Sonoma's Hidden Gems; Gorgeous Creek Trails In The Middle Of Everything

Do you ever drive past those side paths with the yellow posts at their entrance, and wonder "What's down that-a-way"?  As it turns out, they are "Yellow Brick Roads" to some of the prettiest waterways around!

Seven years ago, a friend and I set out to explore a different creek trail each week. What we discovered was yet another reason why Sonoma County is considered one of the seven "must rides" that every cyclist should have on his/her bucket list, by Bicycling Magazine. As we explored, we noticed these trails alive with an abundance of birds. Many species make their homes along these waterways. We noticed the trails dense with foliage. We stopped often to sit and enjoy the immense beauty and sweet gurgling of the creeks (an activity that had previously been reserved for distant parks). We had found a local goldmine!

I love just how natural these trails are. Since many of them have not been maintained, they are very woodsy.

Previously, if I had wanted to visit a natural place with water and wild life, I thought that I would have to get in my car and drive for quite some time. Not necessary. These trails exist throughout Sonoma County, probably much closer than you think. From my house in Sebastopol, I can  find a bike path within a few blocks and reach a creek within a few minutes. If you live in Santa Rosa, you are also likely very close to one of these trails. Santa Rosa alone, has 35 miles of these creek trails. Rohnert Park has about 15 miles. In fact over the last few years, all cities in Sonoma County have been making their creek trails accessible.

As an alternate to cycling the roads, these trails (combined with the bike paths), create a whole new way of gettin' around. They don't follow roads; they often don't even parallel them. They crisscross in such a way as to allow cyclists and pedestrians many opportunities to include the creek's back-country feel on their daily commute, while potentially shortening their distance traveled! And surprisingly, these creek trails are in some of the most populous parts of our county! These alternate routes may be just the thing to more frequently get you out of your cars.

The Sonoma County creek trails are maintained by the Sonoma County Water Agency. Here's a link to their maps.  As for those yellow bars that block the trails entrance's, The SoCo Water Agency has been replacing them and has plans to continue. But, no need to wait, even where the horizontal bars remain, there is usually access around the fence.

So, instead of leaving the area for a vacation, give yourself the gift of heading out your door and discovering more of the local county bounty.Contact Sahar at (707)824-1796 or

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