Dog-friendly Hiking During the Coronavirus Pandemic

California Park District Operations During the Coronavirus Pandemic

dog looking over the ocean in santa barbara
Kayla at the top of 7 Falls Trail, Santa Barbara

Millions of Californians are now under shelter in place orders from California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Walking and hiking with dogs is ok, even encouraged, as long as you practice social distancing.

DogTrekker.com and the DogTrekker mobile app feature more than 1,000 local trailheads throughout the state. We will continue to keep this list as up to date as we can and ask that we all work together to control the spread of this deadly virus. Many park facilities are closed with limited trash pickup, so please pack in, pack out, leaving only paw prints.

California Park District Updates:  
California Sate Parks, effective now.

As of now, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Day-use restrooms are also open, and visitors are advised to bring soap for handwashing and to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.

On March 22, California State Parks announced the launch of a new social media campaign titled “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” to remind the public to practice social distancing when visiting state parks or any outdoor area.

To date, State Parks has proactively taken the following steps in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:
- Parks where vehicular traffic is now closed include the counties of Los Angeles, Marin, San Mateo, Sonoma and San Diego.
- High public-use indoor facilities––including museums, visitor centers and cafés––are closed.
- All campgrounds across the state have been closed until further notice.
- Cancellation of events: All events being held in the State Park System have been cancelled.
- Additional cleanings of public-facing facilities: Public-facing facilities, such as restrooms, are being cleaned more frequently per recommended protocols.
 
Golden Gate National Recreation District
Area
, effective through April 7:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of GGNRA trails

San Francisco County Closures:
- Alcatraz Island
- Presidio Visitor Center
- Fort Point NHS
- Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center
- Lands End Lookout

Marin County Closures:
- Marin Headlands Visitor Center
- Nike Missile site; Point Bonita Lighthouse
- Muir Woods National Monument – entire park and parking closed
- All park campgrounds (Kirby Cove, Bicentennial)
- Staff and partners will attempt to keep parking lots, open spaces, beaches, and trails open, provided no additional public health issues arise.
- Visitors are encouraged to “pack it in and pack it out” as trash pickup and park staffing will be severely limited due to the Shelter in Place Orders in communities.
 
East Bay Regional Park District (updated 3/25/20):

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of East Bay Regional Park District trails
Check for Park District Updates at EBParks.org

Unsafe overcrowding is a concern. While the Park District hopes to keep parks and trails open, some closures are necessary to limit overcrowding and maintain social distancing. The list below of parks, developed park areas, parking lots, and entrance points will be closed beginning Friday, March 27, 2020, through Thursday, April 30, 2020. Trails will remain accessible on a walk-in, bike-in basis. During this time, the Park District asks that you keep dogs on leash, providing everyone the social distancing that is required.

Ways the public can help keep parks open include:
- Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people
- No picnicking, groups, gatherings, or meetups (only immediate households should be together)
- Pack-in, pack-out trash, including dog poop (there is no trash collection during COVID-19)
- All bathrooms, water fountains, visitor centers and facilities, indoor rental facilities, campgrounds, and swim facilities are closed.

NEW CLOSURES BEGINNING FRIDAY, MARCH 27:
- Black Diamond – Upper Parking Lot Closed (Parking available at Sidney Flat)
- Castle Rock Recreation Area Closed
- Contra Loma Closed (Trails Open from Frederickson Lane)
- Crown Beach – Otis Parking Lot Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
- Del Valle Closed (Trail Access from Arroyo Staging Area Only)
- Diablo Foothills (Limited Parking for Trail Access)
- Garin/Dry Creek – Meyer's Garden Closed
- Point Isabel – Main Parking Area Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park – Redwood Road Gate Closed
- Piedmont Stables (Boarders Allowed to Care for Horses)
- Roberts Regional Recreation Main Park Area Closed(Walk-In Access Only)
- Shadow Cliffs Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
- Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve – Tunnel Road Entrance Closed (All Other Access Points Open)
- Sunol Regional Wilderness Closed
- Tilden Botanic Garden – Garden Closed 
 
