November 6, 2022 Greenbelt Trails Yesterday definitely felt like fall as we hiked 7 miles of beautiful trails in the Hayward hills. Much of the trails were lined with beautiful falling multi-colored leaves, vibrant green ferns and moss, and many streams ran along the trails. We began our hike from the parking lot next to the Hayward Plunge and hiked our way all the way up to the hills of Hayward (1,100ft of elevation gain). Most of this hike had mild hills mixed with mostly flat stretches so it didn't seem too bad until we reached the last quarter mile, which was definitely left us with sore calves today. But it was totally worth it for such an incredible hike. We spent nearly 4 hours on the trails and practically had the place to ourselves, only passing a couple people and no other dogs. This hike is perfect for a reactive dog, because all dogs are required to be on leash and not too many people know about these trails so it doesn't get crowded.
Unfortunately there's now a small homeless encampment near the trailhead, and we had to pass a couple groups of very aggressive dogs (luckily on leash). The first quarter mile of the trail had a lot of garbage surrounding it and even in the creek. I would actually recommend making this into a shorter hike, at a little less than 4 miles, by parking your car on the shoulder of Oakes Drive (off of Campus Drive) and hiking the loop East Avenue Trail and Ward Creek Rd. Trail. There's plenty of street parking and you'll still enjoy a beautiful hike without the garbage or having to worry about the aggressive dogs at the Wally Wickander Memorial trailhead.
October 23, 2022 Hayward Regional Shoreline On Friday, we visited an entrance to Hayward Regional Shoreline that we have not visited before. I was going to go to the Hayward entrance, but I realized that there's a closer San Lorenzo entrance. The drive from the San Lorenzo to Hayward entrance is about 5.5 miles, but you can walk along the bay trail less than 2 miles between the two. The San Lorenzo entrance is in a bit of an off place, at the end of the industrial Grant Ave. To reach the park, you have to take a short walk down the paved road adjacent to the parking lot until you reach a fence. This entrance takes you along the canal that separates Oyster Bay. Walk towards the water and you will soon see a bridge. You can take the bridge to the right into Oyster Bay, or to the left, which will take you on a scenic walk along the water. We took that route, enjoyed views of the bay, marsh, lots of birds, ground squirrels and crossed several bridges. We walked a total of about 3 miles round trip, which took us to Sulphur Creek and back. This walk was entirely on-leash and we only passed two other dogs during our visit.
October 9, 2022 Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! I've been quite busy, and I started a new job (which should, hopefully, give me more time to hike!). On Friday we got up super early and went to Sibley. I was surprised to see so many people and dogs at 7:30 in the morning. Since it was so crowded, and Roxy can sometimes be reactive, we decided to stick to the on-leash trail. From the parking lot, we headed down to Skyline Trail, which goes down for almost a mile to the Old Tunnel Staging area. This was a quick hike but a great workout on the way back up. This trail is mostly shaded and lined with ferns and lush, green trees. It's much less crowded than the trails above.
September 5, 2022 Swimply - Rent out a neighbor's dog-friendly pool! We've been avoiding the Bay Area beaches because of the dangerous Red Tide (it's killing fish and can be very harmful to dogs). So instead we beat the heat and had an awesome new adventure with the help of the Swimply app (the AirBNB of pools). We are in no way affiliated with Swimply, but I wanted to share our experience. There are a lot of pools around us, usually ranging from $25 to $100 per hour. You can filter by "dog-friendly," but we quickly found out by reading descriptions that many of the pools allow dogs in their back yard, but not in their pools. We found one in Walnut Creek that was dog-friendly, and I confirmed with the owner that dogs were allowed in the pool. This pool was about $50 per hour and amazing! They had a huge, fully fenced in back yard with a basketball/tennis court, gazebo and multiple sitting areas with lounge chairs. When we arrived, we entered through a side gate as instructed, and the owner popped his head out to say hi and tell us to let him know if we needed anything. We did not see him again during our stay. He left us a whiteboard to welcome us with the wifi information and a pitcher of lemon water. There was a private bathroom right next to the pool. The owners also provided plenty of pool floaties and toys such as balls and water guns. Keisha had the time of her life running around the yard, and we could hardly keep her out of the water. She chose not to use the stairs and instead preferred to continually jump into the pool and swim laps. She is a reactive dog, so it was nice to have a private backyard for her to enjoy. We stayed for 3 hours and had so much fun that the time went by fast. We would definitely do this again. It was a great, affordable staycation and a special treat for Keisha. Use code "POOLREMINDER25" for $25 off your booking (valid through 9/14/22).
