Sonoma Redwoods to the River and Sea

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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This gorgeous Sonoma County ride heads north from Petaluma for a counter clockwise loop through the quaint towns of Valley Ford, Freestone and Occidental to Monte Rio. Roll under the beautiful towering redwoods along Bohemian Hwy and follow the Russian River through the shady redwood forests on Hwy 116 for the scenic out and back stretch along Austin Creek Rd and Cazadero Hwy. Continue on Hwy 116 W into Duncans Mills before heading west towards the coast for a short jaunt north on Hwy 1 to the “river’s mouth” in Jenner. Travel south along the spectacular rugged Pacific coastline to the town of Bodega Bay before heading inland for the return to Petaluma. The route includes the steep climb up Bay Hill Rd along with a stop at the Nicholas Green Memorial and The Children’s Bell Tower.

Begin on Roblar Rd-street parking adjacent to Dunham Elementary School. This back road travels westward through the beautiful Sonoma countryside to the junction at Valley Ford Rd.

Turn right and head north across the expansive valley on Valley Ford Rd.

Meet up on School St in Valley Ford.

Roll through the town of Valley Ford to Freestone Valley Ford Rd.

Turn right on Freestone Valley Ford Rd; this country back road travels along Ebabias Creek for a short climb up to Bodega Hwy.

Continue north on Bodega Hwy.

Make a left on Bohemian Hwy into the town of Freestone.

Bohemian Hwy gently winds around the valley meadows and ranches along Salmon Creek to CYO Camp.

The road climbs up through the shaded woodlands into Occidental with 7-9% grades.

Continue through downtown Occidental.

Bohemian Hwy descends through the beautiful woodlands along Dutch Bill and Alder Creeks.

At the Y junction, stay to your left onto Main St; the road travels parallel to Bohemian Hwy into Monte Rio.

Cross the green Monte Rio Bridge to Hwy 116 W.

Head west on Hwy 116 and ride through the redwoods along the Russian River towards the coast.

Check out the Osprey nest!

Turn right onto Austin Creek Rd for a scenic 3.6 mile ride through the gorgeous redwoods around the creek side homes along Austin Creek.

Watch for the colorful animal totems!

Cross the Russian River and head south on Cazadero Hwy; this beautiful stretch of road travels through the redwoods along the west side of the creek back to Hwy 116.

Continue west on Hwy 116 into Duncans Mills.

Lunch stop at the Gold Coast Bakery.

Head west and follow the Russian River along Hwy 116 to Hwy 1.

Enjoy the glorious Russian River views!

Turn right on Hwy 1 N and follow the Russian River for 1.9 miles into Jenner for a stop at the “river’s mouth”-where the river flows into the ocean.

Enjoy the magnificent views!

Make a U-turn and return south on Hwy 1 towards Hwy 116.

At the junction-go straight and cross the Russian River for a moderate climb up to Goat Rock.

The rolling terrain on Hwy 1 stretches 10 miles south to Bodega Bay on state property along the spectacular Sonoma Coast.

Detour around the beautiful Duncans Landing.

Enjoy the views of the sandy beaches, craggy cliffs and rugged shores!

Hwy 1 continues south towards the coastal fishing village of Bodega Bay.

Salmon Creek to Bodega  Bay.

Stop at the Nicholas Green and The Children’s Bell Tower Memorial.

Up next is Bay Hill Rd; this road goes up to the top of the ridge with magnificent views of Bodega Bay and the surrounding inland valleys. Bay Hill begins with a 1.1 mile climb with an average grade of 9% and steep pitches of 10-13%.

Bay Hill levels out for a short section along the top of the ridge-enjoy the views!

The road gently tilts up for the next 0.3 mile with an average grade of 4.9%. Bay Hill Rd quickly drops down through the eucalyptus groves onto Hwy 1 S.

Turn left onto Hwy 1, it heads eastward on a series of rolling climbs up to the eucalyptus-lined ridge.

The swift descent on Hwy 1 takes you through the valley into Valley Ford.

Return on Roblar Rd to Dunham Elementary School.

This is one of the most beautiful rides along the quiet country back roads around Sonoma County! You’ll enjoy the gorgeous scenery from the inland valleys and shady redwood forests to the Russian River and the spectacular Sonoma Coastline! The weather is usually amazing and the landscape is always perfect! *HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL THE JUNE BABIES!

Garmin Stats:
71.0 Miles with 3615′ of elevation gain
Max Elevation: 687′
Max grade: 13%
Terrain: Moderately hilly

Weather: Mostly cloudy with some coastal fog. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the high 70’s with W > NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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