Multi-Use Trails

Our objective is to see the North Bay criss-crossed with a network of  trails which can be used for bicycle, hiking and/or equestrian recreation. Walk out of your green lodging and onto a trail!

Jenner-to-Armstrong Trail

This proposal is to link the California Coastal Trail near Jenner with Armstrong Redwoods Reserve with a hiking/equestrian trail. The proposed route runs through the Jenner Headlands, across Austin Creek and up East Austin Creek following the historic narrow gage Magnesite Mine Railway right-of-way into the Austin Creek Recreation Area which already connects to Armstrong Redwoods.

Goal: Jenner to Armstrong Woods

Status: Route researched, ownership of historic Magnasite Railway researched, interested parties organized.  A key parcel was acquired by Wildland Conservancy, adjacent to the route and they offered  easements to the County.

Action: Support the Jenner to Armstrong Trail Initiative!  Write your Sonoma County Supervisor to request that this trail be added to the Sonoma County General Plan.  You can donate to this initiative here:


Since 2008 EcoRing has been encouraging Marin and Sonoma County officials to convert the historic right-of-way of the narrow-gage North Pacific Coast Railroad (built in 1871) to a multi-use trail where possible.

The historic narrow gauge NPC Railroad no longer runs steam trains from Sausalito to Cazadero. But much of the original right-of-way is already multi-use trail in Marin County.  We propose extending and connecting these trail segments all the way to the Russian River in Sonoma County, on the original right-of-way where possible.  We have researched the route and determined that the majority of the right-of-way is owned by federal, state and county government. Part of this route could double as California Coastal Trail along Tomales Bay.

Goal: An off-road multi-use trail from Sausalito to Cazadero linking to the Lower Russian Trail and the Jenner-to-Armstrong Trail.

Status: Portions of the original rail route are already bicycle or hiking trail predominately in Marin County. These include a stretch from Sausalito to the south end of the  Alto Tunnel in Larkspur, a segment from the North end of the Alto Tunnel in Corte Madea  to San Anselmo and a lengthy segment in Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Several portions of the original rail route are bicycle-friendly rural roads in Sonoma County including Occidental-Camp Meeker Road, Moscow Road and Cazadero Highway. A portion of this trail from Sausalito to Baltimore Park is included in the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s North South Greenway program.

EcoRing has started a branding campaign to raise awareness of the potential for this trail. We have made presentations to service groups and provided history tours of the original right-of-way. In cooperation with the Occidental Community Council we have researched, designed and installed a kiosk display located on the right-of-way in front of the Union Hotel in Occidental.  We turned over our property research on the portion of the right-of-way near Monte Rio to Sonoma County Regional Parks.  Parks subsequently purchased 500 acres of land containing the right-of-way and plans a class I trail along the right-of-way.  We are building a coalition of businesses and individuals to press both Marin and Sonoma Counties to link and complete this trail.

Action:  For updates, add your name to the EcoRing email list in the sidebar.   Send us a request to join the Friends of the Sonoma-Marin Adventure Trail at  You can support EcoRing’s the Sonoma-Marin Adventure Trail Initiative with a donation:

Lower Russian River Pathway

For safety reasons alone, bicycle and pedestrian travel between Steelhead Beach in Forestville and Guerneville should be diverted to a combination of multi-use trail and bike route roughly following the Russian River but apart from dangerous River Road.  Such a trail is now in the Sonoma County General Plan (something that EcoRing pushed for).  We researched potential routes and toured them with our former and present County Supervisor.  We hope that one day this trail will extend from Cloverdale in northern Sonoma County to Jenner connecting to the Coastal Trail. Here is the latest on this trail from the Sonoma County Parks:  Click here.

Goal: An off-road  multi-use trail from Cloverdale in northern Sonoma County to Jenner connecting to the Coastal Trail.

