Bike trail maps then and now for the Sonoma/Mendocino area
Do you have your bike trail maps ready?
Checking the weather report for this week, it seems that it will be perfect for a bike trip along the Sea Ranch trails, and throughout Sonoma/Mendocino counties the only challenge will be to select the perfect one for you. How does your choice compare to the routes pictured in this 1896 bicycling map of Sonoma County? Imagine how car-free the roads would have been then, given that the Ford Model T was not produced until 1908!
|Map of California Roads for Cyclers, copyrighted in 1895
Cyclers could purchase the Map of California Roads for Cyclers for $1, a value of $25 with today’s rate of inflation. The map could be found in The Cyclers’ Guide and Road Book of California Containing Map of California in relief with principal Roads, Seven Sectional Maps showing all available Roads for Cyclers from Chico to San Diego, and a Map of Golden Gate Park. These books of maps published in1896 were compiled and published by George W. Blum.
The map’s key shows abbreviations to first road conditions, and second to road grade.
- First initial- Road condition key: G (good) F (fair) P (poor) V.P. (very poor)
- Second initial-Grade of the road key: L (level) R (rolling) H (hilly) M (mountainous)
Have you biked any of these routes?
Planning for your bike trip while at Sea Ranch
When you book your stay at Abalone Bay, be sure to pack your bikes! There are many trails old and new you will want to explore and to help you enjoy your biking adventures we provide guide books as one of our amenities.
If you have no bike nor room in which to pack it, no worries! Sea Ranch Supply’s Bike Rental provides delivery and picks up directly to Abalone Bay. Their Specialized Expedition Bikes offer the ultimate in cruising comfort, with Specialized’s Ground Control geometry for an easy, upright body position, and a smooth ride thanks to the cushy suspension fork, plus a lightweight aluminum frame, 7-speed Shimano shifter, and a comfy spring-mounted seat. Each bike comes with a helmet and a cable lock. Handlebar-mounted baskets are available.
Below are links to information about bike rider organizations and trails in the Mendonoma area that you may wish to explore while visiting Sea Ranch Abalone Bay Vacation Home.
Biking Safely Amid Coronavirus Concerns
These articles offer the FAQs and pointers for bike riding during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many cities and counties have relaxed rules about staying at home, physical distancing is still important to slow the spread of COVID-19. Try to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others you pass on the road. Wear a mask while riding as much as possible.
Biking in The Sea Ranch Today
Before you start off on your bike ride, whether you are riding your personal bike or those of Sea Ranch Rentals, first check The Sea Ranch Trails Map for bike routes. Abalone Bay includes trail maps for their guests. Otherwise, you may purchase a Trail May from The Sea Ranch Association Office located at 975 Annapolis Rd, Sea Ranch, CA 95497. Their office is opened Tuesday-Saturday 8:30-5:00
Bicycling is allowed on all Sea Ranch roads and many (but not all) of the trails. Remember to remain on the marked bike trails. And don’t forget to bring along your Sea Ranch ID card or guest pass when using the private trails.
In most cases the bike trails coincide with foot trails and horse trails, however for safety reasons, bicycling is not allowed on certain trails (both east and west of Highway One). Bicycling is prohibited anywhere on the Bluff Trail (see Off-Road Trail Routes below).
West of Highway 1
It is possible to ride from one end of The Sea Ranch to the other utilizing the streets and unpaved bike links and thereby avoid Highway 1. The majority of the meadow trails west of Highway 1 are open to bicyclists, however, the following trails are closed for cycling:
- All portions of the Bluff Trail
- Bluff Access trails from paved roads
- Public Access Trails
- Hedgerow Trails
- Monarch Glen Interpretive Trail
On-Road Routes- West of Highway 1
North to South: From Leeward Road (Unit 35E), follow The Sea Ranch roads to the south end of Breaker Reach (Unit 21). At that location, follow the “bicycle link” symbol on the Trails Map to determine a route of both roads and unpaved bicycle links leading all the way to Moonraker Road (Unit 1).
