How cool is this – Google Street View for hiking trails!
The best part is we can do this at home – for me in Chile- or anywhere including on my mobile device by simply using 360-degree imagery on Street View in Google Maps.
Step-By-Step to Panoramic Vistas via Google Street View
Looking at the panoramic maps is so much fun. But it can be a little tricky at first.
To get to your favorite park trail, just follow these 3 easy steps:
Search for the park name in Google Maps and then click on the Street View option or the yellow pegman.
When I clicked on The Sea Ranch trails and beaches I was taken to coordinates: 38°44’58.5″N 123°31’05.5″W
I then clicked onto the yellow pegman found at the far left (see the red arrow pointing) which brought up a map that included blue lines marking the trails.
Click anywhere you’d like along the teal blue lines marking the trails for panoramic views
Enjoy your jaunt along the pathways of Sea Ranch or any other trail
To move forward just click ahead on the trail and allow the screen photo to come into focus as it moves ahead.
Be cautioned however– moving the compass found in the lower right hand corner can be a rather dizzying experience! What’s fun is to spin the view 360º as though no one was watching you dance in the field doing pirouettes.
That’s all there is too it!
Now you can use Google Street View to virtually saunter along the Sonoma Coast at Gualala Point, stand atop Taylor Mountain in Santa Rosa, and climb to Gunsight Rock at Hood Mountain in the Sonoma Valley.
All in the same day!
To find the images on sonomacountyparks.org, go to the individual park pages and click on the Street View map links.
Everyone’s Excited About Google Street View
“We are so excited to bring Sonoma County’s natural beauty to a worldwide audience,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart. “Sonoma County is a spectacular destination for outdoor recreation. When people see these step-by-step trail panoramas, we’re sure they’ll want to visit the parks in person. Virtual images can’t replicate the sights, sounds, and smells of our forests and beaches, but they can highlight our landscapes and help more visitors discover Sonoma County.”
Street View features panoramic imagery from around the world, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Amazon rainforest. Many images are collected with the Google Trekker, the newest vehicle in the Street View fleet. The Trekker is a backpack camera worn by an operator and automatically gathers images as the operator walks. That imagery is then stitched together to create the panoramas in Google Maps. Trekker operators hiked 19 of Sonoma County’s regional parks over the summer.
Give Google Street View A Whirl Now!
Why not take any one of the self-guided tours listed below now and tell us you think of it?
If you have visited a park let us know if this virtual hike is anything like visiting it in person. And in the event you should want to move away from your virtual life and take that trail boots n’ all…
Consider booking Abalone Bay where our back yard opens right onto the ocean bluff trail.
Of course leading off is our own the Sea Ranch Trails and Beaches.
- The Sea Ranch trails and beaches and Gualala Point Regional Park along the northern Sonoma Coast
- Doran Regional Park on Bodega Bay
- The Pinnacle Gulch and Shorttail Gulch trails and beaches on Bodega Bay
- Hood Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve in the Valley of the Moon
- Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve in Santa Rosa
- Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen
- North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve southeast of Santa Rosa
- Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa
- Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in Windsor
- Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol
- The Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail near Sebastopol
- The Joe Rodota Trail between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol
- The West County Regional Trail between Sebastopol and Forestville
“As a California-based company, we are so pleased to bring this beautiful imagery of our great state to Google Maps for the world to explore and enjoy,” said Deanna Yick, Street View program manager. “We hope seeing this Street View virtual tour through Sonoma County inspires them to visit in person one day.”
Sonoma County Regional Parks include 50 parks, trails, and beaches in the Sonoma Valley, along the Russian River, on the Sonoma Coast, and in the heart of Wine Country. Visited by more than 5 million people each year, the Regional Parks support healthy communities, preserve valuable natural and cultural resources, and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and environmental education to both residents and visitors. For more information, please visit sonomacountyparks.org.
Don’t Leave Us and Friends in the Dust!
Let us know where you went today in the comments below. And don’t leave your friend in the dust! Be sure to share this post with them too.