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.

Status:  The 8,000 acre Jenner Headlands has been acquired thanks to Jenner activists, the Sonoma County Open Space District and the Sonoma Land Trust.  Ownership has been transferred to Wildlands Conservancy but is still managed by the Land Trust.  Some trails have been extended but there is still no connection to the confluence of Austin Creek and East Austin Creek.   The ownership of the historic right-of-way of the Magnisite Railway is being researched by EcoRing.  Trails within the Austin Creek Recreation Area already connect to Armstrong Redwoods.

Goal: Jenner to Armstrong Woods

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 gage 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.

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.

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.

Goal: Sausalito to Cazadero linking to the Russian River Valley Trail and the Jenner-to-Armstrong 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  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

Support the Russian River Valley Trail Initiative!

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 too has been included in the Sonoma County General Plan but the design routes the trail along Highway 12, a wholly unsatisfactory route that places cyclists next to high-speed traffic noise and exhaust.  EcoRing’s route connects easily to Spring Lake and Santa Rosa’s 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 belive that, over time, parcels and easements can be reacquired.

Goal: Sonoma to Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa linking to the Southeast Greenway.

Support the Valley of the Moon Trail Initiative:

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.

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.

Goal: Gualala River to Bolinas

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 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. EcoRinparticipated 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.

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.

Goal: West Santa Rosa to Spring Lake County Park