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Sonoma County Hikes and Bike Rides - Summer 2015 - Part 1


Sonoma County Hikes & Bike Rides
Summer 2015 - Part 1

Even if you work all summer, make sure you take time to enjoy the paradise we call home. Evenings are long - parks close at sunset, so you have time to get out for a few hours at the end of your day. Right now rivers and lakes have water, that might not be the case all summer long. So go swim, take a canoe out on the river, a pleasure boat out on the lakes - hike the east county parks before it gets too hot...there's a whole home to explore. This is the time to do it!

DOWNLOAD THIS MAP - print it out and take it with you!

8 Hikes - Walks and 5 Bike Rides in Sonoma County

Choose a part of the county to EXPLORE:

Eight Sonoma County Summer Hikes1. Bodega Head displays some of the finest California coastline. Trail is uneven dirt with some climb. Views of Bodega Bay and Harbor, ocean and overlook to Horseshoe Cove make it worth your effort. Trail is just over 1 mile. Follow Westshore Road around harbor, head up hill at Campbell Cove and drive to lot at road end. 

July 18 & Aug 15 ~ Bodega Bay Bird Walk ~ Join the Madrone Audobon Society in a birding adventure. Meet in
the large dirt parking lot on Bay Flat Rd, 7:30a - 1p. .

2. Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve contains the oldest tree at 1400 years and the tallest at 310 feet. Trail on valley floor is improved with fewer steps, otherwise packed dirt and wooded creek crossings. Located at 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd off River Rd. in downtown Guerneville.
Jun 20 ~ Art in the Park ~ Noon to 5 pm. Local Art Exhibit, Wine, Beer, Food & Live Music! Artist application on our website
 Jul 11 ~ Family Days in Your Park ~ Free Bi-lingual (Spanish & English) nature activities in the picnic area at Armstrong Redwoods.

3. Foothill Regional Park is a bit of a climb hikers can enjoy the lakes in a flatter area. Dirt, gravel and grass trails for under 2-miles in beautiful oak woodlands. 1351 Arata Ln. Windsor.
Parking $7 or Regional Park annual pass.

4. Riverfront Regional Park walk is a 2-mile split loop around Lake Benoist near the Russian River. Rich riparian environment with views of Mt St. Helena. Great Blue Heron are nesting high in the redwoods. Path is mostly wide dirt trail - dusty at this time of year. 7821 Eastside Road, Windsor. Jun 6 ~ Nuestros Parques Hike ~ A bilingual naturalist leads these free, family walks on the first Saturday of each month. 10a - 12p, FREE. $7 parking fee.

5. Ragle Ranch provides both a ‘city park’ with sports fields and group picnic areas and a bit of ‘wild nature’ for exploring.
Jun 13 ~ Walk 2 miles on dirt and paved trail. Meet near the Peace Garden.
Sponsored by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Naturally Fit program.
Aug 8-9 ~ 42nd Annual Gravenstein Apple Fair ~ Music, craft booths, food, farm animals, children’s activities, pie eating contest, sheep shearing, and much more fun all weekend long! Beginning at 10a each day. 500 Ragle Road, Sebastopol.

6. Laguna de Santa Rosa has wonderful marshes, vernal pools, riparian woodland and valley oak savannah making for rich habitat for wildlife and plants. Flat dirt and grass trail. Park next to the Youth Center on Morris St in Sebastopol. Jun 20 - Messengers of Summer: Sonoma County’s Dazzling Dragonflies ~Welcome summer with a special day-long workshop with dragonfly-expert Kathy Biggs. 9a - 3:30p, FREE at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Rd, Santa Rosa. Jul 11 ~ Habitat It And They Will Come ~ Learn about some of the challenges wildlife face in suburbia and solutions to create wildlife-rich neighborhoods. $10 at the door. No RSVP necessary. 3-4p at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Rd, Santa Rosa.

7. Helen Putnam Regional Park is just southwest of Petaluma. It has 6 miles of hillside trails which wide through oaks and grasslands. There are beautiful views of Petaluma and southern Sonoma County. Trails vary in difficulty and are open to cyclists and horseback riders, as well as hikers.

8. North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve is the newest addition to Sonoma County’s park system. The 820-acre park offers sweeping views of the county and beyond and includes a 4-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail connection to Jack London State Historic Park. The park’s Ridge Trail begins in the ferns and redwoods on the south fork of Matanzas Creek, then climbs to nearly 2,000 feet. 

Bicycling through Chileno Valley, Petaluma 

5 Easy Bike Rides

Sonoma Mountain Loop: Starts and ends in Crane Creek Regional Park. Lots of wooded areas and open farm land, but also lots of traffic and narrow shoulders. Several cattle guards on the ride - use caution.

Chileno Valley Road Loop: This is a 30.99 mi bike ride in Petaluma, CA, United States. The Bike Ride has a total ascent of 828.67 ft and has a maximum elevation of 351.15 ft. View other Bike Rides that strayle1 has done or find similar maps in Petaluma.

Joe Rodota Trail and Bike Path: The Joe Rodota Trail runs between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. The trail starts at the pedestrian/bicycle bridge intersection with the Prince Memorial Greenway (between West 3rd Street and Railroad Street), southwest of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The trail ends near the intersection of Mill Station Road and Highway 116 in Sebastopol.

Windsor to Forestville: Gentle climbs from the town of Windsor via Martinelli, Westside, Wholer, Eastside and Starr.

Dry Creek and Alexander Valley Wine County Bike Ride: A short and easy ride without many hills. This ride is appropriate for entry-level riders. This rides can start and and in Healdsburg.


“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” –John Muir


Willow Creek: The People-Powered Park

Willow Creek Park - Sonoma County Landpaths

In May 2005, Willow Creek was acquired as an addition to Sonoma Coast State Park. This spectacular 3,373-acre “community-powered” State Park near Duncans Mills covers much of the Willow Creek and Freezeout Creek watersheds. Its rolling grasslands, forested ravines, and fish-bearing streams are home to an abundance of plants and wildlife. Hikers, bikers and equestrians will enjoy the 15-mile network of old logging and ranch roads, accessible through a free permit-for-use program (see below for details). These roads & trails connect with adjacent State Park lands, allowing users to hike or ride the 7+ miles from Duncans Mills to Shell Beach - all on State Park land.

Permitted Access - Hike, Bike or Horseback Ride

If you would like to obtain a permit to hike, bike or horseback ride at Willow Creek, simply follow these steps:

1. Download a Willow Creek Application & The MRC Seed Orchard Application at bring them both with you to an orientation

2. Attend an orientation (see calendar for upcoming dates at

Volunteer Stewardship

LandPaths has been working with volunteers to provide ‘community power’ to the Willow Creek property since 2001. Volunteers serve as ‘eyes and ears’ as part of the Willow Creek Trail Watch program, and help with trail maintenance through the Stewardship Crew. If you are interested in volunteering at Willow Creek please contact Erin Mullen, LandPaths Stewardship Coordinator: 707-544-7284 ext 105. Currently Willow Creek Volunteer Workdays are not listed on our public calendar.

Property Location

Permitted access to the property is currently via the Freezeout Flat park entrance near Duncans Mills. This parking area is behind a locked gate. After attending a permit orientation, permit holders are issued a combination to this gate.