Mapping the Best Sonoma County Bike Routes
You may not realize all of the great bike trails in Sonoma County. Beyond a great ride and workout, you also get beautiful scenery and wineries. There are dozens of great options for biking within Sonoma County and other surrounding areas.
The map below gives you 11 of our favorite bike routes/trails. Click on the trail to learn more about the distance, location, and terrain. Below the map is additional information about a few fantastic bars, restaurants, and shops to hit as you ride, as well as several other great attractions.
Attractions Along Sonoma County Bike Routes
Sonoma County is a spectacular place for bike riders of all ages and levels. With 1,400 miles of secondary roads holding various types of routes and trails, there is something for every rider. There’s a reason that Bicycling Magazine listed the area as one of “The Must Rides.”
There’s nothing like getting a good breakfast and the perfect cup of coffee before your ride, or ending your ride with the perfect glass of wine or draft beer. We’re going to dive into some of the best biking routes and trails in Sonoma County, along with some of the best attractions and hidden gems that can be found along or nearby each route or trail.
Alexander Valley Loop
This moderate 25-mile loop ride stretches through the Alexander Valley from Healdsburg in Northern Sonoma County. It is a paved road route with small rolling hills and easy riding conditions. Expect stunning vineyards, boutique wineries, great lunch spots, and beautiful picnic areas.
About four miles into your ride, you will reach the Jimtown Store. This local, fun favorite serves great food and even has homemade condiments. Jimtown also has unique gift items, novelties, and knick-knacks, making it the perfect stop to both eat and shop.
As you continue North, you will run into the Robert Young Estate Winery. This well-known local label is famous for its Chardonnay and Cabernet, as well as the land’s rich history.
Brush Creek Trail
This easy trail is just over 2 miles and runs along a portion of the Brush Creek. The western side is paved and the eastern side is paced dirt. Walkers, cyclists, and runners all share this route.
Wanting to picnic after riding the Brush Creek Trail? Head to Oliver’s Market, an old-town grocery store that is fully stocked with local and organic options. Oliver’s also provides the perfect selection of picnic foods like deli options, a salad bar, sushi bar, and more.
After you stock up at Oliver’s, head to nearby Spring Lake Regional Park and Spring Lake for the ideal spot to swim, canoe, or kayak during summer months.
You can also head straight from Spring Lake to Howarth Park. This 138-acre park offers a variety of recreation for children and adults including a softball field, tennis court, picnic areas, unique playground structures, and more. Visit all four options for a jam-packed day of Santa Rosa fun.
Dry Creek & Alexander Valleys
This intermediate, paved road route is a favorite among local bike clubs and cyclists. You’ll find a combination of curving, rolling country roads with some steep inclines and descents along the 34 miles (out and back). The views along this route include broad vistas, picturesque mountains, farmland and vineyards. This route is recommended for regular, experienced cyclists.
The Dry Creek Peach & Produce can be accessed from the Dry Creek & Alexander Valleys route as well as the Dry Creek Valley route, so read about this gem in the next section. If you’re looking for a winery along this route, be sure to check out Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves. Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves is a small, family-run winery that specializes in zinfandel. You can even have private wine tastings deep within the caves.
Dry Creek Valley
The Dry Creek Valley paved road route offers several options to match the level of difficulty you are looking for. A 24-mile out and back ride provides quiet roads, stunning views, wineries, and lunch spots. Starting in Healdsburg, this moderate trail is mostly flat with several small rolling hills. Expect a little traffic for the first mile or so as you are leaving town. The route then follows West Dry Creek Road, which does not have a shoulder, but does have a low speed limit for the many cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians.
One stop you should make along the route is to the Dry Creek General Store. This old-time general store was once a stagecoach stop that was frequented by the infamous outlaw Black Bart. You will now find a gourmet deli and fresh local foods.
You will also pass Quivira Vineyards & Winery along the Dry Creek Valley route. Stop by this winery for a tour of their bio-dynamic demonstration garden and a sip of some delicious wine.
Visit Dry Creek Peach & Produce during peach season (June to September) and prepare to be delighted by this small, family-run farm that is home to some of the world’s best organic peaches.
