My mother is such a good sport when she visits. She knows I have to be constantly moving outside to feel alive and on this visit, I thought a fun way to be active in the wine country region of the Russian River, would be to take her out on a 10 mile canoe rental through Burke's. Yes, she survived and was rewarded to a gourmet picnic packed by her daughter and some celebratory bubbles for good measure at Korbel to finish the day.
You'll find Burke's a mile north of tiny Forestville, CA and it's about an hour and a half drive from San Francisco. Be sure to have brought directions with you in hand, since your phone will most likely not have a signal the deeper you get into Redwood country.
The cost is $65 per canoe and you can call ahead, reserve on line or just do it when you arrive. They'll set you up with life jackets and paddles and explain where the 'put out' is, where you'll finish up and find their shuttle bus that will get you back to where you'd parked.
The joy of this self guided expedition lies in the timing being entirely up to you. Picnic, swim, sunbathe at beaches along the stretch of this beautiful river. You'll be able to view wildlife such as otter, Great Blue Heron, osprey, turtles, egret, and more.
Make a canoe trip on the Russian River a part of your next California wine country adventure, you'll love it! Pack that sunscreen and plenty of water.