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!
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. Key parcel acquired by Wildland Conservancy. Easements offered.
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. Or donate to this initiative:
North Pacific Coast Railroad Heritage Trail
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: Sausalito to Cazadero linking to the Russian River Valley 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 awearness of the potential for this trail. We have presented powerpoint talks to service groups and provided history tours of the original right-of-way. In cooperation with the Occidental Community Council we have researched and designed and installed a kiosk display for in front of the Union Hotel in Occidental. Also Heritage Trail signs may soon be posted along the redwood-shaded rural Occidental-Camp Meeker Road which was once the railway route. We are working with the Mill Valley Historical Society to place a similar kiosk along the former railroad route at Excalle. We are building a coalition of businesses and individuals to press both Marin and Sonoma Counties to link and complete this trail.
For updates add your name to the EcoRing email list in the sidebar. Send us a request to join the Friends of the Heritage Trail at EcoRing@sonic.net. Or support the North Pacific Coast Railroad Heritage Trail Initiative with a donation:
Russian River Valley Trail
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 we pushed for). We researched potential routes and toured them with our former 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: Cloverdale to Jenner linking to the Heritage Trail and the West County Trail
Status: Investigation of an appropriate route has been researched and that route toured with our former County Supervisor. All Supervisors have been contacted and asked to pursue this trail. A trail in the Russian River corridor is now in the Sonoma County General Plan.
Support the Russian River Valley Trail Initiative! Encourage your Supervisor to fund this project soon.
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 connects easily to Spring Lake and Santa Rosa’s Southeast Greenway.
Goal: Sonoma to Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa linking to the Southeast Greenway.
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 working to form a corporation that can do so.
Support the Valley of the Moon Trail Initiative by joining the Valley of the Moon Alternative Trail group.
California Coastal Trail
EcoRing partners with CoastWalk to support completion of 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 NPCRR Heritage Trail.
Goal: Gualala River to Bolinas
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. Another section is planed for the Bodega Bay waterfront and along the Jenner Headlands. EcoRing has lobied for a section in Marin County along Tomales Bay coincident with the Heritage Trail.
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 to a greenway with a multi- use trail connecting the Prince Greenway to Spring Lake trails which would connect in turn 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.
Goal: West Santa Rosa 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. Before appraisals can be completed, Santa Rosa must promulgate zoning for the property. The City has started that process which we are monitoring closely. The Community Foundation Sonoma County has provided a $250,000 grant to support acquisition of the Southeast Greenway.
Support the Greenway Campaign.
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 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.
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.
Contact Sebastopol Trailmakers if you would like to help.