PREVIOUS CLOSURES (STILL IN EFFECT):
 - Anthony Chabot Closures:
   - Marciel Gate
   - Chabot Equestrian Center Parking Lot (Boarders Allowed for Care for Horses)
   - Skyline Stables (Boarders Allowed for Care for Horses) 
- Ardenwood Closures:
   - Ardenwood Closed
- Bay Point Shoreline Closures:
   - Closed Due to Construction 
- Big Break Closures:
   - Big Break Visitor Center 
- Black Diamond Closures
   - Mine Closed
   - Sidney Flats Visitor Center
   - Greathouse Visitor Center 
- Briones Closures:
   - Bear Creek Staging Area
- Regional Trails Closures:
   - Lafayette-Moraga Old Moraga Ranch Trail (Closed due to Landslide) 
- Coyote Hills Closures:
   - Main Parking Lots
   - Coyote Hills Visitor Center 
- Crown Beach Closures:
   - McKay Parking Lot (Walk-In Access Only)
   - Crab Cove Visitor Center 
- Del Valle Closures:
   - Del Valle Visitor Center 
Garin/Dry Creek/Pioneer Closures:      
   - Visitor Center
   - Apple Orchard 
- Lake Chabot Closures:
   - Boat Ramp (No Boating/No Quagga Inspection) 
- Lake Temescal Closures:
   - South Parking Lot 
- Leona Canyon Closures:
   - Main Staging Area 
- MLK Shoreline Closures:
   - Tidewater Staging Area
   - Tidewater Outdoor Recreation Office
   - Tidewater Oakland Strokes Operations 
- Quarry Lakes Closures:
   - Boat Ramp (No Boating/No Quagga Inspection) 
- Sunol Closures:
   - Sunol Visitor Center 
- Tidewater Closures (See MLK Shoreline)
   - All Areas Closed 
-Tilden Closures:
   - All Picnic Areas Along Lake Anza and Brook Roads
   - Fern Picnic Area Parking
   - Indian Camp Parking Lot, Playground, and Picnic Area
   - Lone Oak Parking Area
   - Lakeview Parking Lot
   - Mineral Springs Parking Lot - No Trails
   - Lake Anza Road and Parking Area
   - Tilden Golf Course
   - Golf Course Gated Lot (Bottom Half)
   - Steam Trains/Golden Gate Live Steamers
   - Merry-Go-Round
   - Native Here Nursery
   - South Park Drive (Continued Newt Closure Past April 1) 
-Tilden Botanic Garden Closures:
   - Botanic Garden Visitor Center 
- Tilden Nature Area Closures:  
   - Tilden Nature Area Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
   - Tilden Little Farm
   - Environmental Education Center
   - Indian Camp Parking Lot 
Wildcat Canyon Closures:
   - Walk-In Entrance Trail into the Alvarado Picnic Area
 
Marin County Open Space, effective through April 7:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Marin County Open Space trails

- County Open Space Preserves Are Open: Marin County open space preserves remain open at this time. Please practice social distancing based on public health guidance if visiting a preserve.
- Event Cancellations: Marin County Parks is canceling all events until further notice. This includes all ranger, naturalist, and volunteer programs.
- Temporary County Parks Closure: All Marin County parks are closed. For your safety please observe closure signs. 
- County Open Space Preserves Are Open: Marin County open space preserves remain open at this time. Please practice social distancing based on public health guidance if visiting a preserve.
 
Marin Municipal Water District, effective now:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Marin Municipal Water District trails

- MMWD is following red flag road closure guidelines at this time, with Sky Oaks Road closed to all vehicle traffic.
- Hiking, biking and fishing are still allowed on the Watershed.
- Please check their closure message line at 415-945-1195.
 
 
Lake County, effective now:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Lake County trails

- Lake County Parks & Rec are committed to keeping the parks and trails open from 7 a.m. until sunset.
- Visitors are encouraged to spend time outdoors as it is safe and healthy as long as you follow all social distancing rules.
- Playgrounds will remain open, but without constant cleaning, DogTrekker recommends against entering these areas.
- Some restrooms are open, but like the playgrounds, are not being cleaned or stocked on a regular basis.
- All March public programs are canceled.
 
Sonoma County Regional Parks, effective through April 7:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Sonoma County Regional Parks trails

- All parks, trails and beaches remain open so the community can engage in self-directed outdoor exercise (hiking, walking, biking) while following social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines. Parking fees are waived until further notice.
- Off-leash dog parks are open, with dog owners asked to adhere to social distancing.
- All campgrounds are closed. All reservation fees will be automatically refunded. Reservation services for future dates are on hold as staff notify campers and process refunds.
- Individual and group picnic areas are closed.
- Playgrounds, parcourse facilities, sports fields and athletic courts are closed.
- Organized recreation, education and volunteer outings are suspended.
- Indoor facilities and visitor centers are closed.
- Regional Parks’ office is closed to walk-in customers. The processing of park membership sales is suspended so staff can support essential operations.
- Marinas are closed to the public, with essential services only for commercial boats.
- Off-leash dog parks are open, with dog owners asked to adhere to social distancing.
 
