136) perches on a high bluff. Lodging varies from luxury hotels, resorts, and bed and breakfast inns, to vacation rentals, rustic cabins, and campgrounds. By 1531, Spain claimed most of the Americas including California. This wraps up our east-to-west guide to the Russian River Resort area, but you can easily develop your own plan for exploring this lovely waterway and its resort towns. Russian River Map. With nearly 100 restaurants in the area, dining in Healdsburg literally offers something for just about anyone. Once it had flowed through the Plant, the water was passed into the headwaters of the Russian River, creating a year-round flow (which made the farmers downriver very happy). There are folks who claim that they remember the days when the river was crowded with steelhead and salmon. There was uneasy coexistence for decades, long enough for the Russians to establish an agricultural post in 1812 at coastal Fort Ross, on the edge of a paradise rich for growing crops. No matter what the season, the Russian River area offers an almost endless supply of things to do and see. The town was largely abandoned during the Great Depression and stayed that way until the early 1970's, when city folks became interested in visiting this area again. The town hosts more than 30 free annual events, including summer movie nights, concerts, and a seasonal farmers market. Explore the cobblestoned town plaza and stroll along Main Street, lined with shops, galleries, restaurants, and tasting rooms.Â. Special: Town Map, Lodging Map. During the early Middle Ages, several tribes, such as certain groups of the Slavic, Bulgar, and Khazar peoples, settled along the upper, middle, and southern courses of the Volga River Basin. In 1221, Russians founded the city of Nizhny Novgorod on the Volga River while land south of the city, in the Golden Horde of Volga, was under the control of the Tatar Khanates. Happily, after much adversity and impressive legal maneuvering, the Pomo still inhabit this area and have established some reservation land. There are also several local motels and vacation rentals scattered throughout the area, and two local campgrounds. visit: 14070 Mill Street 522), founded in 1908 by the Eagle Lodge of San Francisco. You can stand inside a lightning struck tree and count the rings of a fallen log. Still, in 1741, the Spanish had not settled up the California coast when the Russians established fur trading settlements in Alaska. The party continued until the Great Depression; the last train left Monte Rio in 1935. The entire valley, all the way down to the river banks, was likely covered with a dark and dense forest of ancient redwoods. In 1907, as part of the sales agreement between Montgomery and buyers Samuel Break and Rufus Chapman, the redwood forest of Cazadero was supposed to be logged to the tune of 7.5 million board feet. By the late 19th century, European farmers were already starting to fill in the wetlands surrounding the river for agriculture. It's also a lucky break for us, because eventually those gorgeous redwoods attracted a new breed of tourists who can visit and be sustained by the majesty of these giant trees. Russian River Getaways Heading back into Guerneville, turn right on Highway 116 and drive through town to continue your journey toward the coast. Each spring the ocean waves and the river's flow deposit a large sand spit, creating the Russian River Estuary, home to Pacific harbor seals, brown pelicans, ospreys, great blue herons, and much more. 707-869-4560 (no text), EXPERIENCE River, Redwoods, Wine and Coast. Just outside of town, the River Rock Casino offers a great view from its patio, about 1,300 slot machines, 20 gaming tables, and a penny slot lounge. It also offers two former quarry mining pits that are now beautiful fishing and kayaking lakes (no swimming allowed), a 15-acre grove of redwoods with a half-mile trail through the trees, and a large picnic area with a volleyball court. Our first stop along Eastside Road is the 300-acre Riverfront Regional Park, which stretches a mile along the river. Follow the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail to see 12 pieces of public art selected in an annual juried selection; the display changes each year. Or, as you leave Healdsburg drive southeast on Healdsburg Avenue (Old Redwood Highway), then right onto Eastside Road, which skims along beside the river. Here are Sonoma County Regional Parks' do's and don'ts for a successful float trip, including our only recommended route: Steelhead Beach to Sunset Beach in Forestville. In the late 19th century, San Francisco's booming growth demanded a boom of lumber. Tucked into a particularly wide bend where the waterway makes a large "U" turn, you'll find the Northwood Golf Club, built in 1928 by famed golf architect Alister MacKenzie and ranked by Golf Magazine as the No. This development was encouraged by the completion of the "broad rail" line in 1909 that brought crowds of tourists from the Bay Area on a daily basis, and Monte Rio, the "Vacation Wonderland," was born. 862), in the beautiful Alexander Valley. If you follow the Geyserville Sculpture Trail hosted by the Geyserville Community Foundation,  you'll discover more than 25 pieces of public art, including "Victory," a 25-foot-tall sculpture of a galloping horse. Russian River Brewing Co. will sell online to California residents a limited number of mixed cases, including four bottles of the triple India pale ale, in late January. In response, by 1876, the North Pacific Coast Railroad had built a line that traveled through Marin and Sonoma Counties, stopping in Fairfax, Point Reyes Station, Tomales, Freestone, Occidental, and finally to the abundant forests of the Russian River Station. In 1860, R. B. Lunsford dropped anchor on the banks of the Russian River on what was known as Big Bottom. Along with other attractions, sternwheelers and small ferries with names like the Quickstep and the River Queen took passengers between the towns along this stretch of the Russian River. The river flows 12 miles from Upper Russian Lake, through Lower Russian Lake, and empties into the upper … Legal. By 1776, Spain had built missions and presidios (military posts) up the coast from San Diego to San Francisco. and A. Duncan, who, by 1877, set up a sawmill to supply the growing city of San Francisco with lumber. Within walking distance of the downtown restaurants and shops,Â. The beaches are also accessible by boat; canoeists and kayakers can frequently be seen picnicking in privacy on a beach along the River. blank spaces indicate as place above (") The Dnieper / (də) ˈniːpər / or Dnipro (other names) is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. Or, head left at the junction of Highway 116 with Highway 1, and enjoy the easily assessable sandy beach, picnic area and ruggedly scenic shoreline at Goat Rock State Beach. © 2020 Russian River Getaways All rights reserved. Experts believe the Pomo settled in Sonoma County, particularly along the Russian River (which they called Shabaikai meaning "long snake") as early as 5000BCE. The historic town began to be restored. It's good place to watch for migrating whales, and to observe (from at least 50 yards away) the seal colony that makes its home in the area each summer. The river flow dried up in the summer; the fish survived in deep pools until the next rains. 