Joe Rodota Trail


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Joe Rodota Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Sonoma
Length: 8.5 miles
Trail end points: Prince Memorial Greenway, 0.2 mile southwest of W Third St & Railroad St (Santa Rosa) and West County Regional Trail at Mill Station Rd & CA 116/Gravenstein Hwy N (Sebastopol)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7374988

Joe Rodota Trail Description

Named for the first director of Sonoma County Regional Parks, the Joe Rodota Trail offers some of the county’s most sweeping rural vistas. The rail-trail is built along the corridor of the old Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway, which once ran between Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Sebastopol. Seamlessly linked with the West County Regional Trail in Sebastopol, the rail-trail system was designated as a Community Millennium Trail by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and the White House Millennium Council, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

In Santa Rosa, the trail begins at a pedestrian/bicycle bridge intersection with the Prince Memorial Greenway . However, the recommended—and more scenic—route begins 3.1 miles farther west at the Sebastopol Road Trailhead along CA 12 (just west of N. Wright Road). Although this segment heads southwest paralleling the highway, a wide, brushy, and tree-filled median between trail and road provides a pleasant experience.

The trail soon emerges into scenic farmland evoking the area’s pastoral heritage. The trail runs along a creek and meanders through the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the largest freshwater wetland complex in Sonoma County. If you’re lucky, you may encounter a bald eagle, a white pelican, or an osprey. Note that there are unimproved trail crossings at Merced Avenue (0.4 mile from the Sebastopol Road Trailhead) and at Llano Road (1.5 miles from the trailhead), requiring caution by trail users.

Approaching Sebastopol, you’ll come to a signed intersection with an accompanying trail map. Here, you can either go straight to CA 116/Petaluma Avenue, where you’ll find a trailhead and parking area near charming downtown Sebastopol, or turn right, following signs for Graton and Forestville (the latter option allows you to pick up the West County Regional Trail north of town).

The Joe Rodota Trail crosses CA 12 at the signalized Morris Street intersection, then continues as an on-street connection (via bike lanes and sidewalks) heading north on Morris Street, skirting the Barlow commercial district and the eastern edge of town. About 0.4 mile from the CA 12 intersection, Morris Street curves west, and you’ll soon find the signed trail on your right paralleling Eddie Lane. For part of this next segment, you’ll be sharing the road right-of-way with vehicles on Eddie Lane.

After passing a high school, the trail brings you to North Main Street, where you’ll turn left and go 0.1 mile using bike lines until you turn right again at the signed trail. Here, the wooded path is a heavily used commuter route connecting adjacent neighborhoods to the high school and downtown Sebastopol. After about a mile, the trail feeds into CA 116/¿Gravenstein Highway North, where you’ll see official signage marking the transition to the West County Regional Trail.

While horseback riding is permitted for the entirety of the trail, there is no equestrian parking available in the designated trail parking lots.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the Wright Road trailhead from US 101 in Santa Rosa, take the State Route 12 exit toward Sebastopol and head west on the highway. After a short distance, turn left on N. Wright Road, and immediately turn right on Sebastopol Road. The trailhead parking area will be on your left. Parking is also available in Sebastopol at the trailhead on Petaluma Avenue.

Joe Rodota Trail Reviews

hello everyone

I am not sure this same bike place wondering nice wineries. A beautiful scenery and it was absolutely fantastic if anybody brings the blogs or bikes it’s a wonderful thing to do to get away from the bay area

Nice, flat, scenic

I was in Sebastopol for business and discovered this trail on my morning run. I ended up staying on it for a few miles. It is fairly strait, paved, and flat. There are occasional benches and trash bins and seemed pretty clean. The city had experienced heavy rain a few days before I was there and the trail had some minor flooding in one spot, but I got past it ok. It was pretty.

Joe Rodota bike path

This is a wonderful, flat, easy ride from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol, which also connects in Sebastopol to another ride to Forestville. I clocked over 16 miles round trip riding from Sebastopol to Santa Rosa and back, but I did a little sight seeing in Santa Rosa so that added a couple of extra miles. In Santa Rosa there are multiple entry points, and one can also access the Smart Trail from this pathway. A great ride for families with a wide smooth pathway, and not a lot of traffic along the corridor on a weekday. Next time I will start in Santa Rosa and take the path to Forestville, which I am told adds another 7 or 8 miles to the trip (one way).

Flat easy trail

Beautiful easy commuter trail between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol Watch out for traffic crossing bike lane from Hwy 12

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