Regional park districts in the Bay Area and beyond offer myriad venues for hiking with your dog. Check out the possibilities and put paws to path this fall!
East Bay Regional Park District: The Bay Area wouldn’t be what it is without its rolling hills and open space, and we have EBRPD to thank for much of it. The district manages 65 parks in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, offering between them some 1,200 miles of dog-friendly trails. Away from developed areas, four-legged hikers trained to come when called can trek alongside you leash-free.
Marin County Parks & Open Space: Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Rover rules the road—and the hiking trails. MCOSD manages 34 preserves offering scenic vistas, redwood groves, streams and other natural amenities. You don’t have to go far to find a trailhead: There are 335 entry points to nearly 16,000 acres of lands managed by the district. Leashed dogs are permitted at all but three properties.
Marin Municipal Water District: Still more Bay Area hiking options are offered by the MMWD, which maintains seven reservoirs providing about 75 percent of water used in Marin County. Hikers with dogs are allowed on most of the 130 miles of trails and unpaved roads on district lands. Some trails are so secluded it takes some sleuthing to find them!
Monterey County Parks: Dogs are welcome at virtually all county and regional parks on the Monterey Peninsula, and at sprawling Garland Ranch in Carmel Valley, they can accompany you off-leash in undeveloped areas. The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District oversees 24 parks and 20,000 acres set aside for conservation and recreation.
Midpeninsula Open Space District: You and your canine companion are invited to experience dozens of dog-friendly trails at 10 of the 26 preserves operated by Midpen in the South Bay. You’ll need to stay leashed up at all but Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, where you can hike unclipped as long as your furry companion comes when called and doesn’t harass other park users, dogs or wildlife.