Forget about that sad sprig of mistletoe hanging all by its lonely self. For a more appropriately Sonoma-style spin on the holiday tradition, find a spot underneath the mistletoe along one of our many woodland trails. Mistletoe grows widely in our deciduous valley oaks, and it’s easily recognized this time of year, when the leaves have fallen and the delicate shapes of the oaks’ branchwork are revealed. Though it represents a sweet custom, in reality the parasitic mistletoe can damage the health of our oaks; large infestations harm trees by sapping water and nutrients. But nonetheless, the time spent hiking outdoors to spot the bright-green, lacy garnishes will bring calm and good health to your season.
Spot mistletoe in the oak woodlands at these local parks.
Eldridge Trail to Fern Lake. Begin at the end of Orchard Road on the campus of the Sonoma Developmental Center.
Foothill Regional Park. 1351 Arata Lane.
Santa Rosa Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve. 2080 Kawana Terrace or 3820 Petaluma Hill Rd.