Status Update .  A  Draft  of the Lower Russian River Trail Feasibility Study was presented to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors during their meeting in January 2020 during which the Board and public including EcoRing provided comments on the draft study. On February 11, 2020, the Board of Supervisors accepted the findings and recommendations contained in the Final Lower Russian River Trail Feasibility Study.

Sonoma County Regional Parks will meet with property owners over the next five to ten years to OBTAIN PERMISSION to use their private property for trail construction. Initial conversations may result in Agreements in Principle. As projects move closer to construction, SCRPs will negotiate right-of-was agreements, including easements, and trail use or licensing agreements.

In 2022 the County prepared a scope of work for the trail segment near Mirabel. They hope to get a consultant on board in September 2022  to get the preliminary engineering design started.

Please support this project by contacting your Sonoma County Suprvisor.

You can support this EcoRing Initiative  by donating here:

Valley of the Moon Trail

EcoRing has advocated a multi-use trail from the city of Sonoma to Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Oakmont and Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa following, where possible, the original Southern Pacific rail line. This route could connect County and State Parks and run near wineries and restaurants in the Valley of the Moon.  A Santa Rosa to Sonoma trail has been included in the Sonoma County General Plan but the proposed route the trail along dangerous Highway 12, a wholly unsatisfactory route that places cyclists next to high-speed traffic, noise and exhaust.  EcoRing’s proposed route is safer, more scenic and connects easily to Spring Lake and Santa Rosa’s Southeast Greenway.

Goal: A trail linking the City of Sonoma to Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa.

Status:  The County is moving forward with their Highway 12 route.  There reason for not adopting the Southern Pacific route is that the right-of-way has been lost.  We believe that, over time, parcels and easements can be reacquired.  We are organizing public support for the alternate route.  The County is preparing preliminary design plans for the northern segment (from Santa Rosa to Kenwood) and southern segment (from Kenwood to Agua Caliente).  The County is  soliciting comments from Cal Trans because, unfortunately, most of the trail alignment is within the Highway 12 right of way.  This is a prescription for disuse.  Nobody wants to ride and unsafe distance from fast moving traffic, listen to traffic noise and breath traffic exhaust.  Cal Trans has proven in the past to be the wrong agency to design a bike path.

Please write the Supervisors objecting to the route and recommending the former Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way.  Support the Valley of the Moon Trail Initiative by joining the Valley of the Moon Alternative Trail group.

California Coastal Trail

EcoRing supports the efforts of CoastWalk to complete the California Coastal Trail especially through Marin and Sonoma Counties. This includes sections through the Jenner Headlands, near Bodega Bay and along Tomales Bay where it would coincide with the Sonoma Marin Adventure Trail.

Goal: Complete the trail from the Gualala River to Bolinas Bay.

Status:  Sections of the trail in Sonoma County have been completed: between Goat Rock and Wright’s Beach Campground, between Bodega Bay Bell Tower and Salmon Creek, and Doran and Westside Regional Park to Doran Beach and along portions of the Jenner Headlands.

Another section is planed for the Bodega Bay waterfront .  The County is doing the design and  environmental work for a portion of that trail segment located along Smith Brothers Road.

The County has started the planning process for trail sections north of Jennner. 

EcoRing has lobied for a section in Marin County along Tomales Bay coincident with the Sonoma Marin Adventure Trail.  In Sonoma County Cal Trans is contructing a new Highway 1 bridge near Gleason Beach.  The project will realign the highway and include a segment of the Coastal Trail.

The County Supervisors and Cal Trans need to hear from you.  Tell them that the trail is important to you and it should be sufficiently far from the highway to avoid traffic noise and exhaust.

Southeast Greenway

EcoRing partners with the Southeast Greenway Campaign advocating for conversion of an unused CalTrans right-of-way in Santa Rosa from Farmer’ Lane to Spring Lake Park. Additionally we support the extention of the Southeast Greenway  with a multi-use trail connecting to the Prince Memorial Greenway.   Spring Lake trails would connect the Greeway to the Valley of the Moon Trail. EcoRing participated in the Sustainable Design Assessment Team interviews for the Greenway.  We have written letters to the Santa Rosa City Council and CalTrans on the issue and are organizing public support for the trail.