South to North: From Moonraker Road (Unit 1), pick up the bicycle link near the Moonraker Recreation Center. Follow the “bicycle link” symbol on the Trails Map to determine a route of both roads and unpaved bicycle links leading all the way to Breaker Reach (Unit 21). Then follow The Sea Ranch roads to the north end.
East of Highway 1
There are a number of trails available for those interested in mountain biking. These trails include:
- Big Tree (Posts 115 to 123).
- Long Meadow
- the connector between Posts 113 and 263
- Skid Road,
- Spring Meadow
- Tank Road Trails.
All other trails are closed to bicycling, primarily for safety reasons.
Sea Ranch Bike Riding with a Dose of History
We especially recommend you explore Sea Ranch history by bike. The Sea Ranch Association marked 25 historical sites with information posts. A QR (quick read) Code app on your smartphone makes reading about Sea Ranch’s history particularly easy (download from iTunes). Simply check each post’s QR code marker for an even more detailed background on the site.
The Sea Ranch bike riding roads are uniformly smooth and wide, with well-signed connecting paths that, naturally, lets you bike for miles without leaving the serenity and safety of the Ranch. Occasionally, though, you may encounter a bit congestion such as few smiling trekkers, a family of deer grazing along the roadside, or a covey of quail scurrying across the intersection as the flock of wild turkeys call to you wishing you a grand holiday!
Sea Ranch Bike Riding Rules
Sea Ranch Bicycle Rentals do have a few caveats for bike riding in Sea Ranch:
- Riding on the ocean bluff trail or on any trail leading to the ocean bluff causes erosion. Ride only on designated trails showing a bike icon.
- Sea Ranch Rental Bicycles are not allowed on Highway One.
- Horses have the right of way. When encountering an equestrian, stop and wait for the horse to pass or for the rider to signal you through.
- If you bring a dog along, please make sure it is on a leash.
Sonoma’s Countywide Bike Plan offers three types of bikeways:
- Class I Bikeway – Provides a completely separated right-of-way for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians with cross-flow of motorized traffic minimized.
- Class II Bikeway – Provides striped lane for one-way bike travel on a street or highway.
- Class III Bikeway – Provides shared use with pedestrians or motor vehicles.
Cycling Through Sonoma County
When it comes to cycling, Sonoma County is one of the best destinations on the planet. Learn more here.
- Find details about a variety of rides by visiting the Santa Rosa Cycling Club’s website
- Get more info about bike rentals and organized tours by reading Guide to Cycling in Sonoma County and Bike Trails in Santa Rosa, and checking out various Sonoma County bike rentals and tours listings
Ten Great Rides: Sonoma Coast
This ride logged by SRCC is a very simple loop from the west county town of Occidental north to the Russian River, out to the coast, and down the coast to Bodega Bay, then back inland over a couple of quite hilly side roads. Although the total miles do not add up to a long journey, those steep hills will make this a challenging proposition. There is also the possibility of heavy traffic on the coastal highway. Most of the time, Hwy 1 is not overly busy, and local riders visit it frequently. But the beaches between Bodega Bay and the Russian River are a popular tourist destination, and things can become quite congested in summer or holiday weekends.
SRCC is a social/recreational organization comprised of road cycling enthusiasts with a broad range of abilities and interests.
Five More Great Rides
Whatever the season enjoy these rides through Sonoma County. View each of the rides’ highlights here.
Maps are found here:
- Fun County Spin
- Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley
- Sonoma West County
- Trinity Road and Spring Mountain
- Ultimate Sonoma County Ride, Advanced: Levi’s Gran Fondo
The Mendocino Coast has some great mountain biking — you just have to know where to look. Two of the most popular areas are the Jackson State Demonstration Forest and the Mendocino Woodlands State Park.
Biking Mendocino County
Get on a bike and explore Mendocino County! From beach cruising to single track mountain biking, Mendocino County has lots of great bicycling opportunities. Here are 4 uniquely Mendocino places to ride with some tips. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more bicycling resources in Mendocino County.
Other locations in California
Bike Maps from California Bicycle Coalition
Mountain Biking in Northern California