The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy announced that this year’s picks for “Trails for the Thanksgiving Holiday” and my usual commute route made no. 2.  In the list, they wrote:

On the west coast, the Joe Rodota Trail offers a special treat along Highway 12 with the Willow Bird Turkey Farm. While there, you can actually select your main course from Willow Bird Turkey Farm’s roasted, smoked, free-range and organic turkeys, as well as other options. But don’t stop your trip there—this 13-mile trail winds through Santa Rosa to Forestville, offering beautiful views of farms, vineyards and other agricultural lands. You’ll also pass through the town of Sebastopol, which boasts a number of shops and amenities, so pick up a few holiday gifts before heading back home.

I might argue that the other end of the trail — from Graton to Forestville — would be a better choice since it is rather more bucolic and Willow Wood Cafe and Market offers a great ending. That section of the West County Trail is the venue for the Thanksgiving weekend Sebastopol Walks outing, based on the book of the same name by my friend Richard Nichols, former CoastWalk executive director, and sponsored by the Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce. He has led various walks around the town throughout 2008. This one should be enjoyable:

Sebastopol Walks From Forestville back home, November 29th
The public is invited to join the eleventh in a series of walks in and about Sebastopol. Come and discover an area around Sebastopol that you may not know, get some exercise, work off Thanksgiving dinner, and leave your car behind.
Meet at the town plaza at 10:55 a.m. and we will hop on the 11:10 bus to Forestville. The fare is $.60 for seniors, $1.25 regular. The bus stop is on Laguna Parkway at McKinley. We’ll walk 7.5 flat, easy miles back to Sebastopol on the West County Trail and a quiet rural road. We can stop in Graton for coffee and a snack. The area has a mix of scenic vistas, vineyards, apple orchards, wetlands and rural homes. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and bring water, sunscreen and lunch or a snack. Expect to be back to Sebastopol by 4 p.m. Rain cancels.
The walks are based on the book “Sebastopol Walks”, and can be purchased on the walk, at City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce for $3.00.
info: 823-4071 Richard

Another event on the Joe Rodota Trail this weekend will be the Save a Turkey Trot 5K run, sponsored by OrganicAthelete. According the the event page,

Every Thanksgiving across the United States, the local Turkey Trot race is an annual running tradition. Like these venerable races, we want to get people out and exercising and giving thanks for life. Giving thanks for life, we believe, is also having compassion for all living beings. So we say, “Save a Turkey!” Get out and run and walk with us this Thanksgiving Day as we spread the message of hope and compassion.

So many opportunities to enjoy the no. 2 Thanksgiving trail!