Sebastopol is blessed with a unique location that has easy access to a wide range of natural beauty:
- Laguna de Santa Rosa
- Ragle Ranch Park
- Bike Trails through the countryside
- Easy Day Trips from Sebastopol
The Laguna de Santa Rosa forms the eastern boundary of our city limits and gives us access to an astoundingly rich wetland eco-system, all within a 10 minute walk from downtown. The Laguna is a 22 mile channel that is the largest tributary of the Russian River. It drains a watershed of over 30,000 acres in the Santa Rosa plain, following a pattern of wide, shallow ponds in the winter and spring, with dry fields and a stream in the summer and fall. An important stopover on the Pacific Flyway, the Laguna hosts over 200 species of birds ranging from bald eagles and herons to lively sparrows and hummingbirds. Other wildlife include mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, mink, badgers, and river otters. Many local residents kayak in January and February when the Laguna becomes a lake. The most scenic year round view of the Laguna from town is to park beside the Youth Annex at the north end of Morris St. and walk along the Eddie Aho trail. In the summer, at the south end of the Laguna Wetland Preserve, there is often a pontoon bridge so visitors can cross over the water and enjoy hiking and birding in Meadowlark Field. The Laguna Foundation offers year round classes and hikes, volunteer opportunities, and art exhibits at the Stone Farm Environmental Center north of town.
Ragle Ranch Park sits at our western edge and provides 157 acres of wild oak savannah with a trail to Atascadero Creek. In addition to hiking, the large footprint of Ragle Ranch Park also offers equestrian riding, a leash-free dog park, a duck pond, and amenities such as a playground, picnic benches, soccer fields and volley ball and tennis courts. In mid-August, the oak-studded fields of Ragle Ranch serve as home to the Gravenstein Apple Fair, Sebastopol’s salute to its heirloom apple.
The Joe Rodota Trail provides a flat and scenic walk/ride through the 8 miles of wetland and agricultural valley between Sebastopol and the town of Santa Rosa. The trail is shared by bicyclists, horses and pedestrians and is paved and flat enough to be accessible by those with mobility challenges.
The West County Trail spans the 6 miles between Sebastopol and Forestville. Following the old route of the Petaluma railway, this bike, horse and walking trail travels through vineyards and farms with some hills and roadway paths, as well as numerous benches for resting, birding and enjoying the view.
Easy Day Trips from Sebastopol
The tall and majestic redwood forest of Armstrong Redwoods State Park is only a 20 minute drive from Sebastopol. Stroll among these ancient beings and experience your “relative youth.” Settled in canyons and mountains with beautiful ferns at their base and dappled sunshine peaking through the canopy, some of these trees date from before the arrival of Columbus. The Colonel Armstrong tree is over 1400 years old!
The Russian River offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities just 15 minutes away from Sebastopol. There are boats you can rent by the day or hour, and several swimming beaches along the river. Anglers will find quiet pools away from the crowds where they can enjoy a bit of fishing. Hikers will find several parks and beaches with riverside trails. And those who like to bike can cruise along scenic routes that follow the course of the river.
The wild and raw Sonoma Coast is only 30 minutes from Sebastopol and offers breathtaking views of the vast and dramatic Pacific Ocean. From the quaint charm of the Bodega Bay fishing town to a gorgeous drive along Highway 1, you can easily visit the 1812 Russian settlement at Fort Ross to the north or Point Reyes Peninsula to the south.