East Bay Municipal Utility District, effective through April 7:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of East Bay Municipal Utility District trials

- Due to the shelter in place order, and to protect the health and safety of park visitors, both Lafayette and San Pablo reservoir recreation areas are closed.
- All other regional trails not attached to Lafayette and San Pablo reservoir recreation areas are open, and EBMUD has suspended the need for a hiking permit.
- Volunteer Day (March 21) and The Longest Mile Wildflower Hike (April 4) are canceled.
 
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, effective through April 15:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District trails

- The Garland Ranch Visitor Center and Palo Corona Discovery Center are temporarily closed, and all planned group activities at District parks are suspended.
- District parks currently remain open for regular use, but all water fountains are closed. Please practice safe social distancing.
- The District is complying with all CDC recommendations.
 
John Muir Land Trust, effective through April 7:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of John Muir Land Trust trails

- All JMLT spring events are being postponed. This includes the National Park Expansion and Almond Ranch Dedication on May 2nd.
- Properties remain open. Be sure to take sensible precautions such practicing social distancing on the trail, use sunscreen, take plenty of water, and always let people know your plans.
- Some maintenance and trail-building activities on their properties will be curtailed. If you notice anything that needs attention, please send a message to info@jmlt.org.
- JMLT staff will be working remotely for the next several weeks. Their Martinez office will be closed. Staff will be available by phone and email only.
 
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, effective through April 30:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District trails:

- All preserves remain open at this time. Note, however, areas receiving high use may be closed if visitation is near or at capacity to promote safe social distancing. Specifically, Rancho San Antonio County Park and Preserve and the Mount Umunhum Area of Sierra Azul may be closed without advance notice. Visitors are reminded to maintain social distances of at least 6 feet from others. During this time, please consider visiting one of our more remote and less frequented preserves.
- Restrooms and drinnking fountains are closed to help prevent spread of the virus and protect public and staff health. Visitors are advised to carry and use hand sanitizers. Bring your own water.
- Paper maps have been removed from trailhead boxes, please download a map before leaving home or snap a photo of the signboard map before you hike.
- Group gathering areas, including Deer Hollow Farm, the Daniels Nature Center, the Black Mountain Backpack Camp and the Picchetti Winery and picnic area are closed to ensure social distancing.
- Group/use permits, docent-led hikes and volunteer projects have been suspended until further notice.
 
Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, effective through April 4:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks trails

- All recreation centers will be closed.
- Outdoor park space and amenities will remain open during regular park hours. Please practice safe social distancing.
- Restrooms accessible to the outdoors will remain open during regular operating hours.
- The Griffith Observatory will be closed as well as Travel Town, Train Rides, Pony Rides and the Merry Go Round.
 
San Diego County Open Space, effective through April 6:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of San Diego County Open Space trails

-  In line with County health guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all Parks and Recreation facilities are CLOSED until further notice. This includes all beaches, parks, recreation areas, reservoirs and lakes.
 
Napa County Open Space, effective through April 7:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Napa County Open Space trails

- California State Parks has temporarily closed all campgrounds in the state park system to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). This includes Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.
- Guided tours and large events have been suspended, and facilities such as visitor centers and museums have been temporarily closed.
- Non-campground outdoor areas of state parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between other visitors.
 
Santa Clara County Parks, effective now:

Check out DogTrekker.com's list of Santa Clara County Parks hikes and trails

SCC Parks are committed to keeping communities safe so parks can stay open. Some reminders:
- All events, classes and programs have been cancelled through May 3.
- Now is not the time to meet up, even in small groups.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone you don't live with.
- Keep dogs on leach as loose dogs can result in closer interaction.
- Avoid crowded areas, including parking lots.

There are over two dozen dog-friendly parks in the county. Those listed here are currently not heavily impacted. When visiting a County Park, park in the main parking lot as trailhead parking lots are near capacity on weekends:
   - Coyote Lake
   - Sanborn
   - Mt. Madonna
   - Stevens Creek
   - Calero
   - Ed Levin
   - Joseph D. Grant
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