DogTrekkers who visit the Monterey Peninsula tend to be well aware of that glorious, mile-long, leash-free beach in the village of Carmel. But that's not the only place you can unclip Dash and Dottie and let them run free so long as they stay within sight and under voice control. Garland Ranch Regional Park in Carmel Valley has miles of trails to roam, a river and tributary creek with swimming holes to splash in, a stellar visitor center and even specially designed water fountains for dogs. Trails in the 4,462-acre park range from the flat and easy Lupine Loop skirting the Carmel River flood plain to the strenuous, 1,600-foot climb to Snivley's Ridge via the scenic Sky Trail.
Garland Ranch holds a special place in the hearts of Californians who have worked hard to preserve open space for future generations: It was the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District's first acquisition. Since 1972, the district has acquired 24 parks and open spaces totaling 20,000 acres set aside for conservation recreational opportunity. Monterey County households pay $19 a year to keep them operating for all to enjoy. The relaxed leash laws enjoyed at Garland Ranch apply in many of the other parks, too. Be sure that you and Fido, as visitors, do your part to keep the privileges intact!