Kayaks can be easily rented from the Jenner Inn for self-guided outings. For those interested in wildlife, this provides a vivid view of aquatic life, especially birds and the Harbor Seals at the mouth of the river. Common bird species included loons, grebe, murres, cormorants, pelicans, egrets, herons, osprey, and waterfowl. Bald Eagles occasionally perch on Penny Island when not on their usual Haystack Rock near the mouth of the river. Sea Otters and River Otters also make occasional appearances. Please note that federal law requires staying at least 50 yards from seals.
Guest can still see mail boxes in the hotel office lobby. Hotel rooms were comprised of adjacent dwellings formerly used to house mill workers. The Inn was once a popular resting spot for coastal fisherman and abalone divers returning from the rocky coves north of Jenner.
The Jenner Inn’s Creekside Songbird Garden
Behind the Jenner Inn our meadow and year-round creek have been supplemented with bird feeders, birdhouses, wildflowers and other bird friendly attractions. This is a short and easy walk of about 300 yards to the back of the property and a cascading waterfall.
Goat Rock Beach
Drive south on Highway 1 two mile to Goat Rock State Park. From the parking lot you can walk along the beach, north or south. To the north is Goat Rock Beach near the mouth of the Russian River. This beach is a hotspot for marine mammals, shorebirds, waterfowl and other freshwater birds. To the south is dog friendly Blind Beach. All Sonoma Coast beaches require attention to the ocean and the occasional treacherous “sneaker waves.” Wildlife authorities require keeping a distance greater than 50 years from the harbor seals.
Accessed from Goat Rock Road, this breathtaking trail extends all the way to Wright’s Beach, about five miles to the south. The trail passes by Shell Beach and Furlong Gulch, which can be pickup points or halfway markers. Make what you will of this mostly flat, well-marked, incredibly scenic walk along the ocean bluffs. The only significant hill to climb lies at the beginning of the trail near Goat Rock Rd. For something less vigorous start from a more southerly access point, such as Shell Beach.
Jenner is the site of many bicycling opportunities. Guests can watch a portion of the Amgen tour in the summer. Bicycling is popular along Highway 1 and Highway 116, as well as the wine country roads. The public roads are narrow and shared with motor vehicles. Vigilance, common sense and courtesy are necessary for your safety and the safety of others, whether driving a car or riding a bicycle.
Willow Creek Rd.
High recommended as an easy ride. Begins on Highway 1, just south of Jenner, at the Russian House restaurant. It offers a flat and scenic ride east along rolling hills, Willow Creek and lush riparian forest.
permits bicycles on the main paved road, but not the trails. Armstrong Woods is approximately a 15 mile bike ride from Jenner. Take Highway 116 to Guerneville, then turn left at the 1st stop light. Armstrong Woods is in approximately 2.5 miles from the light.
One of the most acclaimed bike rides in Sonoma County; a 49 mile ride with a 3920 ft. elevation gain. This ride includes passing through the charming village of Cazadero, followed by lush forest and rolling farmland. Recommended for well conditioned bikers.
The Sunset Boulders south of Goat Rock offer very scenic climbing opportunities. Although top roping these 30 ft. rocks is most common, they can be bouldered as well. Pelican Arete is a more advanced top roping site near Sunset Boudlers. Both sites can be accessed by parking on the turnouts on the first half mile of Goat Rock Rd. and hiking the trails south towards the boulders.
Sonoma and Mendocino counties are renowned for the epicurean treat of abalone. The dive requires cold water diving equipment (tanks are not allowed), a special fishing license and an experienced diver to introduce you to the opportunities and hazards. Water access and water clarity are key, but hearty divers are regularly successful in gathering the prize, which is valued at $100 per pound. An abalone may yield 1 to 2 pounds of edible meat. Above the hostess station in the restaurant is a chandelier composed of abalone shells found on the Sonoma Coast.
The unique and disparate elements found in the West Sonoma wilderness offer uniquely fertile grounds for fungi to flourish. A successful hunt can yield chanterelles, porcinis, truffles and hundreds of other varieties superior to anything commercially grown. The 6000 acre Salt Point State Park is the only public park in the region where foraging is permitted. Finding mushrooms and distinguishing the safe culinary delights from the highly toxic species necessitates an expert guide or mentor. The Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA) offers an annual three day workshop.
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