Biking in Dry Creek Valley along vineyards in Napa.

Biking through Dry Creek Valley in Napa. Photo © Adam Sharron, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike.

From bicycle tours through vineyards in the valley floors to the rugged mountaintops that reward your inner outdoorsman, opportunities for outdoor recreation abound in Napa and Sonoma.

Hiking

  • Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve: (Guerneville) The 800-acre forested reserve offers some of the most diverse hiking in the area. Take a stroll through the cool, damp redwoods on the Pioneer Trail, or continue on to the 5,700-acre wilderness of Austin Creek State Recreation Area.

Beaches and Boating

  • Memorial Beach: (Healdsburg) The roped-off area is the best place to swim in the Russian River.
  • Johnson’s Beach: (Guerneville) The best place for a summer beach party on the Russian River.
  • Sunset Beach: (Rio Nido) The Russian River’s family-friendly beach.
  • Burkes Canoe Trips: (Forestville) Rent an aluminum canoe and paddle up- or downstream through forests and vineyards.
  • River’s Edge Kayak & Canoe Trips: (Healdsburg) Offers canoe and kayak rentals at Memorial Beach and organizes trips from the Alexander Valley.
  • Lake Sonoma: Located at the top of Dry Creek Valley, with swimming beaches and powerboat rentals.

Biking

  • Dry Creek Valley: Compact, easy to navigate, and full of wineries (though it gets hot in the summer); rent bikes in nearby Healdsburg.
  • Carneros: Just as flat, but a little cooler and with longer distances between wineries; rent bikes in Sonoma.
  • Annadel State Park: The many trails include the fast downhill single-track Lawndale Trail and the rocky, technical Orchard Trail.
  • Skyline Wilderness Park: Host to several mountain-biking world cup competitions; much of the competition loop can still be ridden today.

Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Napa & Sonoma.