September 4, 2022 Mendocino We had a wonderful time in Mendocino, canoeing a few miles down the river on a dog-friendly outrigger canoe from To Catch a Canoe. We spent three hours on the water, only passed a few people, and it was so tranquil that Roxy actually fell asleep for almost the entire ride back. We started at noon and it was a fairly easy paddle down (about 4 miles), and then we turned around. We brought a cooler and stopped for lunch on the boat (unfortunately there's not really anywhere to pull over and dock on the shore, and there are lots of mosquitos along the shore). The ride back was a bit more difficult because it was against the water. We enjoyed a beautiful day on the river.
That night we stayed at the dog-friendly Stanford Inn By The Sea, which is right next door to To Catch a Canoe (and you get a discount for canoeing if you stay there). The hotel was beautiful, and our room had a fireplace and private deck. Dogs are allowed everywhere except the indoor pool/hot tub area. They are even allowed in the restaurant. They offer outdoor seating, but there were a lot of mosquitos out in the evening. We saw a lot of bats flying around as we had dinner. I would 100% recommend this hotel to enjoy with your dog, but unfortunately I would not recommend eating at the restaurant. Luckily it's only a few minutes drive into town for some of the best restaurants on the coast. The restaurant at the hotel (Ravens) is 100% vegan, and I love vegan food (I'm vegetarian). I actually recently had the best meal of my life at a vegan sushi spot in Berkeley. Maybe my husband and I are just spoiled, but the food was nearly inedible. They couldn't make any dishes without certain ingredients, and they told us everything was pre-made, which was not a good sign. Plating was unappetizing and dishes had no flavor. I had a stir fry that appeared to be frozen vegetables drenched in soy sauce with a side of plain rice. Breakfast was included with our stay, which I figured would be a safer option, but even that was not good. Their pancakes were dense buckwheat, and my husband had Eggs Benedict, which was a very strange dish covered in mustard. We only saw two other people at the restaurant both times, so it's not very popular. It's unfortunate that the restaurant is so bad while the hotel is so great. I'd recommend taking the short drive into town where there are numerous options for great restaurants.
August 29, 2022 Road Trip! - To Catch a Canoe I know we haven't posted in a while. I've been sick. But we are going on an exciting road trip! First stop, dog-friendly kayaking! I will post more when we return.
August 4, 2022 Anthony Chabot & Redwood Regional Park We recently hiked Anthony Chabot, starting from McDonald Gate Staging Area. This is a shady entrance in the Canyon off of Redwood Road. I like this area because there are multiple trails to choose from, both in Anthony Chabot as well as Redwood Regional Park. These trails start off shady and are lined with colorful moss and ferns. From the staging area, we began on the MacDonald Trail and took the Bird Trail loop (1/3 mile shady loop with some cool bridges). You can continue on MacDonald Trail for miles up along Redwood Road. From the McDonald staging area, you can also take the short trail on the other side of the parking lot to Big Bear Staging Area. You'll find a marked trailhead (Big Bear) about half way through, which takes you up along the hillside for a little less than half a mile. If you want to extend your hike, from the Big Bear Staging Area, cross the street at the cross walk and you'll be in Redwood Regional Park. You can hike along the Golden Spike Trail or take one of the steeper trails up to West Ridge and to the main trails in the park.
July 31, 2022 Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park & Joaquin Miller Park We had a magical early morning hike in the Oakland Hills and lucked out with stunning scenery! I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was misty and foggy when we arrived, making for a surreal hike. The towering redwoods provided a canopy from the elements, but it was still muddy and a bit wet. We started our hike from Redwood Bowl at Redwood Regional and then crossed the street and continued our hike in Joaquin Miller Park. These two parks provide countless trail options whether you're looking for an easy stroll or a steep, challenging hike.
July 10, 2022 Montclair Railroad Trail This morning we visited a trail we haven't been to in years. This is a trail with a lot of history and used to be an old railway until 1957. It runs for a little over a mile, is flat and paved, and lined with beautiful trees. The city has made a lot of trail improvements, and we even discovered a BMX trail! The last time we visited, it was just a few dirt mounds, but it has grown into a pretty cool course. We took a few side trails and visited Torii Gate and even discovered a new neighborhood hiking trail. Our entire hike was approximately 4 miles.
