McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

840 Sundial Bridge (Auditorium) Dr.
Redding, California 96001
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Yellow Lab In Botanical Garden

The botanical gardens portion of the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is the newest addition to Turtle Bay Exploration Park in central Redding. The gardens comprise 20 dog-friendly acres of Mediterranean-climate display gardens, a children’s garden, a medicinal garden and two unique water features.

The arboretum, of which the gardens are only a small part, extends over 200 acres with direct links to the  Sacramento River Trail, a paved, multi-purpose path stretching 20 miles from Turtle Bay to Shasta Dam. The gardens carry Turtle Bay’s sustainability message and express a positive ethic about a harmonious fit between natural systems and human activity. 

• Hours: Sunrise to sunset
• Admission: $4, payable at the drop box at the east or west entrances. Buy plants to take home at the nursery at the west entrance (open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays).
• Dogs are welcome to walk (on leash) with you through the gardens and arboretum. 
• Getting there: From Interstate 5, take Central Redding Exit 678 (Exit 678B from the north) and follow Highway 44 West to the  Sundial Bridge (Auditorium) Drive exit (Exit 1). Turn right into Turtle Bay Exploration Park, park, cross the Sundial Bridge and go left to enter the gardens from the east. The nursery and West Garden Entrance is at 1100 Arboretum Drive off of North Market Street.

Bliss on Sundial Bridge
Bliss on Sundial Bridge
Everyone knows dogs have excellent taste in art, so Redding made sure its world-renowned Sundial Bridge was accessible to all species of architecture lovers!  more »
Obi on Sundial Bridge
Obi on the Sundial Bridge. Photo: James Navarro
What a difference a bridge makes! It’s been 10 years since Redding’s Sundial Bridge, designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, opened to international acclaim. To mark its first decade as an iconic symbol of the region, the city is preparing to celebrate in a big way.  more »
Tails on Trails: All Dogs Welcome!

Redding calls itself California’s Trail Capital, and for good reason: about 100 miles of trails, both paved and natural-surface, have been developed in and around the city through private and public partnerships. Three bridges along the northern part of the path span gorges that gush with waterfalls in springtime and offer arresting views of Shasta Lake and Keswick Reservoir at any time of year.  more »
dogs on a bench
Not all botanical gardens are dog-friendly, but we know some that are—and if you’re into tulips and other early-blooming florals, now’s the time for the two of you to watch spring springing into action. more »

Kayla on Sundail Bridge

Kayla on Sundial Bridge Hang onto your leash: You'll need it to steady yourself when you get your first close-up look at Redding’s iconic Sundial Bridge. The stunning pedestrian structure designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava links dog-friendly trails on both sides of the Sacramento River and is a major visitor attraction in this part of the state. Start off with a stroll over the glass-decked span and let Rover splash at the water access points on the far side.  more »

Kayla is definitely a road-warrior. Say wanna go for a ride? – her ears are up, tail is wagging, leash is in her mouth, she’s in the car, and it’s full-sniff ahead.  One of her favorite road trips is the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California, which actually covers about 20 percent of California. Dog-friendly trails, lakes and rivers abound, as do dog-friendly accommodations.

Kayla always begins her Shasta Cascade adventures in the town of Redding, which is not only over-the-top-dog-friendly, but is a great starting point to explore this vast region.

Yellow Lab In Front of Turtle StatuesShe likes to begin her morning at Redding’s Turtle Bay Exploration Park, walking with lots of other dogs across the Sundial Bridge and onto the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail that overlooks the Sacramento River. She hasn’t made the entire 16.5 miles, but is working on it.  more »
Water feature at Mcconnell Botanic GardensThe McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding is overlooked by many visitors to the Shasta Cascade region. After all, the soaring (and dog-friendly) Sundial Bridge over the Sacramento River is Redding’s star attraction. You and Champ won’t want to miss walking over the iconic structure, but neither should you miss the 20 acres of Mediterranean-climate display gardens on the far side. more »

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