Get Your Float on in Sonoma Wine Country!

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog with life jacket in boat on the Russian River

Nine miles. Four-plus hours of water time. Countless tail wags, big smiles. A float/paddle on a secluded section of the Russian River is a DogTrekker must-do for visitors to Sonoma County.

With your water-loving dog on board in a custom-made SOAR inflatable canoe from Russian River Adventures, you’ll explore a secluded section of the waterway downstream from Healdsburg and linger at swimming holes and beaches, picnicking, playing fetch and wishing the adventure would never end.

RR Adventures pioneered its super-stable SOAR canoes (which resemble kayaks more than traditional canoes) back in 2003. Since then, thousands of dogs have enjoyed sharing a river day with their peeps. Most dogs adjust quickly to being on the water, but the outfitter requests they be kept in the boat for the first few minutes.

After that, people and pups are free to swim, romp and picnic on shore (BYO munchies). A shuttle bus meets paddlers and pets at the takeout for the trip back to the starting point. Actual paddle/float time on the river is about three hours, with launch taking place before 10:30 a.m. and boats due at the take-out by 5 p.m.

When you are done with your on-water adventure, Healdsburg visitors will find plenty of dog-friendly things to do. For starters, top restaurants including Barndiva and Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar welcome pets, as do lively brew pubs like Bear Republic and casual spots including Healdsburger, where you can chow down on burgers and fries on the outdoor patio while your worn-out pup chills at your feet. Scores of dog-friendly wineries are within easy striking distance, including a half-dozen right on the town square.

On the lodging front, choices include the Best Western Dry Creek Inn, the upscale H2Hotel on the town square and Camellia Inn, a charming bed-and-breakfast nearby.

Photo Credit: @whitneymock


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