Solano County, poised at the northeastern most corner of the San Francisco Bay Area, is often overlooked as a tourist destination. Filled as it is with farmland and bedroom communities, it doesn’t often come to mind for San Francisco or East Bay residents as a weekend getaway spot. But, since I grew up in the Solano Country town of Fairfield, I can honestly say that this area has quite a lot to offer, especially for outdoors enthusiasts and foodies. The Suisun Valley is dotted with quaint farmers’ markets, hiking trails, and bike paths. And–as the New York Times recently pointed out–it’s also home to California’s second-oldest certified wine-growing region.
But today I’ll just focus on the hiking. Unlike our poor friends on the East Coast, we’ve been enjoying weather in the dry mid-60s this winter, which is just perfect for long hikes (though less so for the crops and vegetation). Just last week, I went with a friend for an afternoon hike and picnic in Rockville Hills Regional Park, a 633-acre stretch of grasslands and oak woodlands in Fairfield. Rockville Park is also a popular spot for mountain biking (and the winding country roads near the park around Suisun Valley are always full of weekend road bikers).
The Solano Land Trust also manages “natural areas, working farms, and ranchlands” in Solano County. They manage five properties in the area–some are accessible only through guided tours, while others are open to the public. In addition to protected wildlife, many of the spaces are also home to historic landmarks.
Rockville Hills Regional Park
- Open year-round from sunrise to sunset
- 2149 Rockville Road, Fairfield, CA 94534
- Day use fees: $3/person, $1/dog (see website for information about season and group passes)
- Website: http://www.fairfield.ca.gov/gov/depts/pw/open_space/rockville_hills_regional_park/
Solano Land Trust
- For details about visiting any of the five properties, visit: http://www.solanolandtrust.org/index.aspx