The Bay Area Ridge Trail at Petaluma travels through classic and contemporary neighborhoods, the city’s historic downtown and riverside parks. It also climbs to views of the city at Helen Putnam Regional Park.
We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
We drive past the city of Petaluma most weeks on Highway 101 on the way to visit our granddaughter. To us, the city’s Ring Trail was one of those less-inspiring trails on our Ridge Trail bucket list. Still, we dropped by one late afternoon in January on the way home from babysitting to check it off the list. Not every route can be a winner, right?
The six-mile Ring Trail winds past more than 100 years for suburban housing stock, from the Victorian homes of the “A” Street District to roomy 21st century tract homes at the outskirts of town. The route took us past restaurants, pubs and all manner of local businesses in a classic downtown, as well as stretches of the Petaluma River and Lynch Creek. We finished the hike at twilight after a walk past Petaluma Municipal Airport on the northwest side of the city.
This hike is not a classic Ridge Trail experience. No sweeping vistas. No steep grades. And no miles of solitude. Still, the hike was a worthwhile city walk. And it paired nicely with the panoramic views of the city we enjoyed two months later on the short but lovely trail segment at Helen Putnam Regional Park. The suburban oasis at the southwest edge of town is a gem.
The hike reminded us, once again, that you can’t judge a community by what you see from the freeway.
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 281 out of 400 miles69.4%