County hires consultant to complete river trail feasibility plan

Sonoma County Supervisors have hired a Marin County-based outdoor recreational trail consultant to find the most feasible route for a Russian River bike path along the river from Forestville to Jenner.

Public outreach seeking feedback on the river trail is now tentatively set to start next month, but no dates or meeting places have been set.

“We’re probably looking at January or February” for public outreach, said Sonoma County Regional Parks Planner Ken Tam. “Once we’ve narrowed down the dates, they’ll be published on the website” for Regional Parks (, said Tam.

The nearly 20-mile-long Lower River Trail would run from the intersection of Mirabel and River Road in Forestville to Highway 1 in Jenner. Ideally the entire trail will be a Class 1 bike and pedestrian path, meaning it would be paved and separate from motor vehicle traffic, say trail planners.

But finding room and right-of-way through the lower river’s often narrow roads and private property will be a challenge.

“This may prove difficult to achieve,” according to the study proposal from Alta + Planning and Design, the consultant contracted to prepare the study.

In October, County Supervisors approved a $664,000 contract agreement with Alta to prepare the study and recommend a preferred trail alignment plus alternatives. The Alta study will include anticipated development costs such as design, right-of-way acquisition and construction.

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