Like to hike? You’re in luck in the Trail Capital of California, as Redding has so aptly branded itself. The city boasts some 80 miles of trails within its city limits and hundreds more within a 20-mile radius of its core.
A heads up: there are still a few trails closed in the Whiskeytown Recreational Area, but other than annual maintenance, most of the region’s trails are open, and most are dog-friendly. You can check the status of your favorite trail by going here.
A premier trail in the region—and a top choice for first-time visitors—is the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail extending 17.5 miles from the iconic Sundial Bridge to massive Shasta Dam. There are many points of entry, and you can hike on either the north or south sides of the river (and maybe take a dip along the way).
The Mule Ridge and Swasey Recreation Areas, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, offer additional opportunities. Try the easy, 2-mile Wintu Trail (but watch out for hazardous trees and debris), the mile-long Enticer Trail or the 2.2-mile Meiner’s Loop Trail. On all three, you’ll witness both fire damage and Mother Nature’s restorative powers. Another good bet: the Clear Creek Recreation Area, also managed by the BLM. The Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve is a 27-acre rec area maintained as a natural preserve for the public. Several loop trails offer canyon views and water access (this is a popular area for kayakers).
Into wildflowers? You’ll get an eyeful this spring—as well as great views of Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen and the Trinity Range—on the Westside Trail, a moderately trafficked, 4.8-mile out-and-back near Redding.
It’s not exactly a trail, but a “must see” Redding attraction is Shasta Dam, a 602-foot-high marvel holding back Shasta Lake, largest reservoir in California. It’s the second-largest concrete dam in the country (after Grand Coulee in Washington), and it’s a marvel to behold. You and your leashed pet can walk the dam’s length (.66 miles) and connect with a vast network of dog-friendly trails. Dam tours, which lead deep into the structure, are free but must be reserved in advance (sorry, no dogs, but those in your party can take turns and picnic on the attractive grounds outside).