Go with the rivers’ flow

By: DogTrekker Staff
Dog wearing red life vest asleep in kayak
Photo by Elizabeth Krupka.

Your dog may not be able to paddle her own canoe, but you’ll have a blast paddling for her with an assist from an outfitter who knows how to help water-loving canines and their people have fun. Among our favorite DogTrekker activities is paddling a languidly flowing, 8.5-mile stretch of the Russian River around the dog-friendly, wine-centric town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County.

Russian River Adventures is the go-to outfitter here, providing stable and dog-friendly inflatable canoes for full-day trips on which paddlers can enjoy clear, clean swimming holes and a picnic lunch before catching the shuttle back to town.

On the Mendocino County coast,  Catch-A-Canoe & Bicycles Too rents “canine cruisers”—outrigger canoes outfitted with a raised dog deck—for floats on Mendocino County’s Big River estuary.

On the Truckee River, sole outlet for flows from Lake Tahoe, your dog can join you on a two- to three-hour, self-guided float aboard a raft procured from Truckee River Raft Rentals in Tahoe City.

Looking for a simple swimming hole where you can dog-paddle with your four-legged friend? Head for South Yuba River State Park in Nevada County, where you’ll find idyllic swim spots set off by granite boulders perfect for broasting in the sun.


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