Goal: A continuous Class I trailn from Prince Memorial Greenway to Spring Lake County Park.

Status:  CanTrans has declared the right-of-way surplus property and is negotiating with the City of Santa Rosa on sale of the property.  On July 9, 2019, the Santa Rosa City Council adopted the General Plan Amendment, Environmental Impact Report and Rezoning Plan for the 57-acre SE Greenway property, dedicating 47 acres to open space and parkland and 10 acres to housing. Caltrans would like to sell the property to the City of Santa Rosa, and so the Greenway Partners – Sonoma Land Trust, City of Santa Rosa, and Sonoma Water – have formed an Acquisition Team to work with Caltrans to prepare for a sale of the property sometime in 2020.

Support the Greenway Campaign.

Gravenstien Trail

EcoRing partners with the Sebastopol Trailmakers advocating for conversion of an unused Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway right-of-way from Petaluma to Sebastopol into a multiuse pathway.  Although the City of Sebastopol and the County of Sonoma have agreed to bike route and path between Petalum and Sebastopol, they have chosen an unsafe route along busy state Highway 116.  Government is still placing cost above safety.  EcoRing continues to advocate for the safer and far more scenic route along the historic rail route.  Some of the route has reverted to private ownership and some has be illegally expropriated by private landowners. This route would connect to the existing West County Trail between Sebastopol and Forestville  and the Joe Rotota Trail between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa to the Petaluma SMART Pathway

Goal: A multiuse trail from Petaluma to Sebastopol on the original Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway route connecting the Joe Rodota Trail and the West County Trail.

Status:  Sebastopol Trailmakers have researched and mapped the route, contacted adjacent landowners and countered complaints by an small, uninformed but vocal minority of nearby landowners.   We have written letters to the Sebastopol City Council, the County of Sonoma and CalTrans on the issue.  Nonetheless, the County is moving forward with the unsafe route.  We continue to organize public  support for the alternate route.

Contact Sebastopol Trailmakers if you would like to help.

West County Trail

The West County trail when complete will connect the Joe Rodota Trail at Morris Ave. in Sebastopol to the Steehead Beach Regional Park on the Russian River near Forestville.  The Trail is substantially complete except for four gaps:

1) A segment from the Joe Rodota Trail at Highway 12 to Analy High School at Morris Street.  2) A segment on the north side of Occidental Road between Atascadero Creek and Hwy 116.  3) one segment along Green Valley Road between Atascadero Creek and Ross Road and 4) a segment on the eastside of Mirabel Road between Hwy 116 and Davis Road

Goal:  A complete off-road pathway from the Joe Rodota Trail to the Lower Russian River Trail at Steelhead Beach.

Status:  There has been little movement on segment 1.  However, the County has secured a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for both segments 2 and 3 above.  Further, the County submitted a grant application for a portion of segment 3 between Highway 116 and Davis Road hase been submitted  to MTC and is pending.

Smart Pathway

The Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is not just a rail project.  SMART is also building a multi-use pathway the full length of the rail line from Cloverdale to Larkspur traversing two Counties: Sonoma and Marin.  Many segments of the trail are complete and can be found on the SMART Pathway map.

Goal:  A safe,  paved pathway from the SMART station in Cloverdale to the SMART station at  Larkspur Landing.

Status: On October 22, 2022 Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of a 1.7 mile section of the SMART Pathway from Payran St. to Southpoint Blvd. in Petaluma. The pathway was closed shortly after it was constructed in April 2022 due ironically to construction on additional lanes on the Highway 101 bridge over the pathway. The new lanes will add more cars to the traffic while the pathway is intended to encourage alternate means of travel.   Also celebarated was the start of construction of an additional ssegment linking Payron St to Lakeville Blvd. This segment is expected to be completed by end of fall, 2022.