Too Muddy to Hike? Check Out These Paved Local Trails

The rain can cause some of Sonoma County’s regional trails to get a bit muddy. But this doesn’t prevent you from getting outdoors. Use it as an excuse to explore a Sonoma County park with a paved trail. Winter is a great time to explore these hidden gems. Please note: In stormy weather, be mindful of fallen or damaged trees, partially flooded areas and other storm-related hazards. Up-to-date information about current park conditions can be found at

Sonoma Valley Regional Park, Glen Ellen

The park’s main path, the Valley of the Moon trail, is paved and ADA accessible. The 1.2-mile trail stretches through the center of the park from Highway 12 to Arnold Drive. There are a handful of picnic tables and conveniently placed benches along the way in case you want to linger. 

In the spring, Sonoma Valley Regional Park explodes with lupine, poppies and other colorful wildflowers. The park is open daily, 8 a.m. to sunset. Dogs are allowed on leash (the Elizabeth Perrone Dog Park is temporarily closed). Parking is $7; free for Sonoma County Regional Parks members.

3630 Highway 12, Glen Ellen, 707-539-8092 

Cloverdale River Park, Cloverdale

Cloverdale River Park (Photo Courtesy of Cloverdale River Park)

Cloverdale River Park boasts a paved one-mile trail that runs along the banks of the Russian River. The multi-use trail is open to walkers, cyclists and equestrians. It begins at the McCray Road parking area and runs about a mile before connecting to a city trail at First Street.

The park is open daily, 7 a.m. to sunset. Dogs are allowed on leash. Parking is $7; free for Sonoma County Regional Parks members.

31820 McCray Road, Cloverdale, 707-433-1625 

Spring Lake Regional Park, Santa Rosa

Spring Lake Regional Park (Photo Courtesy of Spring Lake Regional Park)

The paved Spring Lake Loop offers an easy, but scenic trip around the lake. The popular 2.3-mile loop is wide and ADA accessible.

Spring Lake Regional Park is open 7 a.m. to sunset daily. There are a few restrooms located along the Spring Lake Loop. Dogs on leash are welcome. Parking is $7; free for Sonoma County Regional Parks members. 

North Entrance: 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa; South Entrance: 5585 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-539-8092

Helen Putnam Regional Park, Petaluma

Helen Putnam Regional Park

Stretching a bit more than a mile, the Ridge Trail is your paved go-to, but the looped trail system at this park makes it easy to extend your hikes on those days when you’re in the mood for a longer trek and the dirt trails aren’t as wet as you expected. The park’s six miles of trails are also open to cyclists and horseback riders. Dogs on leash are welcome.

Helen Putnam Regional Park is open daily, 7 a.m. to sunset. Parking is $7; free for Sonoma County Regional Parks members. The Windsor Drive parking lot is temporarily closed; the Chileno Valley parking area is open.

411 Chileno Valley Road, Petaluma, 707-875-3540

Colgan Creek Trail, Santa Rosa

Colgan Creek Trail in Santa Rosa

Stretch your legs streamside on this 1.2-mile paved trail that runs along the creek between Bellevue Avenue and Todd Road. Short and sweet, this trail gets extra points for its views of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. The trail is open sunrise to sunset. Parking is free. Leashed dogs are welcome.

3600 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa, 707-433-1625

Temporarily Closed – Gualala Regional Park, Gualala

Gualala Regional Park in Gualala

From the parking area, it’s less than a mile stroll to the beach along a paved, ADA-accessible trail that provides stunning views of the town of Gualala. The park is open 8 a.m. to sunset daily (6 a.m. to sunset during the summer). Dogs are allowed on leash. Bathrooms are available near the parking lot and close to the beach access. Parking is $7; free for Sonoma County Regional Parks members.

42401 Coast Highway 1, Gualala, 707-785-2377

Written by Dana Rebmann

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