The weather is warming up so it’s time to hit the water; it’s a great way to beat the heat while enjoying the natural beauty of the region. There are a host of great locations throughout Wine Country to kayak, canoe, and even paddleboard. The most popular nearby locations for getting on the water are Lake Sonoma and Spring Lake and, of course, the Russian River. For those wanting to explore the coast, Bodega Bay is the place to be. Tomales Bay, in neighboring Marin County, also draws kayakers from across the nation.
To get out on the water, you will need equipment, which is not a difficult problem to overcome. There are a number of rental options to get you on the water in no time. Kayak, paddleboard, and pedal boat rentals are available for $12/hour at Spring Lake through Labor Day. Paddleboards rentals and guided paddleboard tours are available at Riverfront Regional Park in the summer by appointment. For more information, visit russianriverpaddleboards.com. There are also a number of private kayak rental locations throughout the region.
Paddling the Russian River
The Russian River runs through Sonoma County from Cloverdale in the north to Jenner in the west and has seven Regional Parks located along the shore which provide launch points for kayaks, paddleboards and canoes. Paddling season is typically May through September. As you cover more area when paddling a river, it is great for nature watching allowing people to experience such animals as ospreys, bald eagles, kingfishers, great blue herons, turtles, otters, and other birds and wildlife you may not notice on land. Below are some travel times by kayak, courtesy of Sonoma County Regional Parks.
Travel Times by Kayak
Del Rio Woods to Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach – 1.5 to 2 hours
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach to Forestville River Access – 4 to 6 hours
Steelhead Beach to Sunset Beach – 2 hours
Steelhead Beach to Guerneville River Park – 4 to 5 hours
Guerneville River Park to Monte Rio – 1.5 hours
Monte Rio to the Highway 1 bridge in Jenner – 3-4 hours
Note: If traveling by canoe, add 1 to 2 hours to the kayak times.
Want to explore more? Here is a quick list of paddling destinations throughout the region, courtesy of Sonoma County Regional Parks:
Riverfront Regional Park – Windsor
Steelhead Beach – Forestville
Sunset Beach – Forestville
Doran Regional Park – Bodega Bay
Spring Lake Regional Park – Santa Rosa
Cloverdale River Park – Cloverdale
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach – Healdsburg
Del Rio Woods – Healdsburg
Westside Regional Park – Bodega Bay
Looking for more adventure? Here is a great link showcasing numerous additional kayaking and canoeing locations throughout Sonoma County.
So grab that gear and hit the water for a memorable and relaxing adventure the whole family will enjoy.
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