Creeks are all over the Santa Rosa plain and many are part of a flood control plan. This means there are often trails along them. Some are boldly announced as the large fish statue does for the trail starting at Santa Rosa Avenue. And some are quietly waiting by a bridge railing.
We used to live in Montgomery Village. When a housing development opened near us, it also provided new access to Santa Rosa and Brush Creeks. At Yulupa Circle is a bridge over Santa Rosa Creek where we often looked into the water. Nearby is a paved trail that continues 1.25 miles to Montecito Rd.
Sunday, we studied again a plaque set in stone commemorating the baptism of an ‘Indian maid’ in 1829 for whom Santa Rosa is named.
Mike climbed down to take some pictures of the flat rocks where Brush Creek enters Santa Rosa Creek. This makes a rip roaring show in winter and spring with the water cascading over rocks. Today, the show was Mike slipping on a rock.
Dramatic pause…don’t ask.
Later we continued our walk. Besides looking at dramatic rocks, we liked coming here to see the progress of the restoration on the creek. It started off barren. Now willows and alders shade the creek, protecting wildlife. We hope there is some. Sunday, we noticed only birds who flitted from tree to tree.
In a short distance is a bridge and views up creek and down. On the other side of the creek is another housing development and more dirt trails along Santa Rosa Creek.
We stayed with Brush Creek, going under Hwy 12. This provides an access point for bicyclists to the trail. North from Hwy 12, there is also a gravel trail that starts on the other side of the creek. The creek runs between Mission Blvd. and Brush Creek Rd.
Along the trail are Coast Live Oaks, Big Leaf Maples, Madrones, Buckeyes and eucalyptus trees. On warm days, the shade they provide is cherished. The path runs behind backyards, where there are more exotic trees and bushes helping with shade or a blackberry crop. Or wine grapes.
There are a couple of neighborhood access points (off of Jennifer) to the trail. And at Sherbrook Dr. there’s a third entry, where a bridge crosses the creek and connects to Mission Blvd, just south of Yukon. There are plenty of bags here for your dog’s stuff.
This is also an area where the oleander seems to have crossed from the backyards to the creek side of the path. We enjoyed the lush environment and this long stretch of flat walk. I just wish there was less traffic noise from Mission and that when arriving at the cross-traffic at Montecito I didn’t feel so overwhelmed.
Like many trails along a creek this is a good neighborhood walk. To find more, look for a bridge railing or watch for signs indicating a trail.
The County has plans to restore Colgan Creek in Southwest Santa Rosa and trail improvement goes along with that. There’s a green County sign on Stony Pt. indicating the Colgan Creek Trail.
Take a creek walk. They’re so flat!
See you on the trail!
Photos by Mike Millar
Wheelchair: This should be easy.
Dogs: On a leash, please. Remember that plastic bag.
Food and coffee: Well, you’re not in the middle of nowhere. Mission Blvd., Hwy 12 are right there. Yulupa and Montgomery Village are minutes away.
2013-14 Update: Another section from Brush Creek to Mission Blvd opened.