June 12, 2022 Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline We recently checked out Oyster Bay because we haven't visited in a while and I heard they made a lot of upgrades to the park. They put in a huge 18-hole disc golf course and a large pollinator garden. Some of the interior trails have additions or have changed. There were no changes to the exterior, paved trail, that circles the park. However, the entrances are now more clearly defined, with barriers separating the right side (off-leash/dirt trail) and the left side (on-leash/paved trail). There is a small open section between these barriers, so you still have to be careful at the entrance if you have a reactive dog in case someone on the other side unleashes their dog early.
During our walk, we checked out the disc golf course, although this is an off-leash area. We mostly stuck to the paved trail near the water. Unfortunately this trail does not connect to the entrance, so if you have a reactive dog, once you reach the end of the paved trail at about 1.7 miles, you'll just have to retrace your steps back to the entrance. If you're dog is OK with other off-leash dogs, at the end of the paved trail, you can take the dirt trail uphill and it's a short walk back to the entrance. There are beautiful views along this trail, and since it's across from the airport, you can watch planes land. There's plenty to explore, as there's a short jetty than extends out into the water, and a large green bridge that continues along the Bay Trail for a longer walk. Our out-and-back walk was about 3.5 miles.
June 11, 2022 Point San Pablo Harbor - Black Star Pirate BBQ Today we returned to Point San Pablo Harbor to check out the dog friendly restaurant. The BBQ was 10/10, and they even offer vegetarian/vegan options and tons of sides. The chef here used to work at the well-known Cha Cha Cha on Haight Street in SF. After our lunch, we enjoyed a walk along the water, the sculpture park and even got to see a new sculpture. Despite it being a hot day, it was significantly cooler here than our home in Oakland, as it's right by the water.
May 21, 2022 Heron Bay Today we escaped the heat and took our reactive dog, Keisha to Heron Bay in San Leandro. When we parked, it was already 15 degrees cooler than when we left our house. We walked a half a mile to the small beach area, and by that time it was even cooler and very breezy. Normally we take the side, dirt trails closer to the entrance because we normally have that area to ourselves. This park is never crowded (probably because parking is tricky), but today it was even more deserted than usual. So we took the opportunity to walk the main, paved Bay Trail along the water. It's a beautiful, flat trail with views of the marsh on one side and the bay on the other. We saw a lot of birds and ground squirrels. In total we walked 2.2 miles, a little more than a mile one way and then retraced our steps back to where we began.
April 29, 2022 Leona Heights Park This week I took a day off from work and we hiked my favorite hike in Oakland. I've been hiking this for decades and it always takes my breath away. If you'e never been here, you're definitely in for a surprise! The beginning of the hike takes you up along the creek and over beautiful bridges, all while being surrounded by towering redwoods and vibrant green ferns. The first 0.8 miles of this hike climbs steadily uphill, has a few narrow spots, one plank you'll have to cross to cross the creek, and a couple short scrambles. Your legs may burn with the 450ft elevation gain, but I have no doubt you'll think it's worth it. Once you reach the top, you'll emerge on a wider fire trail than soon opens up to panoramic views of the bay. This trail has multiple switchbacks and leads you steadily downhill. Although there's a shorter route down, it's a bit of a scramble, so I prefer to take the main trail all the way down until it spits you out at a white fire gate in a neighborhood. Then it's a few more blocks back to where you parked. This entire hike is about 2 miles and it's definitely a must visit. For more details and a rough map, click the link below.
April 24, 2022 Garin Regional Park - Ziele Creek Entrance Yesterday we went on a beautiful 3+ mile loop hike. This hike had just about everything I could ask for: shady, lush green trails along the creek as well as views of the Bay. We got a bit of a late start (arriving around 11am), so I was worried about the heat and the crowds. To my delight, we enjoyed a sunny hike that stayed cool for hours, thanks to some shady trails and a nice breeze up on the hillside. We also only encountered about 5 people during our entire hike. We've lucked out at this entrance before, as it seems to be a little-known entrance with mostly locals.
Our hike began above CSU Hayward, off of Ziele Creek Drive. Upon entering the park, we took the Ziele Creek Trail straight ahead, which gently climbs down into the canyon. I was surprised to see a decent amount of water running in the creek, and beautiful greenery surrounding it. We followed the trail as it climbed upward and opened up to view lush green hills. This trail turned into Vista Peak Loop Trail and we continued to climb until we reached the peak. At the peak, we had incredible panoramic views of the Bay Area. It was a bit hazy, but we could see the Dumbarton, San Mateo and SF Bay bridges. There were plenty of trees here, and we found a great spot to rest in the shade. This would make a wonderful picnic area. From here, we continued around the hillside and enjoyed the view as the trail descended. Eventually we came to some horse stables and were delighted to view horses and even a few goats. We continued our descent until we reached Ziele Creek Trail again. This side of the creek trail had even more water, and we had to cross in one spot. A short but steep climb took us back to where we started.
