Day 1: Inland wine trails and train rides

By: DogTrekker Staff
A conductor stands alongside a locomotive where a yellow lab is waiting to board the train.
Kayla boarding the Skunk Train. Photo by Dave Kendrick.

Mendocino County might be known for gorgeous coastline, but the enchantment here also extends to inland hills and redwoods stands. Treasures dot the Highway 101 corridor between Hopland and Leggett, including sprawling state parks, small towns, farm-to-fork restaurants, and plenty of wineries that accommodate furry friends. The region’s storied Skunk Train also winds through these rugged landscapes.

Many of inland Mendocino County’s wineries have sun-splashed patios that are perfect for pups. Expect towering trees and an open-air fire pit at McNab Ridge Winery in Hopland, while Ukiah’s Rivino Winery has picnic tables and vineyard-view paths. Just north of town, Yokayo Ranch is an upscale spot for special events and family gatherings that include dogs.

Named for the odors created by oil-burning motorcars from the early-1900s, the modern-day Skunk Train now make clean diesel-electric and steam-powered voyages along the same scenic routes. Board with your dog and marvel at majestic Mendocino County landscapes.

The two-hour Wolf Tree Turn route leaves from the Willits depot and travels over a 1,740-foot summit before descending into the Noyo River Canyon. You’ll also wind through iconic Tunnel #2 and chug past massive redwoods. To enjoy even more fresh air and nature, book a two-seater railbike tour. Don’t forget to reserve a convenient dog trailer for the journey.


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