Sonoma County teeters on the brink of the San Francisco Bay Area's urban growth, but the Sonoma coast's light population clusters in small villages and isolated developments, leaving most of the scenic shoreline wild and pastoral, much of it protected in parks, enhancing the CCT experience here.
It could easily have been much different. On the Sonoma coast occurred one of the earliest battles over the public's right to coastal access versus developers' efforts to remold the coast exclusively for private use. This fight began in the 1960s when the developers of Sea Ranch announced plans to keep the public off the northernmost ten miles of the Sonoma coast. See the feature "The Battle for the Sea Ranch Coast". While the public won that struggle, preserving the right of coastal access generally, coastal access remains a mixed bag along the Sonoma shore. About 60 percent of the Coastal Trail in Sonoma County follows trails and beaches, but that leaves 40 percent of CCT here on roads, mostly Highway 1.
Explore the Trail
Click a section to discover more detailed information on pieces of the trail that can be explored within a day. Find highlights of what each area has to offer as well as other resources.