Behind the restaurants, shops and galleries of downtown Petaluma is a walk along the Petaluma River. Paths are improving but we’ve had to have a sense of exploration to make it work.
Previously, we crossed the bridge near the Apple Box at B Street. But then we had to wander around a strip mall to get back to the river. In January, we stayed on First Street and crossed the river at the D Street drawbridge. It’s a noisy bridge, but I enjoyed the sound and the sense of an older mechanical age.
Heading east on D Street we came to the desolate-looking transit mall. At Copeland we took a right to Steamer Landing Park. A paved path left towards Hwy 101 is actually part of the Bay Ridge Trail, one of the utilitarian connections.
We only walked that a short time before going the other way to a grassy McNear Peninsula that juts into the river. The trail to the right goes to a 2-acre park and home to Friends of the Petaluma River.
Part of the area is not open, but maps of the area indicate that someday there may be more trails. Click on Map to water and walking trails for detailed maps.
A large barn is actually the Old Livery Stable and home to the River Heritage Center and various activities.
Amid the bustle of Petaluma and worn industrial past, this is a charming place to take a breath. I can remember what was, notice the recovery and relax.
We crossed D St again and went along First Street by newer condo developments. There’s river access at cross streets. Some of the condos came with sandbags. Don’t think I’d want to imagine the situation that needs those.
A stop at Aqus Club down H St and back to B St completes a 2 mile walk. It’s short, but worth the trip – or side trip – to your shopping, eating, movie adventure in downtown Petaluma.
General Directions: Park on the street south of Washington Street, find your way to 1st Street, cross D Street and go right to Steamer Landing Park.
See you on the trail!
Words by Lynn Millar, Photos by Mike Millar