The Petaluma Marina ramp and dock provide access to the Petaluma River, which is navigable upriver to downtown Petaluma and downriver all the way to the San Pablo Bay. Paddling the 1.5 miles towards downtown Petaluma offers opportunities to view wildlife and historic structures along the river before stopping off at the Turning Basin docks for dinning or shopping at one Petaluma’s downtown establishments. Downriver, the more remote 12 miles of river offer stunning views of the marshes, surrounding hills, and glimpses of wildlife.
The high-freeboard dock and boat ramp are open from sunrise to sunset daily. A boat washing hose is provided. Petaluma SUP, a local vendor, has a shop in the Marina complex offering a variety of rentals, sales, and lessons.
The Lokahi Outrigger Canoe Club is based at the marina and frequently uses this site.
From US-101 take exit for CA-116 East. Turn left onto CA-116E and the Marina will be on the right in approximately a quarter mile.
Ample parking is available in the large lots located near the launch area. Marina facility hours are sunrise to sunset. Parking near the launch is primarily day use only; however, for boat trailers parking is allowed for up to 72 consecutive hours and parking near the hotel has no posted time restrictions.
Restrooms are located at the Harbormaster Office, located adjacent to the boat launch.
Adjacent to the boat launch are picnic tables, bike racks, and a boat washing hose. Paid public kayak storage is also available through the Marina. The Marina complex includes a hotel and restaurants, open to the public daily.
The only options for water entry are from the boat ramp or high-freeboard dock, which limit accessibility. The path of travel, restroom, and parking appear to be well designed and maintained.
Non-motorized small boaters need to be aware that the Petaluma River is tidal and currents and winds can be strong.
The Petaluma River offers ample opportunities for wildlife viewing, with chances to see a wide variety of birds, including willits, curlews, dowitchers, night herons, and herons. Nearby there are several active heron and egret roosting sites located near the Petaluma River. The Water Trail recommends boaters avoid sudden movements or paddling directly at wildlife, and to maintain a buffer distance from roosting locations.
The marshes south of the Marina along the Petaluma River are habitat for sensitive species, including Ridgway’s rail and black rail. To protect marsh species boaters should avoid landing in marshes. The Water Trail recommends boaters maintain a buffer distance of 50 feet from rail habitat.