It’s always cool on the Redwood Coast, so don’t worry about leaving Sparky in the car while you spend half an hour at the Willow Creek-China Flat Bigfoot Museum (open May-October), where you’ll see film footage, footprint casts and other artifacts related to the hairy hominid that has even earned a starring role in the county’s tourism marketing campaign. (Hey, you gotta believe!)
Squatchers are a dime a dozen in these parts, so don’t hesitate to engage locals in conversation—or ask them where they take their dogs for a run or a walk.
Chances are they’ll point you to favorite haunts like Sequoia Park, a 75-acre redwood preserve in Eureka; or Arcata Community Forest, about 800 acres of ferny, second-growth woodlands just minutes from downtown Arcata.
You can also wander into Headwaters Forest Reserve, site of many tree-sits and anti-logging demonstrations over the years. Old-growth areas are off limits except on guided tours, but dogs under reliable voice control are allowed to accompany you off-leash on the first three miles of the Elk River Trail in the reserve’s northern section, about six miles southeast of Eureka.