The lowest part of the canyon was at 450ft and the highest was at about 850ft elevation, so this hike was a great workout but it didn't feel too strenuous because most of the ascents were broken up. This trail had a lot of foxtails, so we brought Roxy's mesh muzzle (linked in my "Dog Gear" section). This was definitely a must here.
April 17, 2022 Fairmont Ridge Happy Easter! Today we got up early and visited one of my favorite spots that we haven't hiked in quite a while. This park has beautiful views looking down on Lake Chabot, as well as panoramic views of the Bay. There are many unmarked trails winding around the hillsides, so you can make this hike as short or long as you'd like. In the past, we've never seen cattle here, but there were a lot today. We managed to hike about 1.5 miles, taking side trails to avoid cattle. Our hike had 225ft of elevation gain. There were a lot of fox tails off the main, paved trail, so I'd recommend brining a soft muzzle if your dogs likes to eat them. The parking lot is small, so I'd recommend visiting early before it gets crowded. We hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!
April 15, 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline We hope everyone is enjoying some sun after the rain! Today turned out to be a beautiful day. We just visited MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. Did you know that you can find bat rays here? We often see them later in the year, standing on the bridge looking over the canal (just past the pier). This is a beautiful park that's mostly flat and rarely crowded. It's a scenic, relaxing w
April 10, 2022 Point Molate Beach This quiet beach has calm waters and we often have the shoreline to ourselves. The upper area is popular with people BBQing and picnicking, but it seems that few wander down the beach, or possibly don't know there is access. From the picnic area there is a steep drop off (at least 5') down to the water. When we visited, a man was actually lowering down a ladder to access the beach! However, if you walk towards where you drove in, there's a pathway along the fence that splits to the right and will take you right down to the water (no climbing required). This is a beautiful beach with panoramic views of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The bay trail is nearby and you can actually walk to the bridge, if so inclined.
April 2, 2022 Point San Pablo Harbor This is a fun one - most people do not know this magical place exists. Tucked away near the tip of San Pablo, after a decent drive through vacant land and abandoned Navy buildings, you'll find an incredible sculpture park. This park features five large-scale art pieces (10ft+ tall) that have been moved from the Burning Man festival. The sculptures are hand made and have intricate details, some with special features you'll have to know about to find before your visit. In addition to the small sculpture park, you can continue your walk on a trail along the water and even explore a small beach. This is a great spot to hang out in the afternoon or early evening because the restaurant, Black Star Pirate BBQ, is right next to the sculpture park. They also have live music (Fri-Sun). There is plenty of outdoor seating around the sculptures and the restaurant even has vegetarian and vegan options. There is a community of people living here, so please be respectful of residents. This park is difficult to find, so click below for all the details.
March 31, 2022 Mendocino Headlands State Park A few steps away from the beautiful historic town of Mendocino, you'll find this breathtaking park featuring miles of coastal trails along the bluffs. The main, scenic trail is mostly flat and winds along the bluffs for a 4 mile out and back walk. This trail has elevation changes of only about 90ft. This hike surrounded me in so much beauty that I was speechless, which is a rare occurrence. The coastal trails are surrounded by vibrant green fields dotted with wildflowers and turquoise water as far as the eye can see. This place reminded me of Maui and is a wonderful stop for a picnic.
March 26, 2022 Van Damme State Beach This is a beautiful, non-crowded beach in a partially protected cove at the mouth of Little River. There are views of the bluffs to the right. If you walk to the left, the sand turns to rocks and you can explore some tide pools. We saw a lot of small crabs. We also found quite a few abalone shells, as this is a popular spot to abalone fish.
March 19, 2022 Navarro River Redwoods State Park It's been a while since I've posted, but we went on a road trip a few weeks ago, so I'm just now getting around to the write ups and I'm bringing you some cool new adventures. Navarro River Redwoods State Park is a 660-acre park along Navarro River, which runs for 11 miles along highway 128. This is a beautiful drive through the redwoods, but it’s difficult to find trails. The first time we realized we drove through the entire park just looking for a trailhead! We found that you have to leave your vehicle to find trails, as signs are often sunken 50ft in from the road, often covered by vegetation and therefore not visible or barely visible from the highway. The difficulty of finding trails and lack of available information make this park special, because not many know about it. When we visited we only ran into one other person during our entire hike. And we also found a secluded swimming hole with turquoise water!
