Beginning with its first big splash in 2014, Water Bark has reigned supreme as the “must-do” tail-wagging event on Sonoma County’s annual doggie calendar.
For Water Bark, the swimming lagoon at Spring Lake Regional Park transforms into a weekend pooch paradise, with dogs free to swim and play off-leash. A temporary fence is set up during Water Bark, keeping dogs close at hand and out of other parts of the park. During Water Bark, swimming in the lagoon is for canines only.
The 2017 Water Bark will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on:
- Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-10
- Sunday, Sept. 17 (Note: No Water Bark will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16)
- Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24
- Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1
Important health note to dog owners: The Spring Lake lagoon is free of blue-green algae, which is sometimes present at the Russian River during the summer. The lagoon is slightly chlorinated and filtered to ensure safe water for the dogs.
Photographer Julie Vader, who took extensive photos of dogs enjoying the 2016 Water Bark, will be returning this year; she’ll take photos of dogs on the mornings of Sept. 9, 10, and 30 and the afternoons of Sept. 23 and 24, and Oct. 1. She posts all photos on her website, www.julievader.com, and 50 percent of photo sales goes to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.
Sponsors of the 2017 Water Bark include Paradise Pet Resorts, AcCounting OnComputers, Green Valley Consulting Engineers, Mary’s Pizza Shack, and Julie Vader Photography.
Entry is $5 per dog for regional park members and $7 for non-members; parking is $7 per vehicle or free for park members. For the first time, Water Bark is offering a season pass for $30; season pass holders will be issued a plastic membership card, with a dog ID photo, valid for all 2017 Water Bark dates. Individual or season tickets can be purchased online.
Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa, CA
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Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez