Petaluma Sebastopol Trail (Proposed)

Project Description

The first phase of this project is to study the feasibility of developing an approximately 13-mile paved trail connecting Petaluma and Sebastopol. The proposed trail is located within the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County Supervisorial Districts 2 and 5, City of Sebastopol, and City of Petaluma. The trail would provide bicycling, walking, jogging and other recreational and commuting opportunities for residents of Petaluma, Sebastopol and unincorporated areas such as Hessel and Cunningham. Trails connecting cities promote healthy communities, access to schools and businesses, along with the reduction of traffic and greenhouse gases.

The study area encompasses a large area between Petaluma and Sebastopol. The proposed paved trail would be 8 feet wide, and with community input, the study will identify feasible trail alignments.

Cost and Funding

The cost for the feasibility study is $248,000. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in April 2015 awarded a $209,436 Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant to Regional Parks to initiate the feasibility study. The County and its project partners will contribute local matching funds totaling $38,564 as follows: City of Sebastopol - $6,564, City of Petaluma - $1,000, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (including private donations) - $11,000, Santa Rosa Cycling Club - $5,000, and Sonoma County Regional Parks - $15,000. 


The Petaluma Sebastopol Trail is identified as a project in the 2010 County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The concept was inspired by the route of the former Petaluma Sebastopol Railroad. However, much of the railroad right-of-way is privately owned and developed for other purposes. Therefore, a feasibility study will help determine the most workable route for the trail.

Next Steps

The initial step is to complete a feasibility study. Please see the draft map in the sidebar for the study boundary. The study area includes a 1-mile stretch from Sebastopol city limits to the Regional Parks' Joe Rodota Trail and 1-mile into Petaluma city limits to connect with its existing bicycle network. The exact trail location is undetermined at this time. The feasibility study will include public outreach, evaluating existing site conditions and roads, mapping, and preliminary title search to determine the best route.

Public workshops will solicit input to help evaluate alternative trail alignments and other design considerations. Furthermore, the feasibility study will help the County develop a project budget for design and engineering, construction, environmental mitigation, and property acquisition.

The County is working with Caltrans to finalize the grant award. Once the Caltrans grant agreement is executed, the County will request proposals from prospective consultants to help prepare the feasibility study. The anticipated start date for the study is Fall 2015/Winter 2016 and completion date is November 2017.

Opportunities to Become Involved

Provide your input by by completing the survey below:

Community Workshops

Community workshops have been scheduled on the following dates to solicit input on the project:

PDF fileCommunity Workshops 1 & 2 Flyer
PDF fileCommunity Workshops 1 & 2 Flyer (en Español)

Please note that the information presented at Workshops #1 and #2 will be the same. Please select a date that is convenient for you. A Spanish translator is available upon request prior to the meeting. To be notified when Community Workshop #3 has been scheduled or for project updates, please sign up by clicking on the “Subscribe now!” text on the right side of this web page.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Project Manager:

Ken Tam
Call:  (707) 565-3348
Email:  Ken Tam

Provide your input by completing the below survey:

Petaluma Sebastopol Trail

Petaluma Sebastopol proposed trail
PDF fileTrail Study Area Diagram
(301 kB)

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