February 26, 2022 Rancho Corral de Tierra We've been doing a lot of hiking lately and I'm excited to share some new hikes with you soon (when I can find time to write them up). But today we hiked this little-known park for a second time. Our last visit was in July, and we got to experience a surreal foggy morning that made it feel as if we were hiking into the clouds. Today, there was no fog, but it was still a beautiful hike! When we arrived there were actually a few cars at the trailhead, unlike before, but we only ran into 3 people during the entire hike. This is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's newest incorporated land, but few know about it. It is over 4,000 acres, but the park is split by private farmland and most trails are unmarked. Please see link below for very detailed hike info. This hike is about 3 miles with 900ft elevation gain. The hike up is strenuous but worth the views!
January 22, 2022 Shoreline Park Today would have been Bailey's 16th birthday. We knew we wanted to get outside this weekend and were trying to think of a place to go. My husband suggested Alameda. I started scrolling through my feed and realized that we took Bailey there on her last birthday, when she turned 14. It has been a rough year and a half without her for us and Roxy. But today was a beautiful day and it was nice to walk along the water and have so many great memories of her come back to me. I'm fortunate we explored hundreds of trails and each time I go back to one, I'm fortunate to remember special memories we shared together.
We started our walk at the ferry terminal parking lot and walked a couple miles until the trail dead-ends at a hotel. There are lots of benches and stretches of grass along the way. About 3/4 of the way down, there is a break in the concrete posts and a stretch of land that goes back towards the Oakland airport runway. There's a small beach here with a slab of wood that makes a nice bench to sit and enjoy the view. I wouldn't recommend swimming here, as there appears to be an outlet pipe nearby.
January 1, 2022 EBMUD Trails Happy New Year! This weekend we wore out the dogs before fireworks started on a couple hikes. We started at the EBMUD Trails because I wanted to see how the reservoir has changed after all this rain (since our last visit in August). To my surprise the water levels are significantly up, and this makes the hike much more scenic! As soon as we began the hike we could see the reservoir, whereas last time we had to hike about a mile in before the water began. There were a few muddy patches, but as I suspected, it wasn't as bad as other parks we've been to since we've had all this rain. We got a bit of a late start (10am) but to my surprise, it was colder than our house in Oakland and it stayed at 36 degrees until we left around noon. Roxy wore her jacket to keep warm. We hiked about 2 miles along the reservoir beginning at the Valle Vista Staging Area in Moraga. We took Rocky Ridge Trail and King Canyon Loop and then retraced our steps after about a mile. The trail starts off flat for about half a mile and then climbs up to 500ft of elevation gain. Once you get up the hill, many of the trails are shady. We passed beautiful horses that came right up to the fence to greet us. There are few dogs here and they are required to be on leash. Not all trails here are dog-friendly (and not all EBMUD trails in general are dog-friendly). The hike also requires a trail permit ($3/day or $10/year). Please click the link below to go to the main page of this hike for all the details on these trails.
November 6, 2021 Leona Heights Park Today we hiked the beautiful Leona Heights Park - a hidden gem in Oakland. We hadn't hiked this park in a long time, but not much has changed. The first half of the hike snakes along the creek, over bridges and through the redwoods. There are a few short but steep scrambles, but after hiking up about 400ft you emerge on a wide fire trail. If you go to the left, it continues up to Merritt College, and you can even connect to more trails in Leona Canyon Regional Preserve. However, we went right and hiked down the trail. Soon after the trail emerged to beautiful views of the bay area. We stayed on the wide fire trail all the way down, which had multiple switchbacks and more views of the bay. We emerged at the top of McDonell Ave, walked down to Mountain Blvd and had a short walk back to our car. The hike was 2.77 miles with 426ft of elevation gain.
October 9, 2021 Bob's Pumpkin Patch This weekend we went to Half Moon Bay for our annual pumpkin patch visit. On the drive down we pass so many pumpkin patches and think "Bob's is so much better." Bob's is the biggest patch and a lot of the pumpkins are left right where they were grown in the vines. I think I logged a mile walking the entire field in search of the perfect pumpkin. Roxy had a blast and got lots of laughs in her costume. We left with 2 very large pumpkins to carve and 4 sugar pie pumpkins ($23 total). I puree the sugar pie pumpkins and make holiday pies out of them. As you can see this spot has lots of great photo ops, and they even have some small animals for the kids (goats and pigs).
