Take a Hike (or Paddle Your Own Canoe)
A restorative nature hike through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is a must during a visit here. Currently, the park is closed as a result of the LNU Lightning Complex Fires, but since this article is going to be up for a long time, it would be a crime not to include it, because it’s wonderful. (And it will reopen!) When the park is open, visitors can hit the 20 miles of trails as early as 8 a.m. to roam the Reserve’s 805 acres of ancient glory. As humanity tries to regain its footing, look to the redwood tree — the tallest living thing on earth — which generally lives for more than 500 years. The oldest tree in Armstrong is Colonel Armstrong Tree, who is estimated to be 1,400 years old.
Sonoma’s ideal climate for pinot noir and chardonnay grape-growing is thanks, in part, to the sparkling Russian River. Running low and slow April through October, a self-guided paddle with Burke’s Canoe Trips starts in the heart of the redwood forest. Along the ten-mile route, stop to picnic, swim, or sunbathe, and try to spot a Great Blue Heron.
Retreat into Luxury
After plenty of wine and outdoor adventure, it’s time for a plush home with a hot shower and a deep rest. The 123-acre NewTree Ranch takes a “spiritual-ethical-ecological” approach to farming, nutrition, and wellness, with a swimming pool, hot tub, horse stables, and produce garden. Learn the centering arts of tea-making or flower-arranging and relax into a guided sound bath or socially-distanced yoga class.
“I believe our connection with nature is not a choice, but a necessity,” says Ed Newell, founder and CEO of NewTree Ranch. “We focus on nurturing and healing ourselves and the environment.”
The ranch offers four-night, six-night, or month-long stays, starting at $4,000 per night. The house can accommodate up to eight guests (maximum) on property. A professional two-day deep cleaning and sanitation procedure takes place between visits.