The coastal area of Sonoma County is about 25 miles west of some of Sonoma’s main centers, and 20 miles north of San Francisco. There are some spectacular areas for running on the Sonoma County Coast.
Doran Regional Park: The best beach running in Sonoma County is at Doran Regional Park in Bodega Bay, a perfectly runnable hard-packed coastline that stretches for miles. There are actually two beaches to choose from in the park: Salmon Creek, which spans 2.4 miles from Salmon Creek village to Mussel Point, and 2.3-mile Doran Beach from North Jetty to Pinnacle Rock. Salmon Creek Route MAP. Doran Beach Route MAP.
Salt Point State Park: Run atop the cliffs of Salt Point State Park on these scenic grass and gravel paths, which add up to over 20 miles. The signature trail is the namesake Salt Point Trail, along the seaside. From its start near Miller Creek to the south end near Gerstle Cove, this ~3 mile out and back can also be looped with nearby trails. Route MAP. Park Information.
Sea Ranch/Gualala Bluff Trail: Sea Ranch is a planned oceanside community in Sonoma County. The area spans for 10 miles and offers spectacular views from rocky cliffs, access to secluded beaches, and great sunsets. Although it is a privately owned community, one can get to the trails via six well-marked access/parking areas. The best spot for running is the 3-mile Bluff Trail, which begins at Walk-On Beach and provides great views of the ocean and crashing waves as it winds its way to Gualala Point. Footing is easy and the trail is flat. Additional running opportunities in this area include the beach (via one of the access trails), and 2.9 miles of trails in Gualala Point Regional Park. For a super long run, we’ve mapped a 21-mile out and back trail route tested by one of our friends at Great Runs. North Coast Access Trails MAP. 21 Mile Route MAP.
Sonoma Coast State Park: At this state park in Jenner, runners will find winding paths over scenic bluffs and flat, hard-packed stretches of sand, including the lovely Wright Beach. The beach itself is only about 1.3 miles out and back, but it connects in the north to the Kortum Trail, which continues over the park’s bluffs. Wright Beacb Route MAP.