The ruggedness of the Sonoma coast adds to its beauty. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Wildflowers and coastal excursions aren’t two things I think of in the same outing. Guess I will going forward.

Walking a section of the Sonoma County coast in late May had me just as mesmerized by the rugged Pacific as I was the floral display. Being in a different part of California meant seeing flowers I’m not accustomed to like the mouse-ear hawkweed, prairie mallow, and Western blue-eyed grass.

This really was more of a stroll than a hike. At 3.5 miles total, our pace and the ease of the terrain—mostly flat—had us enjoying the scenery in every direction.

Torch lilies are the tallest flowers along the Kortum Trail. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The only thing that got my heart pumping was the number of snakes. Those tiny slithering animals get me every time. While they were only garter snakes, so nothing to jump and scream about (not that I would do that!), I still think I was more startled than them even though I was disturbing their sunbathing.

After three snake sightings, I told Sue we were either turning around or she was leading. Lead on, she did. She came across two snakes without any theatrics.

Wildflowers are in abundance on May 24 on the Sonoma coast. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The Kortum Trail is part of the Sonoma Coast State Beach, which a sign said is one of the most visited parks in California. It includes 19 miles from Bodega Head in the south to Vista Trail 4 miles north of Jenner.

Dogs, bikes and horses are not allowed on this trail.

It’s the perfect place to enjoy the coast—especially when inland temperatures are above or approaching triple digits.

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