Ashleigh Nushawg

This historic city is the heart of the area’s winemaking region. There’s bucolic running in Sonoma, including some multi-use paths, quiet & scenic roads, some wonderful parks, and even a winery with trails!

Sonoma Overlook Trail: As far as views go, the Sonoma Overlook Trail is a choice option for running in the valley. Beginning near Cemetery Park in Sonoma, this well-groomed dirt singletrack climbs through the Montini Open Space Preserve to a wide open meadow with great views of the rolling valley below. The trail is about 2.8 miles round trip, although there are multiple options to extend one’s route into the Montini Preserve or along the 1.5 mile Sonoma Bike Path. Trail MAP.

Sonoma Bike Path & Lovall Valley Road: While there are numerous rural running options around Sonoma, runners won’t want to miss the great options surrounding the center of the city. The Sonoma Bike Path, a paved 1.5 stretch, is the heart of running downtown. It starts from the Maxwell Farms Regional Park in the west, and runs east to the intersection with 4th Street E, where it becomes Lovall Valley Road. Though Lovall Valley Road opens to traffic, many runners and cyclists enjoy continuing along this scenic stretch of vineyards and stone walls. (Longer Run: One can continue on Lovall Valley Rd. and some other surrounding roads — no sidewalk or shoulder, but fairly quiet). On the return, dip south through Depot Park to Sonoma Plaza for a quick tour of a Spanish-influenced architecture of downtown. The path also connects with the Sonoma Overlook Trail and Bartholomew Park for more mileage.  Route MAP.

Sonoma Valley Regional Park: Located in Glen Ellen, just north of Sonoma, this pretty regional park covers over 200 acres, including a number of varied trails. One of the best options for running is the 1.5 mile Valley of the Moon Trail, a paved multi-use trail through wetlands, meadows, and oak forests which borders a seasonal creek. Runners can follow the trail for an out and back of about 3 miles, or loop onto one of the park’s many other dirt paths. Park/Trail MAP with distances.

Bartholomew Park & Winery: Combine a run with a wine tasting! The Bartholomew Winery has grounds with a series of trails that are great for a run. The Vineyard Walk is the most easy-going of the trails, but the 2.4 mile Bartholomew Memorial Park trail is another good option before taking a tasting break. This loop through forest and meadow affords views as far as the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day. Runners can also connect to Lovall Valley Road and the Sonoma Bike Path for more mileage. Trail MAP.

—Sierra Downey/Sonoma County Tourism

Jack London State Historic Park: Located on the former ranch of the famous California author, Jack London State Park is not only the site of London’s home and grave, but over 26 miles of trails. The favorite choice for running is a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail (known within the park as the Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail). While the trail is clear and grades are mostly gentle, there are some challenging climbs to the top of the peak. The roughly 10-mile effort is worth it for expansive views of the Sonoma valley. This  Park MAP has excellent information on the trails, with segment distances.  

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