenner Headlands Preserve and beyond. The parking lot north of the town of Jenner on Highway 1 has parking for 32 cars and two school buses. The Gateway will also provide handicapped accessible trails to a restroom and overlook area with spectacular views of the Russian River and Goat Rock. From the overlook, a trailhead will lead into the rolling coastal hills and redwood forests.
Sonoma Land Trust