Santa Rosa's Favorite Paved Bikeways
Two of the most popular paved bike ways west of Highway 101 provide scenic and exercise value for those biking, jogging or walking. Both are single lane black tar paved and smooth enough to roller blade on.
The first, the Joe Rodota trail, parallels along Hwy 12 that ends in Sebastopol, about 5-6 miles west of Santa Rosa. It is flat and crosses the flat grass lands that exist between the two cities. While it does parallel the two lane Hwy. 12, the bike way is actually a good 10-20 yards away from it, so one is never dealing with traffic, noise or exhaust. It makes for a great run or bike ride and many use it on weekends.
The newer and much more scenic bike way is identical but it meanders along the banks of the Santa Rosa Creek, from downtown (on the east side of 101) westward for five miles ending out in the country at Willowside Road (from this point, hang a U turn and return). The bike way basically travels behind mostly residential backyards that one does not see due to fences. The common animals found along this wide creek are hawks, turtles, egrets, jack rabbits and ducks. From Fulton Road to Willowside, the paved way is on the right side of the creek, while a non-paved path is on the left. Most of the animals found find their home in the non-residential portion that begins at Fulton Road. From Fulton to Willowside, the trip is two miles and one will cross lesser creeks via bridges. You will pass vineyards and horse training.
Many locals know about this great bike way, but because it has no real official name and many access points, a local generally must show you, otherwise, you will drive right by them as they are not marked. The map shows (in red) the general location of the two bike way routes.