Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading
Hello all! I have an interesting relationship with the NWP. I grew up in Ferndale and could hear the train make its way through Fernbridge. I moved to Penngrove as an adult and used to hike along the track into Rohnert Park. I then moved to railroad square in Santa Rosa, again next to the tracks. For a birthday I had a group of 14 people hike from Railroad Square to Penngrove along the tracks. My obsession grew from there. A buddy and I have now hiked along the tracks in sections between Cloverdale and Larkspur and out to Schellville. Our next trip is from Cloverdale to Hopland. Any idea how many of the five tunnels are open in that stretch? Anyone know how many of the other tunnels are still open, or have good maps of the tracks north of Cloverdale? Thanks for this great forum!
I too had a passion for walking NWP tracks. I do not have maps. I do have mile markers than identify most tunnels. Unfortuneately, they are in kilometers. I wish I could get a decent mile marker that included all towns and tunnels. They do not covert over well to miles. I also have many photos of tunnels and the tracks from Willits north but they date back to around 1995. I tried to drive into Island Mountain back then and it was closed off. I tried walking in from Alderpoint. I got real close but I had to turn around due to darkness. I saw alot of abandoned maintenance equipment along the way. I will be converting these to digital when I return from Afghanistan. A tip I can give you, most of the tunnels have runoff water running through them. Also, do not go by yourself. If you trip and break your ankle, you will be lucky if someone finds you. In addition, Most tracks north of Willits are "off the beaten path" and strangers are not really welcome.
Thank you for the reply Scott and the advice. I am hoping to share some good tunnel photos as we head north from Cloverdale to Hopland. I am lucky enough to always have at least one other person with me, usually two.
Apologies I wasn't able to respond to your earlier question on my page about the tracks between Cloverdale and Hopland -- I've been completely swamped with work and family and have neglected my online communications, sadly. In any case, some friends of mine hiked the section in question 2-3 years ago and shared the following pictures, which I uploaded to the network in the following album:
I believe that after these photos were taken, within the past year or two, there was a tunnel fire between Cloverdale and Hopland, and they needed to seal the tunnel to help extinguish the fire -- a quick search on this network or on Google will likely turn up information about that incident.
Please do post photos after you complete your hike -- we're all interested in another look at this section of the ROW and would like know if the condition is appreciably worse than it was when the above images were taken. Regards,
Here is a link to some photos of the tunnels between Hopland and Cloverdale: http://nwprr.net/photo/albums/tracks-between-cloverdale-and-hopland...
The section between Hopland and Ukiah looks pretty uneventful, but I will keep you all posted!
I am also very interested in walking portions of the NWP, esp re tunnels.
I have made a fairly detailed map of the route with notes on the tunnels at Google Maps:
Would love any corrections or feedback. Note that on Google Maps, the entire route doesn't show up on one page, You have to go through pages 1-3, which takes the route from south to north...
Thank you for this map Brian, I can't wait to utilize it as I continue further north. Have you walked any sections of track?
Nothing substantial, just a bit around Healdsburg and Geyserville while on a wine trip. I love hiking old railroads and I fear that the NWP will soon be so overgrown that it will be impassable.
For me, the interesting sites are up in the north, esp the great trestles and tunnels around Island Mountain and north of Alderpoint. I think you're exactly right to start off with the easier stuff around Cloverdale and work up from there.
Let's stay in touch. At the least, I intend to take a trip this summer to check out line between Eureka and Alderpoint. I'm a single-engine pilot and would like to fly along the line with a good photographer to photograph some of the more remote sections of the ROW from the air.
And please feel free to edit my map. It no doubt needs extensive re-organizing. I should probably just delete the lines showing the track as that just creates clutter for the waypoints showing the tunnels/trestles/access points.