Beaches along Sonoma County’s Russian River come in all varieties: From boisterous with boomboxes to mellow with kayakers quietly floating by. This new spot east of Healdsburg is definitely the latter. Del Rio Woods has new beach access to the Russian River, a wholly welcome addition to the Regional Parks system. And bravo to them for the job they’ve done.
Tucked up and off a winding road, the new parking lot fills up fast, and you’ll be a bit pressed to find street spots (though there are a few!). Get a very early start and hit the beach! There’s a patio built off the parking lot with picnic tables, and a quick stairway jaunt down the rocky beach area takes you to put-ins for floats down the river to Veterans Memorial Beach in Healdsburg. Or bring a picnic and lounge at one of the secluded shaded spots by the river’s edge.
Sun umbrellas are helpful if you don’t find enough shade. Set up and soak your toes in the river as curious ducks come by, or go for a full dip by wading in to deeper sections. The shoreline is great for people-watching, and admiring the various watercrafts: inner tubes, canoes, small rafts, flamingo floats, you name it … you might see it. Del Rio rendezvous.
Here’s a map to Del Rio Woods Regional Park. The parking lot costs $7 and is small; try to arrive early! Dog-friendly!