Top 5 Hiking Trails In The Russian River Area
This is hiking season and with that comes the question "where are the best hiking trails in the Russian River area?" In Sonoma County we have been blessed to have some of the most amazing landscapes in the world from vineyards to rolling hills, rivers and creeks to the massive Pacific Coast. I have listed a few of the best hiking trails that I know of in the Russian River area but I encourage you to add your favorites to the comments below!
#1 Armstrong Woods
Armstrong Woods is full of great trails from the steep trail that leads up up up to a place where you can stare out at stunning views of West Sonoma County and the Russian River area to flat easy walks through the redwoods that are full of informational stands encouraging you to learn about the history of this great park. Armstrong Woods is full of picnic tables, small creeks and massive giants some of which have been around for thousands of years. It is a dog friendly place where dogs are required to be on leash but are welcome to come on out for a hike with you.
#2 Austin Creek State Preserve
Austin Creek State Preserve is another place with tons of great trails! The main trail is a 1100 foot climb insuring you get your daily exercise. Take East Ridge Trail to the top then cross over to Pool Ridge Trail and then take Redwood Grove back to the entrance. This is a pretty hearty hike so make sure to bring lots of water and pick up a map at the entrance so that you don't get lost. Happy trails.
#3 Kortum Trail
For me it is always fun to go out and hike along the coastline and listen to the waves crashing up against the shore. Kortum Trail begins at the entrance to Blind Beach. You will want to bring a friend and have them park at the end of the trail and carpool to the beginning as it is a 10 mile hike so you may not want to hike back to the car after you are done. The trail crosses many state beach parking lots and continues through to Carlevaro Way off of Highway 1. It is a great hike for those who can't decide between a day at the beach and a nice long hike!
#4 Pomo Canyon Trail
Pomo Canyon Trail is in Duncan's Mills. Take Willow Creek Road to Pomo Campground Road and it's about a half a mile to the trailhead near the campground. The trail is about 6 miles long and passes through the redwood forest, then over grasslands decorated with boulders, and then climbs up until you can see the ocean waves of the Pacific Coast. The trail ends at Shell Beach and is a wonderful place to have a picnic. If you don't plan on hiking the 6 miles back you will need to park a car at Shell beach and carpool to the trailhead.
#5 Old Cazadero Road
At the end of Old Cazadero Road in Guerneville there is a barricade across the road. This road was replaced years ago and has since been inoperable however, it is a great place to go hiking, biking or just out for a stroll. The road is high up and offers gorgeous views of the rolling hills here in the Russian River area. If you felt moved to take a really long hike you could go all the way to Cazadero from there.
Make sure to bring water with you and be careful not to disturb the wildlife. Happy Hiking Everyone!