Craig Anderson, executive director of LandPaths, wants to add a new option for touring Sonoma County. Taking an inspiration from a long European tradition of comfortable trekking, he would like to see a system of walking (and biking) routes connecting inns and other lodging . A recent USA Today story described a trip along Oregon’s Rogue River and  hut to hut hiking is well established in the Northeast. Like the Rogue River trip, Craig’s model would be roughing it in style rather than Appalachian Trail style lean-tos. Trekkers on the kick-off trip will start hiking at Shell Beach on the Sonoma Coast on the first Friday in October and finish Sunday afternoon in Freestone. Along the way, they’ll stay in Duncan’s Mills and Occidental; visit the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center; feast on organic, gourmet delectables; and enjoy (optional) spa treatment at Osmosis in Freestone at the end of the walk.

We won’t be joining them this time, but I love the concept and hope many others do too — and are excited enough to sign up. I think anything we can do to promote walking and trails in Sonoma County will make this a better place to live.

Addendum, Oct. 6: The Press Democrat gave the successful outing some very good press (including many online photos). Congratulations to Craig and his crew!

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