Riding through the big trees in Sonoma County Essay

A brick ride through the cool, quiet forest at Armstrong RedwoodsState Reserve can be a treat in fall, before the season’s firstheavy rains make trails impassable. A newly opened stable here offerstrail rides and overnight pack trips year-round into the tall timbered wildlands of the state park, which is just north of Guerneville and theRussian River, about 75 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can choose an easy ride up a wide logging road through redwoodsand Douglas firs, or follow the more challenging Poole Ridge Trail,which snakes up a hillside and pops out for views of ridgelines fallingaway to the west, south, and north. The 2-hour Saturday and Sunday rides leave at 11, 1:30, and 3:30and cost $12. Groups are limited to six; to make reservations or rideother days, call (707) 887-2939. Pack trips cost $75 per day.

Shetlandpony rides around a ring cost $1. From U.S. Highway 101, exit on River Road and head west 20 milesto Guerneville.

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In town, follow signs north 2 miles to the parkentrance at the end of Armstrong Woods Road.

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