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™.