On the path at Lake Del Valle.
Back in the day, Bosco used to love to join you in long-distance runs and near-vertical scrambles up challenging trails. Now, not so much — but he still needs regular exercise to stay healthy, and hey, so do you. So there's a lot to be said for a nice, flat, paved path, with plenty of scenery and sniffing opportunities to enjoy as the spirit (or the scent) moves you.
The Iron Horse Regional Trail has long been a well-kept secret of East Bay residents, but word's getting out. This narrow, multi-use paved path winds along a former railroad right-of-way from Concord to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. Pick a spot, walk as far as you like, then go back. Depending on your mood and your starting point, your stroll can include spectacular vistas of open space, leisurely shopping, or fine dining.
One popular option: pick up the Trail in Danville and head north toward Alamo or south toward San Ramon for classic California scenery of oak-dotted hills and charming neighborhoods. Then turn back to town for refreshment and a sampling of Danville's dog-friendly amenities — especially on the evening of May 21, when the whole downtown celebrates all things canine at Danville Doggie Night.
Looking for an easy wine country trail with vistas of the vineyards? In Angwin, the Whoop De Dogs Flat Rock Trail's 2.2-mile loop offers scenic outlooks on the vines, plus up-close-and-personal views of iconic California trees: redwoods, oaks, gray pine, Douglas fir, manzanita, and madrones.
Other easy stroll-and-sniff venues you don't want to miss: Redding's Sacramento River National Recreation Trail and Sacramento's American River Parkway.