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The West County Regional Trail is built along the corridor of the old Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway, which carried passengers between Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sebastopol until it was abandoned in 1984. Seamlessly linked with the Joe Rodota 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.
Both trails take in some of Sonoma County's most scenic and sweeping rural vistas. Beginning at a junction with the Joe Rodota Trail along Gravenstein Highway (State Route 116), the West County Regional Trail continues north along the highway past lush vineyards and farmland. (Take the Joe Rodota Trail southeast if you want to reach downtown Sebastopol or Santa Rosa instead.)
After 1 mile, trail users must turn left onto Occidental Road. Stay on Occidental Road for just under another 1 mile until you see the resumption of the off-road trail on your right. he section from Green Valley Road north for about half-mile is unpaved. It is an area that passes the wastewater treatment plant. That said, the rest of this last 4-mile section of the trail passes through beautiful vineyards, picturesque farmland and orchards. A special treat is the fresh aroma coming from apple mills you will pass on the industrial section of the trail in Graton.
The paved trail finally ends at Pajaro Lane in the small town of Forestville. A more rustic hiking trail continues north a short distance from this point to provide access to Forestville's commercial core on Front Street.
Parking for the West County Regional Trail can be found at a trailhead on Graton Road in Graton. From US 101 in Santa Rosa, take the State Route 12 exit toward Sebastopol. Once in Sebastopol, proceed onto Bodega Avenue, and then turn right on Main Street. At Healdsburg Avenue (SR 116), turn left. Follow the highway north to Graton, and turn left on Graton Road. The trailhead is located just past downtown Graton on the right (immediately adjacent to the trail).
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