Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails
While there are plenty of hiking trails in the Bay Area that prohibit dogs, there are also many that are open to canines. Here are some of the best.
Redwood Regional Park. This is a wonderful place to hike and the fact that you can bring your dog makes it even better. Throughout much of the park, you are surrounded by majestic coastal redwoods making it a great place to cool off on a hot day. The cooling factor makes the park’s 1,830 acres good for dogs with hefty coats or very dark fur as they tend to get overheated very easily. Open 5 a.m.-10 p.m. $5 per vehicle, $2 per dog (fees are collected on weekends and major holidays April through Oct. and only at the Redwood Gate entrance). 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland. 888-327-2757, option 3, ext. 4553. www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood.
Cascade Canyon. With 498 acres of some of the most pristine habitat in the Corte Madera Creek Watershed, this is a great place to explore with the furry member of your family. Cascade Falls, at the head of the main canyon, is a popular destination especially during winter and spring when flows are high. But there are many attractions here all year, including birds and wildflowers in spring, mushrooms and ferns in winter and cool shaded retreats during summer. Dogs must be on a leash. Cascade Drive, Fairfax. www.marincountyparks.org/depts/pk/divisions/open-space/cascade-canyon
Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve. Located in the hills above San Carlos and Redwood City, this park may make your canine deliriously happy when he discovers the leash-free area. With oak woodland and grassland, the off-leash area allows dogs to explore a variety of landscapes. However, the off-leash area is only open to dogs under excellent voice control. Other dogs should be on a leash. It is accessible via the Blue Oak Trail or the Cordilleras Trail. Edmonds Road, San Carlos. 650-691-1200. www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_pulgas_ridge.asp
Land’s End. You and your furry companion can enjoy towering cliffs with crashing waves below, beautiful views, wildflowers and the sounds of foghorns, birds and the whistling wind. You may forget that you are near the city when hiking this trail. Word of caution: don’t bring a young puppy or out-of-control dog to Land’s End. The cliffs can be dangerous, especially where the trail is narrow. The Land’s End Lookout is 680 Point Lobos Ave., but check website for other parking suggestions. 415-426-5240. www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/landsend.htm
Uvas Canyon County Park. This lushly wooded park of 1,133 acres is a beautiful place to explore with your dog. Nestled in upper Uvas Canyon on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, it offers hiking, camping and picnicking opportunities throughout most of the year. It has six miles of hiking trails, including a one-mile loop that travels along Swanson Creek and past many of the park’s waterfalls. Open 8 a.m.-sunset. 8515 Croy Road, Morgan Hill. 408-779-9232. www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/UvasCanyon.aspx.
Teresa Mills-Faraudo is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent.