Sacramento County, with about 1.4 million people, has the highest population density in California’s 450-mile-long Central Valley
. Its centerpiece is Sacramento, the state’s capital city, where the most obvious attraction for DogTrekkers is the 32-mile American River Parkway. This shady and beloved greenbelt cradles a multi-use trail that stretches from the Old Sacramento historic district all the way to Folsom Lake. Along the way are parks, picnic areas, beaches and countless places where you and your canine companion can stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, an 18,000-acre preserve with 80 miles of dog-friendly trails as well as ample access to the water.
In the southwest portion of the Sacramento County lies the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta, largest estuary on the West Coast. Its web of waterways wind around islands of reclaimed farmland before converging in San Francisco Bay. A string of small, dog-friendly towns and marina communities invite exploring in a region widely known for fishing and boating opportunities.
Sacramento, which served as the main supply center for the Gold Rush, also counts itself a part of Gold Country
. From a DogTrekker’s point of view, there’s lots of “gold” still to be discovered.
The words “wine” and “Sacramento
” may not seem to go together—until you realize more than 200 wineries and tasting rooms are situated within 75 miles of the state capital. Many welcome tail-waggers as warmly as the uprights on the other end of the leash. Once you and Sparky have experienced the friendly atmosphere in the Sierra Nevada foothills, along the Sacramento River corridor or in surprising nooks and crannies of Yolo
farm country, you might see no reason to visit that “other” wine country again. more »
One of our favorite destination apps for the iPhone and iPad this year is called the NorCalGuide
. This comprehensive app covers both the Gold Country as well as the Central Valley, from Sierraville in the north -- to Lake Tahoe in the east -- to Sacramento and Folsom in the west -- to Bakersfield in the south.
You'll find destination profiles, points of interest, photos, videos, maps and events in the palm of your hand,showcasing the best of Northern California in a format that's easy to use on the go. Visit the iTunes app store and search for NorCalGuide
. Check out your favorite dog-friendly Gold Country place on DogTrekker.com
, and then use this handy app to guide you to, and around, your destination. The great thing about this app, besides all the cool stuff, is that it is free! more »
Group dog walks and off-leash recreation are the focus of Sacramento’s Responsible Dog Lovers Meetup group, while hiking and dog socialization is the name of the game for TOPDOG, an acryonym for Trekking Our Pooches Dog Owners Group. If your interest lies in training, Dogs with a Job is your vehicle for sharing “career” experiences such as obedience, agility, flyball, dog Frisbee, hunting, therapy or tracking. Also in the Sacramento area, you’ll find Meetup groups dedicated to big dogs, toy dogs, shih-tzus , border collies, Australian shepherds, miniature pinschers, dachshunds, schnauzers, Labrador retrievers, greyhounds, pit bulls, mastiffs, beagles—and, of course, those lovable pugs.
The Sacramento River Delta is a watery maze worlds removed from the urban clutter of Sacramento and the Bay Area. On a Sunday drive you'll see old-time bridges and miles of levees that in the mid-1800s transformed a once trackless wetland into 55 agricultural islands—two of them connected by public ferry— that still produce food for Northern California. Regrettably, there are not many areas in the Delta where you can legally let Astro off leash. But don't let that stop you. more »
Visitors who want to see more of Sacramento than its downtown attractions should head to William Land Park, a leafy oasis snugged into one of the city's loveliest neighborhoods. The 166-acre preserve just south of downtown is home to a zoo, a golf course, and an amusement park where dogs are not welcome, but it's laced with canine-friendly paths and well equipped with shady picnic areas. Mark your calendar for the annual Doggy Dash and Bark in the Park Festival held here every June to benefit the Sacramento SPCA. For off-leash fun, pop Rover in the car and head to one of the city's nine fenced and well maintained dog parks.