Ridge Trail: Petaluma area 2020-01

A day trip to the Petaluma area, by transit, and partly bicycling and partly hiking. I took the train to Richmond, BART to the Embarcadero, the Larkspur Ferry to Larkspur (my first time on that ferry), and the SMART train to Petaluma. I rode my bike to the trailhead for Helen Putnam County Park, across a trail gap of 2 km on surface streets.

The trailhead is at the edge of a residential neighborhood in western Petaluma, just up into the hills. The Putnam segment is short, only 2 km, but it does provide nice view of the coastal hills west of Petaluma. The weather was great that day, and it was the end of winter break, so there were a lot of people out hiking. Though the trail ends at Chileno Valley Rd, I suspect the future trail will head south-southeast from the higher area, towards the next segment (or last segment, depending on direction), at Mt Burdell near Novato.

spreading oak in Helen Putnam park

I then returned to the route through eastern Petaluma, all on streets and paths, riding my bike, 9.6 km each way. Though this is a temporary route, to be replaced by one closer to the Petaluma River and along Adobe Creek, I understand, it is still a nice route. The trail follows the Petaluma River upstream, and then Lynch Creek, and then along the greenbelt at the east edge of town. Though the route is never far from suburbia, it feels more natural. I extended beyond the end to Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, where I’d not been since I was a little kid. This was General Vallejo’s working ranch home, from which he kept his army supplied.

bridge over Petaluma River

At the end of the ride, I went back to the SMART train, then GGT bus to San Francisco, then BART to Berkeley for a Cris Williamson concert at Frieght & Salvage, and then following day time at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, and a Groundhog Day at San Francisco Playhouse. A full weekend!

Circumnavigation progress: 538.3 km of 612 km (380 miles) existing, 88%.

Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allisondan/albums/72157712551997467

Category search for Bay Area Ridge Trail

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