A top destination for locals and vacationers, the Russian River is a must-visit for anyone planning an outdoor adventure in Wine Country. This beautiful waterway boasts scenic coastline campgrounds, majestic redwoods, and river adventures. Wake up to birds chirping and the sound of the river rushing.
The famous Russian River Forestville, CA, is home to rich biodiversity, from majestic coast redwoods to oak woodlands and meadows brimming with wildflowers. It also provides vital habitat for various wildlife, from river otters and beavers to migratory birds and, of course, fish. Whether casting your line or enjoying a stroll along the banks, you can’t go wrong with a day on the river. And don’t forget to bring your camera — you never know when you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view of the river’s natural beauty. Tucked away in the forest near Korbel Champagne Cellars and Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, there’s a playground, picnic tables, barbecues for the kids, and volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. And if you get hungry, there’s even a concession stand!
Whether you’re looking to exercise or relax on the water, kayaking is one of the most popular activities for families on the Russian River. The lower Russian River has several public launching points from Cloverdale to Jenner. If you’re going kayaking alone, have a personal flotation device and wear a life vest. You also need to be aware of the wildlife in the area. The Russian River is a scenic backwater lined by lush stands of Coast Redwoods and Sonoma County’s seemingly ubiquitous vineyards. It’s a favorite Northern California vacation spot, where life moves just a bit slower, and offers a crash course in Wine Country’s allure. There are countless sandbars and beaches along the Russian River where you can camp for BBQs and picnics or hang out on a summer’s day. It’s a more friendly and tame version of the spring-break sandbar scene on Lake Havasu, but with plenty of fun to be had by all.
The river slows leisurely in the summertime, perfect for drifting downstream. You can linger on a sandbar for lunch or enjoy the scenery, perhaps startled by the sudden flap of an osprey’s wings as it feeds its young. A self-guided ten-mile Russian River kayak trip includes all equipment (except your own) and lunch. The company offers shuttle transport as well for a full-service river float. Floating from Steelhead Beach to Sunset Beach on the lower Russian River can take up to four and a half hours. Plan to arrive at the put-in by 11 a.m., especially on weekends or holidays. Floating the river is widespread and can get crowded. Those with a car can park at Johnson’s Beach or south of Wohler Bridge to avoid the long walk. It’s also possible to portage in some areas.
The Russian River is where you can sleep in the redwoods, kayak on the scenic coast, and enjoy wine country. And, while you can certainly do all of those things here, there is so much more to discover and experience.
Visiting the famous river can be a relaxing time to unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Or, it can be an active adventure you’ll remember forever.