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Russian River

Wine Country/Santa Rosa, CA
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Russian River, Wine Country/Santa Rosa California

Description

On weekends and in summer, the Russian River is a lively, happy place to hang out! Kids frolic in the water or skim rocks on its surface. Dogs play fetch. People drift by on tubes with coolers floating behind them. You can rent a canoe at Burke's Canoe Trips and row serenely down the river for hours. They will pick you up at the end- they do the work, you have the fun! All along the river, there are little rocky beaches where you can stop and lay in the sun. The redwoods that tower above you will fill you with awe and the sunny vineyard-covered hills make a nice contrast. See directions below for places to launch.
Dogs are allowed on leash at Steelhead Beach, Mom's Beach, and Sunset Beach launch areas and they like to splash in the water.
Unfortunately, the high level of bacteria in the water of Russian River can give you Swimmer's Itch- not a pleasant experience.
If you're hungry, head west along River Rd to downtown Guerneville, a cute town that you can walk around, where there are many restaurants.
While you're in Guerneville, drive just one minute down to Johnson's Beach which is situated below the historic Guerneville Bridge. Or just three minutes to Armstrong Woods, an amazing redwood forest with easy trails for kids and nice plaques explaining how redwoods grow. For some kiddie fun in the summertime, check out historical Pee Wee's Minigolf, which is in a pretty location and has some unusual holes- it's a lot of fun!

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Photo Gallery

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Private Beach at Summerhome Park on the Russian River.
Private Beach at Summerhome Park on the Russian River.
Residents of Russian River communities put up bridges in the summer.
Residents of Russian River communities put up bridges in the summer.
Gorgeous foliage at the Russian River.
Gorgeous foliage at the Russian River.
View over the Russian River, with champagne vineyards and redwood forests in the background.
View over the Russian River, with champagne vineyards and redwood forests in the background.
Sunny September day in Russian River.
Sunny September day in Russian River.
Groups of happy paddlers row down the river on weekends.
Groups of happy paddlers row down the river on weekends.
Residents leave their gear at the river, awaiting another day of fun...
Residents leave their gear at the river, awaiting another day of fun...
Peaceful morning at Russian River.
Peaceful morning at Russian River.
Canoeing down the river.
Canoeing down the river.

Directions

From Highway 101, exit at River Road, which is just north of Santa Rosa. Head west for about 8 minutes and you will see Burke's Canoes on your right, opposite Mirabel Road. You can bring your own kayak or tube and launch it at SteelHead State Beach Area located at 9000 River Road (see red tag on map) and then have a friend pick you up downstream at Johnson's Beach. Parking at Steelhead Beach is $5 and the area is pretty much only good for launching- the picnic areas aren't nice. If you walk in, you won't have to pay parking. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboats at Johnson's Beach but you can only row upstream from there because they have the river blocked off.
Other river entry points are:
Mom's Beach at 10584 River Drive. Cost is $5.
Sunset beach at 11057 Sunset Drive. Cost is $5. Lovely area.

This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


bbbbb
11/06/2012 14:07
this place listed above is a privet corpration unless you got permisson from this corpration this is ileagle will be fined

LC
07/21/2010 13:21
I love the green in this wonderful ;)

kimie
02/10/2010 14:53
I might have to find a summer house on the river of my own!

Revell
01/29/2010 14:13
Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful.....

Katharine
10/06/2009 14:17
Way to go LotsaFun! Great story!

EC
09/09/2009 08:56
We're enjoying it up in the redwoods. its harvest, always a great time to be here on the russian river. going to taste some great wines tonight.

Last Updated Tue, 31 May 2011 01:48:18 GMT