Lake Sonoma Overlook
This stunning 36-mile intermediate paved road route is one of the area’s most popular. Beginning with a casual, easy ride through Dry Creek Valley, it climbs steadily to the Lake Sonoma Overlook. The hill can be a challenge, but it offers a fantastic view as the reward. This out and back ride offers gourmet lunch options and picnic areas, inviting wineries, and amazing vista views.
Since you will pass through Dry Creek Valley, Quivira Winery will, again, be a great option to stop at. About one mile from town, there is also Davero Farm & Winery. They not only have wine tastings, but also olive oil tastings that are quite popular.
Russian River Valley Loop
This moderate 23-mile loop road route takes you through the Russian River Valley area before heading back to Dry Creek Valley. The terrain can be challenging in parts with some hilly areas and steeper inclines. Vineyards and wineries are the highlight of this stunning route. Expect some areas to have heavy motor traffic. This loop is recommended for experienced cyclists.
You’ll pass by Porter Creek Vineyards, a boutique-style organic vineyard, while riding the loop. This small winery has a lot of character, from the staff to their dog and chickens. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a glass or two.
Arista Winery can also be found close by and makes for a favorite lunch spot due to the picnic area as well as the vineyard. Enjoy the Japanese-style garden and make sure to try one of their popular pinot noir options.
Sebastopol Valley Ford Loop
This 38-mile Sebastopol loop has significant grade and steep hills, as well as heavily travelled highway areas. It is recommended for experienced cyclists only. While the route is distinctly rural, it is not actual wilderness. Heavily wooded areas, redwood groves, along with meadows and residential areas are all present.
A hidden gem that you wouldn’t want to miss while riding the Valley Ford Loop is Wild Flour Bread. This popular wood-fired brick oven organic bakery offers sourdough breads, scones, biscotti, and coffee drinks. You can also enjoy your delicious purchases in their beautiful garden.
West County Regional Trail
This relatively flat 5.5-mile trail runs between the towns of Sebastopol and Forestville and offers beautiful views of the surrounding farmland, vineyards, and pastures. An elevated boardwalk allows you to pass through the Atascadero Creek Ecological Reserve, which is an ecologically important wetland. The West County Regional Trail is popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Ramen Gaijin is a nearby ramen spot that serves up small Japanese plates with a Sonoma spin in a comfy atmosphere. Ramen Gaijin strives to use fresh and local ingredients, and makes all noodles in-house.
Another delicious food option in the vicinity is Zazu Kitchen and Farm. Known for being authentically farm-to-table, Zazu Kitchen and Farm serves Northern Italian inspired dishes, making this market-driven eatery a great place to refuel. Zazu also makes sure to give back to local non-profits each year.
Windsor Plain is an easy 23-mile loop on a paved road route that starts at Santa Rosa Youth Park. You’ll encounter sprawling meadows, woods, pastures and vineyards. The terrain is mostly flat and quiet with some small areas of heavy motor traffic. The route passes through the heart of downtown Windsor Town Green where you will find shops and offices.
For a pick-me-up before or after your ride, check out local coffee shop Cafe Noto. Cafe Noto is a fun, hip, and welcoming shop that serves organic coffee and tea, as well as homemade breakfast and lunch at an affordable price.
At Olivet Grange Vineyards, you will find unique wines and incredible estate views. Enjoy the relaxed casual atmosphere of the beautiful Russian River Valley.
Other Great Trails
Joe Rodota Trail
Often used by commuters, this 8.5-mile off-road trail links downtown Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. Running parallel to Highway 12, the Joe Rodota Trail is an easy, flat trail that is popular with cyclists, runners, and walkers alike. You’ll encounter scenic farmland, rugged mountains and the Laguna de Santa Rosa wetland preserve.
The Sebastopol end of the trail conveniently ends in front of HopMonk Tavern, a favorite local spot known for its craft beer and tasty tavern food. HopMonk also often has live music to enjoy along with your brew and food.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up after hitting the trail, you can also find Retrograde Coffee Roasters on the Sebastopol end of the trail. With an impressive five stars on Yelp, Retrograde offers specialty beverages at a reasonable cost. Some drinks include the “Big Easy,” an assortment of hot teas, chai, cold brew, and more. You can also substitute their house-made hemp-coconut milk into any drink to make it dairy-free.
