Healdsburg: Mill Creek-Rio Lindo-Fitch Mountain

Thursday, October 10, 2013

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Today’s ride heads 12 miles west of Healdsburg for an out and back on Mill Creek Rd followed by a short tour around some of the back roads along the Russian River.

We exit town on Mill St to Westside Rd, cross Dry Creek and ride through the vineyards around Dry Creek Valley for the short distance to Mill Creek Rd.

Mill Creek Rd is a gorgeous quiet back road that runs below the northern slope of Buck Knoll Ridge and the southern slope of Big Ridge; it’s 9.8 miles from Westside Rd to the opposite point with no outlet, it dead ends to a closed private road.

Mill Creek begins with a short steep 8-11% climb up to the hillside vineyards and levels out at the top with great views of the expansive meadows and forest ridge tops.

The road continues with a gentle climb up to Mill Creek Ln followed by a descent into the wooded canyon floor.

The two lane road becomes a winding narrow lane road as it flows with the curvatures of Mill Creek through the beautiful towering redwoods and scattering of country homes tucked away in the woods with private creek crossings.

The gentle rolling terrain continues towards Venado, an unincorporated town. You’ll come upon the Historic Daniels School that sits atop of a side road; it is a 120 YO single room schoolhouse that served the small community until it closed in 1951 due to lack of students.

The road continues to wind through the woods out towards Bear Flat and the vineyards surrounding Lazy G Ranch. At the left hand turn along the vineyard, the road tilts up dramatically to steep grades of 16-20% for half a mile!

The short descent drops us to the other side of the canyon to a clearing with a few homes nestled in the woods. Further down the road, you’ll come upon a beautiful old and weathered redwood shake building-it’s the former Venado Post Office. This decaying structure replaced the original post office that burned to the ground and operated until 1941 when service was transferred to Healdsburg.

At this point, the rolling terrain on this road flows alongside of Gray Creek through the tall cathedral redwoods to the secluded horse ranches and to the end of the road.

We reverse our way out on Mill Creek and return to Westside Rd for the short loop around Kinley Dr and Magnolia Dr.

The flat Kinley loop goes around the fabulous vineyards and horse farms around Dry Creek Valley.

We head into Healdsburg on Mill St and take Center St to our lunch stop at the Downtown Bakery and Creamery located across from the Downtown Plaza.

We ride through town and cross the Russian River on Healdsburg Ave to Bailhache Ave and Rio Lindo Ave.

Rio Lindo Ave is a quiet back road that follows the SE side of the upper Russian River for 1.5 miles up to the Rio Lindo Adventist Academy. The rolling terrain goes through the valley vineyards and continues behind the riverfront homes for the climb up to the summit.

The Rio Lindo Adventist Academy sits atop of Diggers Bend with stunning views of the Russian River Valley-WOW!

We descend Rio Lindo Ave back to Healdsburg Ave for the bridge crossing over the Russian River.

We meander through the city streets to S Fitch Mountain Rd; this road follows the curves of the Russian River and weaves its way through the woods and the riverfront homes around Del Rio Woods.

The road turns west with one steep half mile climb up towards Chanticleer Way and drops quickly onto Powell Ave. We take Healdsburg Ave back to the parking lot on North & Vine St.

I love exploring these roads less-traveled-there’s always something new or old to see! The scenic beauty around us is always just a bike ride away!

Garmin Stats:
41.5 Miles with 2969′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1187′
Max grade: 20%
Terrain: Moderately Hilly

Weather: GREAT! Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the mid 40’s to the low 80’s. N winds with 45% humidity

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life.



Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. Beautiful route. Congrats on it. Healdsburg Downtown Creamery/Bakery itself is just worth the visit!

    Rinaldi, Healdsburg is a great place to stay. Nancy


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