Since the early 1900’s when the railroads started bringing visitors from the San Francisco area to Guerneville and Healdsburg the Russian River has been a major destination for recreation and relaxation where the people could get away from the hectic city life. Over a hundred years later, the hectic pace that once reigned in the cities has invaded the rural Russian River watershed. In 2010 we discovered that many people locally do not go swimming or visit the river leading to many in our community having no connection to the River despite its vital importance to our community. When people are not connected to something they care less, pay attention less and apathy creeps in and when a problem is facing the River it’s easy to brush it off.
Apathy towards rivers is a big problem because our every day actions have a profound effect on the health of the Russian River and our waterways across the state. Polluted urban run-off is a great example as we are all the cause of this major source of pollution but if we do not care about the River why would we change our behavior to keep it clean? RRK board member Jib Ellison came up with the idea of bringing back the historic boat races on the River in an effort to get our community back to the River to have fun…and re-connect with the River. Jib’s thought led to the Great Russian River Race in partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks and River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Trips. Soon after the Healdsburg Water Carnival returned to the River for the first time in decades bringing several thousand residents to the River for more fun….and more people “re-discovering” what a great treasure we have in the Russian River.
Held each May/June for the past 6 years, the Great Russian River Race has evolved into a key event to kick-off summer on the River. Featuring a Pro Course and a Recreational Course, over 200 people in canoes, kayaks and SUP’s race to the Finish Line to be greeted by a free outdoor party with live music, beer, and food…a great way to celebrate the River! For more information, visit the Official Great Russian River Race webpage, or check out the Great Russian River Race Facebook Page
Saturday, September 24, 2016 Shone Farm, 4-7 p.m
Our annual Gala honors and highlights the people, businesses and farms that are leading the Russian River to a more resilient future.
Become a sponsor of this years Gala: RiverAwardsSponsorLetter2016
Canoe and Kayak Rentals are a great way to experience the Russian River, and these are some of the best organizations that can put you on the water:
Burke’s Canoe Trips
A ten mile self-guided canoe trip through the Redwoods with return shuttle included. From Forestville to Guerneville.
River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe Trips
3 different trips lengths ending in Healdsburg, self-guided.
SOAR Russian River Adventures
8 mile self-guided tour from Healdsburg to Wohler Bridge.
Check River Flow Conditions on the Russian River
Table of flow gauges on RR from Ukiah to Guerneville and links to reservoir levels