Do you enjoy looking at art installations while you walk? Make sure you take a turn down Florence Avenue in Sebastopol to see the Patrick Amiot Sculpture Art. Various yards feature quirky and fun “junk art” sculptures that are all made from recycled materials. You will never see a neighborhood street that is anything like this one!
Colgan Creek Trail
The Colgan Creek Trail is an easy 1.2-mile paved route that is part of a larger network of trails and bikeways in Sonoma County. It is an urban trail that runs alongside Colgan Creek and offers opportunities for bird-watching as well as views of the Laguna watershed across the Santa Rosa Plain to Sonoma Mountain.
If you’re hungry, you can find family-run Mexican restaurant Casa Del Mar just a two minute walk away from the end of the Colgan Creek Trail. Known for its flavorful food and homemade tortillas, Casa Del Mar is the perfect place to get a little taste of Mexico in the middle of Sonoma County.
Fru-Ta All Natural Artisan Ice Cream is also in the area for a cool-down after biking the Colgan Creek Trail. They offer ice cream and frozen yogurt in unusual flavors like avocado, guanabana, and rose petal with cheese. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind spot.
Prince Memorial Greenway Trail
This short and easy 1.3-mile urban trail is part of the city’s restoration efforts and winds through terraced landscapes that feature native plants, plazas, murals, sculptures, and public art displays. This mixed-use trail offers enough room for walkers, cyclists and runners to enjoy together. Expect up-close views of Santa Rosa’s historic buildings and charming downtown area.
The Luther Burbank Home & Gardens can be found just a short two minute walk away. Registered as a historical landmark, this former estate is where Burbank developed hundreds of new plant varieties over a span of 20 years. The garden is free and open to visitors from 8am to dusk.
La Gare is a nearby, family-owned French bistro that has a chic, European vibe and offers local wines and an upscale menu. Their founding principles include using fresh and local ingredients, using top French and European cooking techniques, and making everything from scratch. This special spot is a must-visit.
If you’re still wanting a nearby food option, but maybe something a little more laid-back, Toad in the Hole Pub is your place. Toad in the Hole is a small, casual tavern offering tasty British bites and brews. Live music and broadcasted sporting events are also common.
Santa Rosa Creek Trail
This bikeway runs along the Santa Rosa Creek for 2.14 miles between Willowside Road and the Prince Memorial Greenway. The train winds through downtown Santa Rosa and is a popular route for walkers, runners, cyclists, and dog walkers. Expect to encounter a variety of birds and views of vineyards, farms, and mountains. Downtown Santa Rosa at trails end offers a wide variety of dining, shopping and entertainment options.
Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro is an upscale French-style bistro, located close to the trail, that is known for its fine cuisine and excellent service. Enjoy pairing one of several wine options from the Walter Hansel Winery with your entree, and even a complimentary aperitif as a finale to your courses. Local visitors seem to only have wonderful things to say about this establishment.
If you would rather have Vietnamese or Thai food, Noodle Soup is the place to go. Noodle Soup is a local hidden gem that offers delicious dishes at an affordable price, and even doubles as a donut shop. It may seem strange, but it works and the locals love it!
Hunter Creek Trail
This 8-foot wide mostly-paved trail is an easy 1.5 miles and connects Santa Rosa Avenue to Petaluma Hill Road via Hunter Lane. The only unpaved area is a 4-foot wide shoulder. This is a mixed-use path that walkers, runners, horseback riders, and cyclists all share.
The Lost Hearts and Souls Horse Rescue just a quick 1.5 miles from the Hunter Creek Trail. Lost Hearts and Souls provides sanctuary, rehabilitation, and placement for horses that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Stop by to volunteer, or keep an eye out for one of their organized events!
Spring Lake Regional Park Trail
This 2.3-mile paved loop around 72-acre Spring Lake is one of the county’s most popular park trails and is used for walking, jogging, and cycling. It is an easy trail that is mostly flat with a small incline leading to a dam. The trail is part of a 320-acre park which features oak woodlands, grasslands, meadows, lakes, and a 3-acre swimming lagoon.
