Titan on Kiva Beach. Photo by Team2ROOS
• Tahoe Splash Zones
For the third year running, the most-clicked topic on DogTrekker.com was dog-friendly beaches at Lake Tahoe. More than 18,000 of you have checked out various versions of our dog-friendly beach roundup since the list first appeared in 2012. The latest version was published in July 2014—and since then, we’ve added some new stretches of dog-friendly shoreline. Check out our Tahoe beach listings to discover your own piece of splashy canine paradise. Two new paw-tested places of note: Nevada Beach and Tahoe State Recreation Area, both of which encompass dog-friendly campgrounds, splash zones and canine-accommodating trails.
• Dog-time for Yosemite
Cordelia in Yosemite. Photo by Cordelia's Adventures
Is Yosemite National Park
dog-friendly? That’s a question that comes up frequently at DogTrekker.com, and one we address every year in one form or another. This year, while emphasizing that there are many ways to enjoy the park with your furry friend, we also expanded our coverage of the four-county Yosemite Region
. In a popular June newsletter titled On the Road to Yosemite
, we took a look at things to see and do with your dog whether entering the park from its north, south, east or west gateways.
Your response to our launch of Yosemite Region pages has been so positive that we plan to put more paws on the ground in 2015 and turn up more dog-friendly adventures.
• Dog-friendly Lodging
One of the top subjects that draws DogTrekkers to our site is dog-friendly lodging. This year, we expanded our listings and now include more than 1500 properties in our areas of coverage. To make it easier to find places for you and your pooch to bed down, we’ve added a “Lodging”
tab on our toolbar. Click it
, then drill down to find hotels and motels, vacation rentals, campgrounds, B&B’s, cabins, cottages and more.
• Golden Gate National Recreation Area
For more than three years, DogTrekker.com has been proud to champion the ongoing advocacy efforts of dog lovers opposed to provisions in a proposed management plan that would prohibit or restrict access to portions of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that have long been available for on- or off-leash dog walking and exercise. Our most recent story, Enjoy These GGNRA Beaches While You Can, includes links and updates regarding the controversial plan.
• Dog-friendly Wineries
The saying that California has “gone to the dogs” is especially true when it comes to wineries. Wine-tasting with Bosco alongside is one of the most popular activities among DogTrekkers. More than 400 dog-friendly wineries are listed on the site, along with policies for each regarding canine visitors. To make it easier for readers to sort the offerings, we created a new California Wine Country destination tab and an easy-to-use interactive map. The most-visited wine pages are those for Mendocino County, Sonoma County, the Tri-Valley region, Gold Country and San Luis Obispo County.
• Heading South
Surf Dog riding the waves in Huntington Beach.
Throughout 2014, DogTrekker.com research and editorial teams sniffed around the southern part of our state, adding SoCal destination
s one at a time to our pages and ensuring that we keep our 4-Paw Promise to provide in-depth local coverage, accurate listings, engaging stories and commitment to the support of rescue and adoption organizations. Added to our listings this year were Orange
, Los Angeles
and San Diego
counties, plus the Desert
and Central Coast
regions. Over the next year, we will continue adding new adventures for you to enjoy with your dogs in these regions.
Rita in Christmas Valley. Photo by Ed Burns.
• When it Rains, They Pour
Recent rains are good news not just for drought-parched California in general, but for the many waterfalls that gush forth and make great hiking destinations in winter and spring. Waterfall hikes, indeed, are among the most searched-for outdoor recreation topics on DogTrekker.com. Type “waterfalls” into our home-page search box, and you’ll be rewarded with dozens of suggestions for places where you and your dog can take the plunge.
• Go California! Photo Contest
You and your pups were the stars of DogTrekker’s Capture California summer photo contest, which drew nearly 1,000 entries and saw almost 20,000 votes cast. Your photos depicted DogTrekkers at play with their pups throughout our state, and were mightily impressed by the overall quality of the images submitted. Take a look at the album, and expect the contest to be repeated in 2015.
• Beast of the Bay Awards
Thanks to our readers’ enthusiastic participation in Bay Woof’s annual Beast of the Bay readers’ choice awards, DogTrekker earned three accolades: Best Dog-Travel Website, Best Dog Blog and runner-up for Best Overall Website for Dogs. We hate to have to sit up and beg for your votes again, but the 2015 contest is in progress and waiting for you to weigh in!
• Improved Navigation
When you say “bark,” we ask, “how loud?” As our content and readership grew during the past year, it became evident that we needed to streamline site navigation. So, rather than adding to the already long list of destinations on the left rail, we introduced new filters that allow users to refine their searches by region, county or city. We also created interactive maps that make it easier for you to get quickly to a particular county. The same navigation system is being integrated into the mobile app that will launch in early 2015.