Spending time in the forest with your dog

Forest Bathing With Fido, Anyone?

Photo: Dave Kendrick
Photo: Dave Kendrick
The practice of “forest bathing,” or “shinrin-yoku,” popularized in the USA by a string of books including best-seller “Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness” by Japanese immunologist Quing Li, has taken off in Mendocino County. And there’s no better place to indulge in the practice of absorbing oneself in a forest atmosphere then here, where dog-friendly options amid the redwood giants abound.

Yes, with a dog in tow, you’ll be limited to roads and developed campgrounds in most of Mendo’s many state parks, but that shouldn’t cut too much into the enjoyment of the county’s fresh-air, wide-open spaces and misty redwood forests.  Campgrounds are open at some preserves but not others, so be sure to check the state-park Covid-19 resource pages.

At last glance, Russian Gulch State Park and Beach had opened parking and campgrounds for limited use, as had Mendocino Headlands State Park, Navarro Redwoods State Park, MacKerricher State Park, Montgomery Woods State Park, Jackson Demonstration State Forest and Van Damme State Park, all of which offer “forest bathing” opportunities (with restrictions so far as dogs are concerned; check websites for details).

Our advice before immersing yourself in the splendor of the redwoods: do your homework, cover your face when around others, give a wide berth to other hikers, keep your dog on a leash and always Leave Only Paw Prints™.

 

Posted on: July 14, 2020

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