With more public lands than a DogTrekker could explore in a lifetime, Butte County is a great place for an outdoorsy getaway with your canine companion. The surprises start in the county seat of Chico, home to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, a California State University campus and Bidwell Park, at 3,618 acres, one of the largest municipal parks in the country. While the developed Lower Park is home to playing fields, a nature center, a theater and other community facilities, the rougher, untamed Upper Park offers 70 miles of hiking trails and open areas where it's legal to let Fido romp off leash so long as he comes when you call.
Lake Oroville, the state's second-largest reservoir after Shasta Lake, is the county's biggest liquid magnet, offering campsites, marinas, waterfront resorts and many other opportunities for doggie fun; just be aware that beach and turf areas are off limits to canines. When the lake is full, it comes to within a quarter-mile of Feather Falls, a three-tiered, 410-foot cascade on the Fall River that gushes in spring. The nine-mile Feather Falls Loop Trail is dog-friendly and leads to a railed observation platform.