Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Best Trail in Santa Rosa

The best trail in Santa Rosa starts at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. Luther Burbank was Santa Rosa's most famous resident, a horticuluralist-botanist-inventor who developed the delicious plumcot, the juicy Freestone peach, the iconic Shasta daisy, and the ubiquitous Burbank Russet potato.  He led an enviable existence.  As his pal Paramahansa Yogananda wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi, "His little home amid the roses was austerely simple; he knew the worthlessness of luxury, the joy of few possessions."  

From the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, take Sonoma Avenue all the way to Farmers Lane.  Go left on Farmers Lane and continue until you reach Highway 12.  Take a right on Hwy 12 and look for the turnout just past the speed sign.  There's a little trail that begins right here. 

 The trail runs alongside Santa Rosa Creek, where you may spot some wildlife if you're paying attention.  On my last ride, I saw this Snowy Egret dipping his toes in the water.

 Taking his cue, I shot the obligatory bike portrait.

The Santa Rosa Creek trail is a simple pleasure.  It's right next to a busy thoroughfare, but it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere.  It's a great place for riders of all abilities to enjoy some singletrack without dedicating a few hours to getting there, but it can also be the starting point for a big ride in Annadel, a burly climb up to Sugarloaf, or a nice road ride out to Sonoma. 

UPDATE 12/7: Heavy rainfall over the past two weeks has destroyed large parts of the trail, and the sudden rise in the creek has washed ashore fallen trees and other stormy artifacts.  Please wait until things have dried out a bit before exploring down there.  


  1. Replies
    1. A plumcot is a 50/50 plum/apricot hybrid developed by Burbank, whereas a pluot is a mostly-plum hybrid (generally 75/25).


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