On the first day of the trip, meet your trip leaders at 10 a.m. at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve located in Guerneville, CA.
Redwoods Walk 30 Minutes
Welcome to Wine Country! Begin your weekend in the Russian River Valley, a spectacular, off‐the‐ beaten‐path corner of Sonoma County. Meet your trip leaders (the folks in Backroads T‐shirts) for a stroll through groves of awe‐inspiring trees at Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. After your leaders fit your bike and give a brief talk on biking techniques and safety, savor a delicious picnic lunch and then set out on two wheels. Ride along quiet forest‐lined roads, breathe in fresh air and relish the serenity as you spin toward Arista winery. Enjoy a taste of their elegant pinot noir amid breathtaking Japanese gardens with mountain and vineyard vistas. Then continue on, perhaps stopping along the way at Twomey Cellars to sample a distinctive Napa Valley merlot and a delicate, yet charismatic, Sonoma Valley pinot noir.
Healdsburg Route: 21 Miles (900' elevation gain)
Green Valley Route: 31 Miles (2,200')
After arriving in Healdsburg, feel free to stroll around the charming town square or simply relax at the hotel. Tonight you enjoy a gourmet dinner that introduces you to another source of pride in Wine Country: locally sourced California cuisine.
This morning, head out on your bike past hillsides blanketed with vineyards, apple orchards and forests. A rolling route winds its way to the Alexander Valley, which has been compared to France’s Bordeaux region. In the past two decades, several first‐rate wineries have established themselves in the area, including Robert Young Estate, deLormier, Hawkes and Stryker Sonoma. After a tasting and picnic lunch, you can bike or shuttle back to the hotel for some spa time or venture into Healdsburg to explore its shops and galleries.
If you want more miles this afternoon, take on formidable Pine Flat Road, a training route for professional cyclists. The quiet road offers an 11‐mile climb that takes you through an Audubon Society sanctuary and crests at 3,000 feet above Alexander Valley—on a clear day you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, almost 60 miles away!
Windsor Route: 22 Miles* (800’ elevation gain)
Robert Young Route: 33 Miles* (1,500’)
Chalk Hill Loop: 45 Miles (1,900’)
Pine Flat Route: 66 Miles (5,400’)
*with shuttle Dinner this evening is at Spoonbar, where local and seasonal ingredients take center stage.
If one more bike ride sounds like a good way to cap off your Wine Country visit, why not spend your last morning spinning through Dry Creek Valley? Follow a quiet country road that winds through gently rolling hills and acres of gorgeous vineyards. In Geyserville, stop for a caffeinated pick‐me‐up and something sweet before returning to Healdsburg.
You can also opt for an unhurried morning at the hotel or grab a last‐minute gift from one of the shops in town. This afternoon we have lunch at a favorite local café before a shuttle transports you back to San Francisco.
Geyserville Route: 14 Miles (600’ elevation gain)
Dry Creek Valley Loop: 27 Miles (1,000’)
The California Wine Country Weekend trip hosted by Backroads.
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