Helen Putnam Outer Loop is a 2.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Petaluma, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length2.2 miElevation gain331 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashkid friendlyHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningPartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo shade
Description
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Helen Putnam regional Park is a great location for the beginner hiker. Come enjoy at some of the more beautiful aspects of nature at this regional park. Filaree Trail to the Ridge trail and the South Loop Trail. Helen Putnam Regional Park is a compact wilderness park just southwest of Petaluma. Its 6 miles of trails cross grassy hillsides and wind through groves of heritage oaks. Ridge-top trails provide panoramic views of the city and the southern Sonoma County countryside. A looped trail system lets hikers create walks of varying length and difficulty, making Helen Putnam a great choice for beginning hikers looking for a bit of a challenge. Trails are open to cyclists and horseback riders as well. There is a large fishing pond containing mostly bluegill, and a gazebo, picnic area and playground are located near the parking lot.

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Reviews (171)
Photos (151)
Recordings (186)
Completed (435)
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Yvette Cabrera
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Hiking

Awesome and beautiful views

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Ellen Grant
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Hiking

Beautiful sunny late winter hike. Great vistas. Lovely Oak Woodlands

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Jessica S
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Hiking
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Cara Giacometti
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Hiking

Good with plenty of steep inclines

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Steve Rubin
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Hiking

Lovely trail in open sun and shaded woodlands. Great vistas abound of the Petaluma valley.

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Beatnk 13
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Hiking

Well kept trail. Slight hills, but nice views from the top. We took the path to the right. The last .2 miles was down a steep hill. Was fun but slick shoes may have problems.

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Karolina Kasinskaya
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HikingGreat!

That's a great hike to go with a dog. Gorgeous views, well shaded. Loved the benches on top of the hills. One of my favorite hikes.

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Zachary Metz
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Hiking

The trail was well maintained, but nothing spectacular. Lots of oak trees, but most of the grass is pretty baked by the sun at this time of the year. Definitely bring sunscreen and a hat. We saw turkey vultures and a nuttal’s woodpecker. Also they charge $7, which is pretty expensive for what you are getting.

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Rachael Phillips
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Hiking

Very polite hikers, runners, mountain bikers and walkers! Good to go before the heat and smoke

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Paul L
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Hiking

Nicely maintained mixed-use trails near Petaluma. Some good views on Panorama Trail. Not a destination park but a great jaunt is you’re in the area

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Shail Shah
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HikingBugsFeeMuddy
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Ginger Tate
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Hiking

Nice trail very clean going to bring my bike next time

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Marcus Moore
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Hiking

The Helen Putnam outer loop is a beautiful Sonoma County classic, mostly forested to the north, but with some exposed sections to the south. Wind can be an issue on the exposed hillsides, but not usually, and if you get in some wind, you can duck into the forest on a more sheltered trail. If you are allergic to poison oak, watch out! It's everywhere here.

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Kim Stocksdale
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No shade

No way should this hike be rated "easy." The full Outer Loop starts off easy on paved trail (ccw direction) and then get steep up, then about half way you take a dirt trail (and without GPS map the dirt trail is ez to miss). Many sections of trail are unshaded, so if hot day make sure to have hat and sunscreen. Final quarter mile is steep downhill on dirt trail, and is not "easy."

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Lindsey Vinogradin
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Hiking

Great trail for a short 1-2 hour hike with the family. Very busy and plenty of opportunities for sitting on a bench and enjoying the view. Be alert of poison oak and ticks.

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Scott K
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HikingMuddy
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Pj Acres
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Hiking

A Few different ways to switch up your route. Picnic benches on top of the hill. One bigger hill is optional of you want to add a steeper incline.

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Rick C
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Had an hour to kill after breakfast. got some sun and exercise

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Sierraquois Mocos-Locos
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Nice hiking, dog friendly, moderate hills with views. Recently seen poison oak increase.

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Bryan Vrba
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Monumental! An all you can eat buffet of activities integrated into a beautiful local park.

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Ken & Susan Jamison
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Hiking

nice, easy walk/hike with dog, Blue...lots of poison oak on Pomo..sweet little gem in our town

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Valerie Creel
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Hiking

Very scenic! Close to town and dog friendly.

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Jeff Shaw
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Hiking

Great hike for kids.

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Mortimer Madison
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Hiking

Gorgeous views. Bring sunscreen.

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Mel Costa
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Lots of options and most of the trails are smooth. However, if you are taking the Panorama Trail, that is a steep, and kind of trecheous, hill. I would not rank that section as "easy." The rest of that trail was fantastic and I did some of the attached loops on my way around.

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David Gómez-Rosado
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Walking

This is the trail for the full family... great hilly views, and well kept trails that make it easier even for a toddler to traverse about. Lots of people sharing the park. Facilities include small pond, playground, restrooms and parking. Not challenging at all. Great for a couple hours of mild exercise with beautiful land around you.

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Jeannette Fong
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Hiking

Some uphill trails are difficult. The scenery and area are beautiful.

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Christy Carson
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$7.00 fee to park

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