Sonoma Wine Country Day Ride
Total Distance 51 km
See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.
This is a great leisurely ride that can be done year round and offers an excellent way of seeing some of the secret corners of Sonoma County. Even on a busy summer weekend you can find beautiful country roads in Sonoma without a car in sight. The total trip measures roughly 32 miles, with a variation to public transit the trip is 45 miles.
The first half of the trip follows a separated bike path from Santa Rosa to Forestville. The path is about 95% paved with a few dirt areas lasting no more than a tenth of a mile each. The second half of the trip puts you on picturesque country roads past wineries and dairies and brings you back to your starting point. In the summer it can get up to 100°F but the route is surprisingly shaded and with enough water makes for an enjoyable ride even in the heat. There are many rolling hills but nothing I would consider a true climb. This ride is suitable for beginning/intermediate riders.
To make it a day, consider a lunch or coffee stop at the Willow Wood Market Café in Graton and a dip in the Russian River at Sunset Beach. If you are so inclined, finish the day off at one of several wineries on Olivet Road with a little something to relax those muscles.
Below are the details if you plan on driving. Public transit is easy from San Francisco or Marin County. The Number 80 Golden Gate Transit bus will take you from the Financial District up the 101 to downtown Santa Rosa. Get off at the Santa Rosa Transit Mall and pick up the bike path at the freeway. Information on bus fares and schedules are here.
Parking and Directions to the start:
If you plan on making a stop at the wineries at the end of your ride you should park accordingly. These directions are from the easiest parking that involves the least driving. Directions: Exit Highway 101 on CA-12 West towards Sebastopol and turn right on Irwin Lane after 4.8 miles. There is parking on your immediate right with room for two or three cars.
You can see a map of our ride and the elevation profile below. Here is a link to the GPX file (right-click, save as).
View Sonoma Wine Country Ride in a larger map