With its magnificent native grasslands, pure madrone stands, redwood fairy rings, and perennial springs, Riddell Preserve is a 400-acre wonderland above Dry Creek Valley. Hike miles of oak-dotted hills, moss-coated rocks, and swaths of ferns.Sleep under the stars on the deck of a rustic cabin. Learn about mushrooms and herbal medicine from our guest experts in this peaceful and truly wild place.
Riddell is a community hub with a precious, remote quality that offers vital opportunities for backcountry exploration, daylong outings, and overnight adventures.
An Important Update on the Walbridge Fire Recovery
In late August 2020, the Walbridge Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex, spread into the western portion of Riddell. CalFire cut fuel breaks with bulldozers across parts of the preserve. While essential to fighting fire, these fuel breaks can disrupt plants and increase erosion into local creeks and the Russian River. LandPaths’ stewardship staff will have our work cut out for us in healing the scars on the land. We are hopeful that this can be done by people, not machine, when it’s safe to bring volunteers out. Later in 2020, the Glass Fire swept through our Rancho Mark West preserve as well, and extensive restoration and rebuilding work will be needed there before camps, school programs, and outings can host people back on this land.
To support this work, we’ve launched a Fire Recovery Fund. Your contribution will support essential efforts to address the impacts of the fuel breaks and the fire on Riddell and Rancho Mark West. This will be a long-term, sustained recovery effort. You can be a part of that healing!
How to Get Involved
Riddell Preserve is not open to the public but you are invited to experience the land through one of our many program opportunities:
- Register for an upcoming outing at Riddell Preserve.
- Participate in a stewardship workday. Volunteers help with trail-building, remove invasive species, and contribute to our wildfire fuel reduction efforts.
- Join us for a stewardship campout during the summer months.
Riddell Preserve is located on the original homeland of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians. No evidence exists of permanent Native American sites on the preserve, but the tribe probably traveled extensively throughout the land, collecting seasonal resources, hunting, and perhaps establishing temporary villages.
A rock dam in the northwest corner of the preserve is believed to have been built during the era of Mexican settlement. In the mid-18th century, the grasslands were used as pasturage for sheep and horses.
Kay and Bob Riddell bought the land in 1971 as a family getaway. They enjoyed the escape from the city and camped there for many years. When their son Steve became ill with leukemia, the family built a cabin on the land as a refuge for him.
After Steve passed away, the Riddells donated the property to LandPaths. We shared a common vision of preserving the wild beauty of the place, while guaranteeing that others, especially children, could experience and love the place as their family still does. We’ve honored that legacy our programs and outings that connect people with the land throughout the seasons.
LandPaths staff and volunteers began work on a trail system in 2016. An access road was rebuilt in 2017. We continue to expand the trail system every year thanks to the help of dedicated volunteers like you!