The Bodega Bay Trail project was initiated by the community, which wanted a safe path for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling along the Highway 1 corridor. In 2004, the California Coastal Conservancy provided the County with grant funds to study various trail alignments along the Highway between Salmon Creek and Doran Beach Regional Park. The Bodega Bay Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee formed to provide input on the study. Several community meetings and workshops were conducted to solicit input. The April 7, 2005 meeting at the Grange Hall attracted more than 50 participants.
Other participants included Caltrans, California State Parks, California Coastal Conservancy, Sonoma County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department, Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department, Sonoma County Regional Parks Department, and Supervisorial District 5 Office.
In September 2005, the completed trail study(PDF: 12.9 MB) recommended trail segments that could be completed in the short term, medium term, and long term depending on funding availability. The Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department and Caltrans would be responsible for developing on-street segments designated as Class II bike lanes and Class III bike routes within the public road right of way. Regional Parks would be responsible off-street segments designated as Class I bikeway.
In 2008, Regional Parks completed a 0.4-mile segment of the Bodega Bay Trail. This trail segment included the installation of a 110-foot bridge over Cheney Creek connecting Doran Beach Regional Park. The $540,000 project was funded by County park mitigation fees, California Coastal Conservancy grant, and Measure M.
In 2010, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which included the Bodega Bay Trail project as a high priority.