While parts of Sonoma County were ravished by the October wildfires, residents are banding together to stand strong and welcome visitors to the vast majority of the county that was untouched by the blazes. Whether you come to spend a winter weekend in Santa Rosa or explore the Wine Road Northern Sonoma County, you and your four-legged travel companion will find a warm welcome almost everywhere you go. But before your dog can settle down in a tasting room or hotel, she likely needs some exercise.

Sonoma County’s diverse network of regional parks is laced by more than 140 miles of trails leading to beaches, mountains, forests, lakes and meadows. Leashed dogs are welcome in most preserves—but just so you know, regulations call for your pup to be licensed in the city or county where you reside, so be sure she’s tagged or you have the appropriate papers on your person.

For experienced hikers not averse to working up a pant, Hood Mountain Regional Park near Santa Rosa is a rugged, 1,750-acre beauty spot. Among many possible treks here is a 3.5-mile round-trip hike from the Los Alamos Road trailhead, reached via a narrow, winding road, to the headwaters of Santa Rosa Creek. The route will give you both a workout as it climbs and dips through rugged terrain to end up at a streamside spot perfect for a rest, a picnic and a swim for your pup.

For walks on the milder side, head to Bodega Bay, an hour and a half north of San Francisco. A great place to observe avians strutting their stuff is on the 1.2-mile Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail, which follows a levee around two ponds in a 14-acre revitalized saltwater marsh area. It connects to Doran Regional Park, a sandy, 120-acre spit that forms the northern border of Bodega Bay and features a 2-mile beach where leashed dogs are welcome to accompany you. Or, choose the Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail, which leads to spectacular coastal views and can be hiked as a 1.9-mile loop with the Shorttail Gulch Coastal Access Trail.

Photo Credit: @mollystichter

Posted on: June 30, 2022

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