Santa Rosa, CA – April 22, 2019 – Sonoma County Regional Parks is hosting two community workshops to gather input on a potential Russian River bicycle and pedestrian trail between Forestville and Jenner. The meetings are scheduled for May 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. and May 11 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Guerneville Elementary School, 14630 Armstrong Woods Road.
Responding to community interest and safety concerns, Regional Parks is studying the feasibility of building a 19-mile trail along the lower Russian River corridor. The study area includes the communities of Mirabel, Forestville, Hacienda, Summer Home Park, Odd Fellows Park, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Guernewood Park, Vacation Beach, Northwood, Monte Rio, Villa Grande, Mesa Grande, Sheridan, Duncans Mills and Jenner.
The proposed multi-use trail would provide a walking and bicycling alternative for commuters traveling busy River Road and Highway 116. A trail also would add to recreation options in the popular tourism area and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by the 11,000 daily car trips on the route now.
“These workshops are an important step toward creating a long-awaited trail along the river," said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose 5th District includes the study area. "A continuous trail would connect communities, cut down on congestion and improve road safety. I encourage residents to attend to learn more and share their thoughts about possible trail routes, design and destinations.”
Each workshop will present the same information, so attendance at both is not necessary. Those unable to attend, can submit comments through an online survey available at LowerRussianRiverTrailStudy.com.
The trail study will evaluate site and road conditions, identify project opportunities and challenges, and recommend a preferred trail route. Study findings would guide any subsequent trail design, land acquisition, planning, environmental review and fundraising. Trail construction would depend on approval by the Board of Supervisors and the availability of future funding.
The trail study is primarily funded by a $620,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation. Additional funding includes $120,000 from the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District, $5,000 from the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, $5,000 from the Monte Rio Recreation & Park District, $2,500 from the Russian River Recreation & Parks District, $1,000 from The Wildlands Conservancy, $5,000 from Korbel Winery, and $10,000 from the Sonoma County Advertising Program and local park mitigation fees.
Regional Parks in recent years completed similar feasibility studies to identify preferred routes for trails linking Petaluma and Sebastopol and Santa Rosa and Sonoma. Construction has not started on either of those projects and would require funding and approval by the Board of Supervisors.
About Sonoma County Regional Parks
Sonoma County Regional Parks includes 56 parks, beaches, and trails. Regional Parks’ mission is to create healthy communities and contribute to the county’s economic vitality by acquiring, developing, managing, maintaining parks. Regional Parks preserves natural and cultural resources and offers opportunities for recreation and education that enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents and visitors.