Welcome to beautiful Sonoma County, the pawfect place for long walks under the California sun! The Joe Rodota Trail offers visitors precisely that. Located in Santa Rosa, the Joe Rodota Trail is an off-road, paved trail that runs parallel to Highway 12. A quintessential rail-trail, this path runs alongside the now defunct Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway. In 1984, it was declared a Community Millennium Trail.
This extremely pawpular hiking trail is not really a hiking trail at all. It’s a mostly flat walk, which allows for wheelchair access and leisurely walks for older pups. However, the path itself is long and must be backtracked to return to your car. Because of this, many pet owners opt to only stroll through a portion of the trail, turning around about halfway through. There is also additional access to the path from a handful of public streets along the way. Another excellent option is to bring your bike and have Max run alongside – just be sure that your pooch is up to the task! This is one of the most common uses of the trail, so keep an eye out and familiarize yourself with bike signals.
Frequent explorers of the Joe Rodota Trail recommend visiting during fall and spring, as summertime can often be too hot enjoy. Early morning walks are also a great way to beat the heat! No matter the time of year, you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, local farmland, and the Laguna de Santa Rosa, which sits nearby.
Despite (or perhaps because of) its popularity, this path can sometimes have trash strewn throughout, so be sure Max doesn’t stick their snout where it doesn’t belong! Always remember to bring adequate amounts of drinking water during a walk, as the Joe Rodota Trail doesn’t have fountains. Doggy bags are a must, too!