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Park Life: Howarth Park’s the way they run

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 | Posted by

Howarth Park is the springboard for miles of trails used by runners, walkers and bicyclists. (Beth Schlanker / PD file photo 2012)

With sunnier skies and warmer days beginning to creep back into everyone’s schedules, it’s little surprise to see Howarth Park attracting more and more people. While the park is treated by many locals as the city’s own front yard, there’s always something new to discover across its 152 acres.

For kids, the park is a veritable paradise: two play structures, a train, carousel, and inflatable jump house – set up most weekends – all make for popular picks. But the real boon this season falls in the hands of runners who are turning out in greater numbers as the winter months wane to circle Lake Ralphine, neighboring Spring Lake or venture farther into Annadel State Park.

“It’s been really good to get out of the gym and out into the park,” said jogger Jeff Williams during a break to review his route on his bandana map. “I know I can’t be the only one who has been dodging their fitness resolution for the new year because it got a little chilly.”

The trail around Spring Lake makes for a pleasant 2.5-mile run or walk, or combine it with a loop around Lake Ralphine for 3.7 miles. For the adventurous, there are several different routes that connect up with Annadel, stretching your outing an additional 2 to 30 miles of dirt trails, hills and bike paths.

Whether you’re more comfortable treading solo or pacing with a group like the Empire Runners Club, it’s high time to break out those sneakers and wear that rubber from the sole.

Howarth Park is located at 630 Summerfield Drive, Santa Rosa, and is open daily sunrise to sunset. For complete information about it, go to ci.santa-rosa.ca.us or email howarthpark@srcity.org. Download a trail map here

  • http://www.santarosarec.com Adriane

    Thanks so much for the post about Howarth Park. I just wanted to highlight one small correction… the body of water located in Howarth Park is actually Lake Ralphine! Spring Lake is located in Spring Lake Regional Park (maintained by the County) which lies between the City of Santa Rosa’s Howarth Park and Annadel State Park. The trails of all three of these parks connect, creating some really great recreational opportunities!

    • lcastrone

      We clarified the story to make the differences clear. Thanks for responding. We love our parks, don’t we?

  • Caller

    Howarth Park and Spring Lake are both nice, but the author doesn’t seem to realize they are separate parks…

  • Sam

    The lake in Howarth Park is called Ralphine, Spring Lake is in an adjacent county park

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