Dog-Friendly Hikes, Parks & Beaches in Sonoma County

Foothill Regional Park

There's nothing better than exploring the natural wonders of Wine Country with your canine companion.

For folks traveling with furry friends, finding a destination with pet-friendly things to do can be a deciding factor. Throughout Wine Country, we have plenty of doggone outdoor fun available for you and your sidekick, including dog-friendly beaches and hikes as well as community dog parks.

Note: Dogs on leashes are welcome at nearly all Sonoma County Regional Parks, with the only exceptions being Shiloh Ranch and North Sonoma Mountain Regional Parks.

Here are some local hiking trails, dog parks, and beaches in Sonoma County.

Dog-Friendly Hikes

Two people hike through grasslands down a mountian with views of the country
Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

Hood Mountain Regional Park, Santa Rosa

With nearly 2,000 acres on the northern end of Sonoma Valley, Hood Mountain offers 19 miles of trails geared to fit hikers and their adventure pups; traverse creeks, grasslands, forests, and even peaks for challenges and stunning vistas. Gunsight Rock, an outcropping about 300 feet below the 2,730-foot summit, offers sweeping panoramas of Sonoma Valley and beyond. 

Helen Putnam Regional ParkPetaluma

Though it’s easily accessible from Highway 101 near downtown Petaluma, visiting Helen Putnam Regional Park will make you feel as if you and your fluffy buds have left the world far behind. Each of the nine trails in this 216-acre park are relatively short, but can be combined to make a wonderful 2- to 3-mile hike offering routes that open up to prospects of steep rolling hills dotted with grazing cattle and clusters of oak.

People walk along a green hill with the view of Santa Rosa in the background
Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

Taylor Mountain Regional Park, Santa Rosa

Located in southeast Santa Rosa, Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve’s trails climb to the 1,380-foot summit — a great workout for human calves and canine quads. From the top, you’ll be able to see central Sonoma County, the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the Mayacamas Mountains, the Coast Range, and many landmarks of the North Bay. It’s a stunning sight.

A paved trail winds between grassy areas along the coast
Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail

Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail, Bodega Bay

This half-mile unpaved path winds through a gulch that leads to a small, picturesque beach on Bodega Bay. The quarter-mile beach is dotted with interesting rocks and tide pools. You’ll enjoy the sight of Pinnacle Rock seastack just offshore … and we bet your pup will enjoy the smells of the ocean.

The rugged coastline is where the waves crash along the shore
Gualala Point Regional Park

Gualala Point Regional Park, Gualala

This stunningly beautiful park at the junction of the Gualala River and Pacific Ocean offers fabulous ocean views, white beach dunes, and, in summer, a sand spit at the river’s mouth. Hunt for sea glass, collect shells, roll down sand dunes, or just sit and appreciate the views. Feel like putting on the miles with your pup? Head south along the park’s Bluff Top Trail, walking atop coastal cliffs that afford far-ranging views.

A dirt path is shaded by oak trees
Foothill Regional Park

Foothill Regional Park, Windsor

A local favorite, Foothill Regional Park features thick oak woodlands, rolling hillsides, ridge-top views of northern Sonoma County, three ponds for bass and bluegill fishing, grassy meadows, and spring wildflowers. Nearly 7 miles of multi-use trails cover varied terrain, offering easy to challenging options for hikers and pups.

Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail, Bodega Bay

This paved, dog-friendly trail in Bodega Bay runs along a salt marsh that’s home to wildlife, including thousands of birds migrating and nesting throughout the year. The path is easy, 1-mile trail that also loops through Doran Regional Park. 

The Russian River flows between the hills
Cloverdale River Park

Cloverdale River Park, Cloverdale

Cloverdale’s River Park is the largest public park on the Russian River, with easy access from either end of town. Running along the western bank of the river, the park offers a 1-mile paved trail that’s perfect for a quick hike with your pup.

Dog Parks in Sonoma County

Rincon Valley Community Dog Park, Santa Rosa

Founded in 1992, Rincon is a fenced-in, three-quarter-acre doggie paradise within 18.7-acre Rincon Valley Community Park. Dogs can run about unleashed in the fenced lawn and play areas, and can also enjoy a small swimming pond. There’s a doggie drinking fountain and separate areas for large and small dogs, too.

Ragle Ranch Regional ParkSebastopol

Nestled within the 157-acre Ragle Ranch Regional Park, this half-acre pup retreat offers a redwood-chip surface for cavorting canines, as well as benches, shade trees, and water. Beyond the fenced-in park, Ragle contains 3.56 miles of mostly woodland trails with good opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing with Fido.

Ernie Smith Regional Park, Sonoma

Ernie Smith Dog Park, located inside Ernie Smith Regional Park, provides a pet drinking fountain and picnic tables. Beyond the fenced dog park, you’ll find a children’s play area, a softball field, and a 1/2-mile, paved walking path with a wildlife-viewing platform along the route.

Elizabeth Anne Perrone Dog Park, Glen Ellen

Located within the 162-acre Sonoma Valley Regional Park, this dog park includes a fenced, one-acre, off-leash play area with a double-gated entry, dog drinking fountain, and a shade gazebo. The park also offers paved and dirt trails. Outside the play area, dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

For a great day at the beach with your dog, head to one of these regional parks:

Responsible Travel Reminder

While out enjoying these dog-friendly hikes, beaches, and dog parks, we encourage you to follow our Leave No Trace Principles by picking up after your pets (and tossing those biodegradable poo bags into trash bins!).

In addition, here are some great pet-friendly restaurants, breweries, and lodging options for you and your four-legged family members.

Written by Sonoma Insider Mariah Harkey.

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