Find people-powered play in Petaluma.
Visit Petaluma, but stretch first. From family-friendly paved paths through the wetlands to stand-up paddle boarding on the gently moving Petaluma River, Petaluma offers visitors a diverse range of recreational activities. Many road bikers find Petaluma to be a great place to start their loop. A short ride through town takes you out to a pastoral countryside, where often you’ll find you have the roads to yourself all the way to the coast. Perhaps you’d rather take to the links than the streets? Or sweating it out in the local gym, pilates studio, yoga studio, or Crossfit boxes — Petaluma has it all.
The rolling hills of Petaluma’s regional parks beckon hikers and cyclists to hit the trail. Whether you choose to take on a challenging climb to the vista point, stroll leisurely through the groves of heritage oaks or even just sit in the gazebo and take in the beauty of rural Sonoma County, you’ll leave refreshed and rejuvenated.
Float the River
Kayak, stand-up paddleboard, jet ski, and more on the Petaluma River.
Dirt or Pavement – Petaluma WON’T DISAPPOINT
The SMART Train delivers even more options for cyclists; bring your bikes on the train for scenic day trips. The SMART train and pathway system enable cyclists to make longer journeys by extending their ability to use a bicycle as a preferred mode of travel. The SMART Pathway takes trail users over the Petaluma River and under Hwy 101.
take to the hills
HIKING THE HILLSIDES OF PETALUMA
Whether your style of hiking is “let’s keep the pace up” or more like a Sunday stroll, you’ll find a trail in Petaluma that suits you perfectly.
Helen Putnam Regional Park is located within the rolling hills just southwest of Petaluma and offers 6 miles of trails, with ridge-top trails offering panoramic views of the county. Helen Putnam is a favorite of local hikers because the looped trail system makes it possible to create hikes of varying lengths and difficulty. The trails are also open to cyclists and horseback riders.
The expansive Tolay Lake Regional Park has 8.6 miles of trails, including a popular five-mile trail that ends at a vista point with views of the entire San Pablo Bay. A day-use permit is required; complete the online orientation and application to receive the free permit.
Located less than five minutes from downtown, Shollenberger Park is one of Petaluma’s natural treasures. The 165-acre wetlands park offers family-friendly 1.5 and 2-mile flat trails near a variety of habitats ranging from tidal salt marshes to freshwater marshes.
A visit to the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park will bring you back to one of the most prosperous private estates established during the Mexican period. It still houses authentic furniture and exhibits depicting early rancho life. The Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park is located on Adobe Road in Petaluma between Frates Road and Casa Grande Road (drive past the unmanned kiosk to the parking lot). The park has lovely, shaded picnic areas with views of farmland and oak-studded hills.