Walking in Sonoma County…mostly

walking for those with bad knees, bad habits or bad attitudes

Two Walks at Gualala Point

Meanwhile back on Hwy 1 heading to Gualala.

After lunch and lounging at Stillwater Cove, we continued north – stopped at Salt Point to check the plumbing (bathroom at coast parking lot still closed.) Access at Fisk Mill is sadly closed.

Gualala River

We sped on (except for one lane road construction on the fragile Hwy 1) past Sea Ranch to Gualala Pt Regional Park. This is the northernmost park in Sonoma County and one of our favorites. We stopped at an overlook to the river for a contemplative half hour (you know, nap) and then proceeded to the Visitor Center and trails.

Gualala Pt Regional Park meadow

One of the reasons we like this park is the access to miles of flat trails. Other reasons include a big beach, subtly colored meadows, tree coverage, healthy coffeeberry plants, birds and peace. The distant location means sharing with fewer people. As flat-walkers we can’t find our quiet nature up a mountain, but we can find it in more remote parks.

Gualala Pt Regional Park to Sea Ranch

From the Visitor Center, we stayed on the paved path and circled back on the dirt and grass trail of about a mile. We passed on a  longer coastal walk by Sea Ranch and then drove  into downtown Gualala. We make a trip here a couple of times a year and this time we were going to spend the night.

Gualala view back to Point Park

We stopped at the Surf Market first, a fun place to shop. Later, the man at the motel would describe it as “Trader Joe’s on steroids.” Our room at the Surf Motel had a view across Gualala River to the Pacific Ocean. Besides the view, the motel is pet-friendly. This was Cole’s first motel visit. He enjoyed the trail behind the motel (thank you Coastal Conservancy).

Cole on Bluff Trail in Gualala

After a good night’s sleep, we had a tremendous breakfast on the porch of the motel lobby. We then decided on another walk at Gualala Pt, but with a trek to the beach.

Gualala Pr Regional Park Beach

From the Visitor Center we kept straight on the grass path down to the beach. A short climb over the dunes led to the wide beach. The morning had been so peaceful, but by the time, we got to the beach, the wind roared. We tried being brave but the walk involved lots of hunkering down by one of the elaborate driftwood structures people build.

Beach Treasures

We left the beach and made a loop of some of the more wind-protected trails.

Gualala Pt Regional Park trail

Next, we decided to browse some of the shops back in town. Placewares is one of our favorites, both art gallery and eclectic gift shop.

Somehow, we were hungry again. I checked if Trinks (favorite café) would let us have a dog on the patio. They would! So we had another marvelous lunch, before heading home.

Our visit two years ago.

Words by Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

Random information: Cleanest bathrooms ever. Lovely campground along Gualala River under the redwoods. Trail Map.

We’ll be back. These chairs await.

Gualala at Sunset

Gualala on Dwellable

6 comments on “Two Walks at Gualala Point

  1. Lori Laube
    September 23, 2012

    Thanks, Lynn, we’ve never been to this park! It looks gorgeous and thanks also to Cole for finding a pet-friendly place to stay. Bonus!

    • badwalker
      September 23, 2012

      It’s almost to Mendocino, but we find it worth the trip.

  2. The Local Traveler
    September 24, 2012

    What a way to get some exercise! Can’t get that from a treadmill!

    • badwalker
      September 24, 2012

      Walking outside in a beautiful place and walking on a treadmill are not really the same “walking”. We have great weather. But even in Minneapolis people are undaunted by the snow and walk around the lakes.

  3. Shirley Sperling
    September 28, 2012

    I love your blog! Beautiful! I was looking for places my elderly parents could walk and stumbled upon this. Could you please tell me where those chairs are located, I would love to sit in one!

    • badwalker
      September 28, 2012

      Oh so inviting. Those two are at the Surf Motel in Gualala. Beautiful view back to Gualala Pt. In Jenner at Cafe Aquatica are two lovely chairs with a view over the Russian River. Happy viewing.

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2012 by in Coast and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Lynn Millar

I am a writer of short stories, poems, plays and two someday-they’ll-be novels.

Join my walks on Saturday mornings -October 11, 10am, Sonoma Valley Regional. Check out Groups and Other Walks page for more.

The pictures are by my husband and walking companion.

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