Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 22 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ndoc Suma
Aleteia logo
Travel
separateurCreated with Sketch.

New pilgrimage route in California: “Camino de Sonoma”

Man hike sonoma path

RebeccaJaneCall | Shutterstock

A man walks a path in Sonoma County, California.

V. M. Traverso - published on 03/10/24

The 75-mile trail goes from Sonoma to Fort Ross, with six different routes for pilgrims to tread on a six-day journey.

From the Camino de Santiago to the Via Francigena, Catholics around the world have no shortage of pilgrimages, but American Catholics and visitors to the US can now count on a brand new camino, the Camino de Sonoma.

Spanning 75 miles from the Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma to the Russian Orthodox Chapel in Fort Ross State Historic Park, the Camino de Sonoma was founded in 2019 by Adam Peacocke and Tony McCormick, who envisioned it as a continuation of the pilgrimage route that runs through California from San Diego to Sonoma. 

Sonoma Russian River vinyards
The Camino de Sonoma is currently divided into six 12-mile-long stretches that can be completed in one day each.

Stretching along the scenic northern California landscape with its iconic redwoods, vineyards, and ocean views, the Camino de Sonoma is currently divided into six 12-mile stretches that can be completed in one day each. Walking the whole camino takes about six days. 

As reported in the Sebastopol Times, 150 people have walked the entire route since it was founded and about 600 have walked at least one leg. Stephen Morris, who works for the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa and has become a Camino guide, told the Sebastopol Times that the Camino is open to people of all faiths.

“It’s 100% non-denominational,” Morris said. “It’s for all people, but also we don’t shy away from faith.”

As described on its dedicated website, the Camino de Sonoma, which currently does not have official markers, is intended to be a healing path. “It’s more than a hike. It’s a religious experience. It’s a healing path,” Dr. Steven Winter, a professor of kinesiology at SSU currently training to become a Camino guide, told Sebastopol Times.  

Testimonials left by Camino walkers speak to the spiritual experience it can provide. The connectivity that the Camino allows for each walker, seeker, and pilgrim, fortifies the spirit of each person who takes one step, and one prayer toward healing of self, land, and community,” one user wrote

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Sonoma County
Testimonials left by Camino walkers speak to the spiritual experience it can provide.

For now, the Camino lacks the cheap hostel accommodation that can be found along European pilgrimages. But some local facilities like Alliance Redwoods in Occidental are providing affordable yurts, and some people who live along the Camino have offered their yards as spaces for people who want to camp overnight.  

Sonoma Mission Church
The Sonoma mission, built in 1823, is the northernmost of the Spanish missions that dot the state of California.

As Morris notes, the Camino stands in a landmark place for the evolution of Christianity in the US.

The Sonoma mission, built in 1823, is the northernmost of the Spanish missions that dot the state of California, while the Orthodox Chapel at Fort Ross was built by the Orthodox Christians who came to this part of the state from Alaska and Russia. “Both of those things — the two major forms of Christianity — east and west — went all the way around the world and met in our county,” Morris told the Sebastopol Times. “That’s remarkable.” 

Tags:
PilgrimagesSpiritual LifeUnited States
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.