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Helen Putnam Outer Loop

EASY 123 reviews

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.

Distance: 2.2 miles Elevation Gain: 331 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching


partially paved


wild flowers


no shade

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.

2 months ago

Nice trail very clean going to bring my bike next time

5 months ago

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.

no shade
6 months ago

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."

8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Wed Aug 01 2018

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.

Sun Jun 10 2018

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

Sun Apr 22 2018

Nice hiking, dog friendly, moderate hills with views. Recently seen poison oak increase.

Mon Mar 05 2018

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

Mon Sep 04 2017

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

Tue Jun 13 2017

Very scenic! Close to town and dog friendly.

Fri Jun 02 2017

Great hike for kids.

Tue May 23 2017

Gorgeous views. Bring sunscreen.

Tue Mar 14 2017

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.

Mon Feb 27 2017

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.

Sun Oct 09 2016

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

Wed Sep 14 2016

$7.00 fee to park

Mon Jun 13 2016

Ridge-Panorama trail Gradual incline going up on paved Ridge Trail. Coming down Panorama Trail terrible idea. Extremely steep. I am never doing that again.

Wed Sep 02 2015

Have been going for years out here. Just watch for ticks. People are supposed to have their dogs on leash and sadly some don't and do not pick up after their pets. Will find dog bags along side the trails. All of the trails are fairly easy but the one right out of the parking lot on the "paying" side- killer if you are not into quick elevations. Restrooms are always clean. Weekdays are perfect time to head out and even try your luck fishing at the pond with the kiddos.

cross country skiing
Sat Jun 27 2015

It's was a beautiful day and a fun hike

Sat Jun 06 2015

Pretty easy hike. A lot of people.

Wed Apr 29 2015

There are quite a few fun geocaches in the park, with nice trails to hike. Just be careful of the abundance of Poison Oak.

Thu Jul 10 2014

A really beautiful and easy place to go if you want to do more than just a basic walk, but aren't up to a full blown hike. Lots of little trails branch off making it easily modified to be shorter or longer. It also is a great place for a picnic lunch as it has many benches with beautiful views

Mon Aug 05 2013

We hike around here at least once a week. It's easy enough for the kids and offers some lovely views of Petaluma!

Sun Mar 31 2013

For a backyard neighborhood park it's a gem.

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