8,695), which was recently named one of "America's Coolest Small Towns." Sunsets, seals, sand dunes, cliffs, flowers, wildlife. The Russian River is a definite presence in Guerneville, which hugs its banks. County Map. The Russian River has long been viewed as a navigable river thanks to the 19th century loggers floating trees downriver to the mills and the early 20th century tourist boom in river travel. Jack London, among others, thought the name meant "valley of the moon" after the Pomo legend that when the moon rises farthest to the north, it will show its face seven times between the seven peaks of the Sonoma Mountains. mail: P.O. Visit the Healdsburg Museum to see these beautiful baskets for yourself. Alas, our recent trip over the New Year confirmed my worst fears. With an annual average discharge of approximately 1,600,000 acre feet (2.0 km ), it is the second-largest river (after the Sacramento River) flowing through the nine-county Greater San Francisco Bay Area, with a mainstem 110 mi (180 km) long. At that time, visitors could take in a hollow tree stump in which twenty horses could stand and watch felled trees floating in great numbers down the Russian River from Guerneville to the new mills downstream at Monte Rio, Duncans Mills and Cazadero. These stores have you covered. The Russian River Valley AVA sets a standard for world-class Pinot Noir. This tiny community includes the English Tudor-style, , built in the 1920s; the family-friendly. In 1848, the Russian River Valley became part of the United States of America along with the rest of the State of California. This "navigable river" status is good for visitors today because it means that most of the beaches are public. Mexico's General Vallejo also built a mission and fort at Sonoma (now the town of Sonoma) and a home in Petaluma, however there was no formal conflict with the Russian Fort Ross settlement. First inhabited by the Kashaya Indian people, the river was named after Ivan Aleksandrovich Kuskow of the Russian-American Company, who explored the river in the early 19th century establishing the Fort Ross colony just northwest of the mouth of the river. Much of the lumber went to build gold-rich San Francisco and other Bay Area cities, but fortunately, some enlightened folks saw the need to preserve some of the Russian River Valley's arboreal heritage. Real history buffs may enjoy this more detailed history of the Pomo. Downtown Cloverdale, Cloverdale, CA 95425, Downtown Geyserville, Geyserville, CA 95441, 13839 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, CA 95448, 14540 Canyon Two Road, Rio Nido, CA 95471, 17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA 95446, Highway 1 and Goat Rock Road, Jenner, CA 95450, For more than 130 years, travelers have come to the Russian River area in Sonoma County to swim, paddle, hike, wine, dine, or simply relax and enjoy all the delights of this lovely waterway.Â,  hosted by the Geyserville Community Foundation,  you'll discover more than 25 pieces of public art, including "Victory," a 25-foot-tall sculpture of a galloping horse. Dining options in Guerneville include food stands, hip cafes, and trendy restaurants; lodging can vary from cozy cabins to rustic resorts, campgrounds, vacation rentals, and more. Help. You really just need a flotation device (usually a $20 inner tube) and make the trip during the summer and fall months. However, the biggest change came in 1908 when the water from the Eel River was diverted to the new Potter Valley Hydroelectric Plant, supplying electricity to much of Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake and Napa Counties.  (see photo) provides the main river access for splashing, swimming, and paddling in the water; canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, umbrellas, beach chairs and more are available for rent. There are a bunch of small beaches where you can start and end your trip, and if you do a quick 5 minute search online you’ll find some popular routes. As a potential side trip, consider exploring the 10-mile stretch of scenic two-lane roadway known as the Bohemian Highway, which heads south from Monte Rio to the small towns of Occidental and Freestone. There are a variety of restaurants around Monte Rio, and lodging ranges from quaint cottages to luxury bed and breakfast inns and historic small hotels. This laid-back community stretches along both sides of the river, and includes a wonderful sandy beach, a historic bridge connecting the two sides of town, two hotels built in 1906, and a mural-decorated World War Ii-surplus Quonset hut that serves as the local movie theater. Visitors today can visit the vintage buildings of the original town, housing new and fun shops, as well as the intact North Pacific Coast Railroad depot with several original railroad cars. Or, explore the best river beaches and fishing spots. Around a bend, a tight little valley is home to Rio Nido (pop. When you've finished exploring Forestville, drive back up Mirabel Road and continue left on River Road. The Russian River looks perfect on a map - one hour away, a beautiful river valley filled with Redwoods. Goat Rock is part of the Sonoma Coast State Park, a series of beaches stretching along 17 miles of the Sonoma coast. Ever since, the State has undertaken a variety of projects aimed at controlling the flooding which have been largely successful. Otherwise, they lived off the bounty of the land, ocean and river, including fish and shellfish, and acorns from the native Black Oak. Montgomery viewed his new acquisition as a great investment opportunity and proceeded to subdivide and sell the parcels, while developing a resort town for the Bay Area's adventurous sportsmen and tourists. During the winter months the Russian River is fed by storm runoff and can be as high as 10,000 CFS by mid January. Floating down the Russian River is one of Sonoma County's most popular summer activities - for both visitors and locals. The Russians abandoned Fort Ross in 1839-40 and sold the land to John Sutter just in time for the Gold Rush. 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