Make sure to grab a bite at Hank’s Creekside Restaurant after your morning stroll. Hank’s offers delicious, diner-style breakfast and lunch that is served in a relaxed and casual setting. You may even be lucky enough to get your food with a beautiful view of the water.
After you finish riding the trail at Spring Lake, take a quick ten minute ride over to Trail House. Trail House is a unique establishment that specifically caters to the cycling crowd. They have quick bites, craft beer, strong coffee, and also host unusual but fun events.
Cloverdale River Park Trail
The Cloverdale River Park trail is a short, paved 1-mile route that runs along the Russian River. It is shared by walkers, cyclists, and even horseback riders. Access to the river’s edge is possible through a few trail spurs. Expect to see many Cottonwood, Walnut, and Maple trees. Restoration projects have focused on bring back native plants, animals, fish, and removing invasive species.
The 101 Sculpture Trail is a nearby, year-round art installment that is home to more than 30 large, outdoor sculptures and exhibitions that change annually. Walking this trail is a unique and fun experience for anyone who appreciates art.
If you’re hungry for some delicious pub food, Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub is a one mile walk or bike ride away from the Cloverdale River Park Trail. Here you will find an assortment of site-brewed ales, including their signature beverage, the Cloverdale Ale. Everything is served in a casual and cozy atmosphere, often with live music.
The Cloverdale History Center and Museum displays a large collection of important local artifacts that preserves the area’s unique natural and human history. This is a nearby option that is great for all ages.
Coastal Prairie Trail
This short, unpaved trail is an easy 1.1 miles, and is popular with pedestrians and cyclists who are travelling between the Bodega Bay Community Center and Keefe Avenue. It offers connections to the Sonoma Coast State Park and the Salmon Creek neighborhood as well as views of the prairie, coastline, and many opportunities to spot wildlife. There is also an 18-foot memorial bell tower.
One of the nearby food options is Gourmet Au Bay, which is only a five minute bike ride away from the Coastal Prairie Trail. Gourmet Au Bay bay has delicious, reasonably-priced food in a casual, coastal wine bar setting. You can also get seating on the harbor front deck and enjoy your food with a beautiful view.
Ginochio’s Kitchen is also just a short five minute ride away from the Coastal Prairie Trail. They offer big views of Bodega Bay as well as indoor or outdoor seating. You can expect delicious BBQ and Italian dishes, as well as hearty breakfast options.
Take a three minute ride to Roadhouse Coffee to enjoy a cozy, “hole-in-the-wall” type of atmosphere that makes it popular with the locals. They offer tasty specialty drinks, homemade pastries, free Wi-Fi, and even have a lending library to browse from.
Helen Putnam Regional Park Trail
This 6-mile, unpaved wilderness trail is perfect for mountain bike enthusiasts looking for moderately difficult terrain. Expect ridge-top riding with panoramic views, along with grassy hillsides and oak woodlands. The trail is also open to hikers and horseback riders. Within the park you’ll find a fishing pond, picnic area, and playground.
Take a nine minute ride to the Achadinha Cheese Company to take a tour (by appointment) or take a cheese making class. Achadinha is a small, family-run cheese company that is known by locals for their friendliness and flavorful cheeses.
The Lavender Bee Farm is another small, local attraction that is open by appointment for tours. They offer honey and lavender products including soaps, teas, and sachets.
Find some delightful wine and a fantastic view to help you relax after your ride at Azari Vineyards. Azari also offer pizza nights and guest accomodations in the 100-year old home that even has an in-ground pool, it’s no wonder they have a five star Yelp rating.
West Sonoma County & Graton
This 33-mile intermediate paved road route is a combination of flat to rolling hills, with a couple of notably steep inclines of up to a mile in length. Lightweight touring bikes or road bikes are recommended for this route which will bring you through a unique and diverse landscape of Western Sonoma County. Lunch and picnic spots are abundant, as are some of the area’s best known wineries.
Make sure to stop by Iron Horse Vineyards, which offers amazing views and has an outdoor tasting room (don’t worry, they have overhead heaters for the winter). Be sure to try out their sparkling flight!
Willow Wood Market Café is where you’ll find local, organic lunch options and overall delicious food. They have coffee and teas as well as beer on tap, so there is something for every person and mood.
For those interested in other great bike routes in California, here is a list of Bay Area Bike routes.