I don’t know about you, but whether or not a hike is dog-friendly is a deciding factor for me when choosing what park to visit on the weekends. I always want to bring my sidekick along to enjoy the gorgeous woods, rivers, coast, and forests that Sonoma County has to offer, but it’s sometimes hard to find which parks truly welcome dogs.
Here are a few dog-friendly hikes in Sonoma County your pup will love:
In the Woods
For quick reference, it’s good to note that dogs on leashes are welcome at all Sonoma County Regional Parks, with the only exceptions being Shiloh Ranch and North Sonoma Mountain Regional Parks, where dogs are not allowed on trails. The Regional Parks have even started a Hike with Hounds series, to enjoy some of the trails with other pups. The hikes below are rugged and great for an experienced hiker. Dog Tip: When hiking Hood Mountain Regional Park's 19 miles of trails, make sure to watch that you don't connect with Sugarloaf Ridge State Park's trails, where dogs are not allowed.
|Hood Mountain Regional Park||Helen Putnam Regional Park|
|Taylor Mountain Regional Park|
Along the Coast
The beach on a hot summer's day is a great place to bring your dog. You can embark on miles of trails along the coast, or set up your seat for the day and enjoy the crashing waves of the beach. While you're on the coast, be sure to stop to eat at The Dog House in Bodega. You'll not only get a tasty burger or hot dog for yourself, but your pup will be given his own new favorite lunchtime treat!
|Doran Beach Regional Park||Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail|
|Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail||Shell Beach Sea Ranch Access Trail|
|Stillwater Cove Regional Park||Gualala Point Regional Park|
There are also many shorter terrains for hikers of all levels of experience in Sonoma for you and your dog. When hiking at the Foothill Regional Park in Windsor, you'll pass beautiful lakes, oak woodlands, and rolling hillsides. Spring Lake is also a great loop around the 72-acre lake and a common go-to for dog owners on a Saturday morning.
|Foothill Regional Park||Sonoma Valley Regional Park|
|Spring Lake Regional Park||Ragle Ranch Regional Park|
Trails Along the River
If your pup likes the water, a trail along the Russian River is a great option! The Riverfront Regional Park in Healdsburg circles you around its lake with only a quick five-minute stroll to the Russian River behind the lake. Riverfront is also a great place to enjoy lunch under their large redwood picnic table area.
|Riverfront Regional Park||Cloverdale River Park|
|Steelhead Beach Regional Park||Guerneville River Park|
Although many wineries allow dogs on property and some even in the tasting rooms, one that stands out for their love for dogs is the Kunde Family Winery, which hosts group dog "hikes" a few times a year. Participants hike through the Kunde Estate for a few hours with a wine tasting at the end. (See more about this on their website here.)
In addition, here are some great dog parks to take your dog to, as well as pet-friendly restaurants and lodging/camping in Sonoma County. Dogtrekker is also a great resource for all things dog-friendly in Sonoma County.
Written by Sonoma Insider Mariah Harkey