September 19, 2021 Helen Putnam Regional Park This is a new hike! I'm finding that I have to travel farther out to bring you new hikes since my website covers just about every hike in the East Bay. This hike is in Petaluma and it's the closest new hike I could find! It's a bit of a secluded park, but it offers 6 miles of trails with views of the surrounding city, shady canyon trails and even a large pond. When we visited there we saw a bunch of sheep grazing on the hillside which was something new for us, but Roxy did great. This park has a ton of foxtails, so I definitely recommend a breathable mesh muzzle like the one Roxy has (link under Dog Gear tab at top of page).
September 11,2021 As many of you know from Instagram, I've been busy fostering kittens I found in my backyard. Over the past few months I've managed to get 9 cats fixed and 4 adopted, which was a lot of work! Hoping to get back to hiking now!
August 7, 2021 EBMUD Trails It has been a while since we hiked the EBMUD trails. We hiked about 2 miles along the reservoir beginning at the Valle Vista Staging Area in Moraga. We took Rocky Ridge Trail and King Canyon Loop and then retraced our steps after about a mile. The trail starts off flat for about half a mile and then climbs up to 500ft of elevation gain. I love this part of the park because many of the trails are shady, unlike some of the other dog-friendly EBMUD trails that are hot and dry. We passed beautiful horses that came right up to the fence to greet us. The water level in the reservoir is shockingly low compared to our hikes years ago, but it's still a beautiful hike and water can be seen towards the deeper middle are of Upper San Leandro Reservoir. There are few dogs here and they are required to be on leash. Not all trails here are dog-friendly (and not all EBMUD trails in general are dog-friendly). The hike also requires a trail permit ($3/day or $10/year). Please go to the main page for all the details.
July 24, 2021 Heron Bay We took our reactive dog, Keisha, on a beautiful walk along the Bay Trail in San Leandro. We go here often and only encountered one other on-leash dog today. The weather stays cool and and there are beautiful views of the bay and SF. Parking is tricky but we always luck out. See the main page for all the details.
July 18th, 2021 Greenbelt Trails We escaped the heat on the beautiful, shady Greenbelt trails of Hayward near CSU East Bay. The trails we took spanned about 3.5 miles and we only encountered one other dog (on leash). This was a great hike for our reactive dog, Keisha.
July 5, 2021 Rancho Corral de Tierra We just discovered a magical hike that I highly recommend. This is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area's newest incorporated land, but few know about it. It is over 4,000 acres, but the park is split by private farmland and most trails are unmarked. I've been meaning to check out this park for a while now, but after much research, I couldn't find a lot of info on this park, and the trailheads I researched all looked sketchy. I'm so thankful I decided to drive around until I found a great trailhead and mapped out a hiking loop. I'm bringing you a magical ~3 mile hike that takes you up 900ft into the mist and fog and feels like you're entering the clouds. This hike will make you feel like you've been transported to Hawaii or a scene in Jurassic Park!
June 5, 2021 Garin/Dry Creek Regional Preserve For this hike we started at the end of the May Street parking lot. We took a beautiful 5-6 mile loop that crossed both preserves, which I think gives the best of both parks. The trails passed streams, a pond, snaked through shady green trails and then took us up on to the ridge with beautiful views of the Bay. Although this was a long hike, most of the hike was easy/moderate with only several steep stretches. These parks have LOTS of foxtails this time of year so I highly recommend keeping a breathable dog muzzle on during this hike. We took Roxy's off for a few seconds for photos and she managed to get a foxtail up her nose - thankfully we were able to pull it out. The one Roxy uses is linked in my "Dog Gear" section, it allows her to fully pant, sniff the ground and it she doesn't seem to mind it. She has been wearing it on multiple daily neighborhood walks and all hikes for a couple months now.
May 5, 2021 Blackie's Pasture This is another trail we recently discovered in Tiburon that I highly recommend. This is the perfect place for a leisurely walk with incredible views. If you're planning to hike Old Saint Hilary's, I recommend stopping here first to use the nice restrooms since that preserve does not have any restrooms. Blackie's pasture has a lot of history. In the center of the park is a statue of Blackie and a small hill with the remnants of railroad tracks, to remember the historical railroad that once crossed Tiburon Blvd. There is also a waterfront trail which has beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, and you can even view the tip of the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day. This waterfront trail runs for over 2 miles along the highway, hugging the water the entire way.
April 25, 2021 Old Saint Hilary's Open Space Preserve We spent the last couple weekends hiking and exploring Tiburon. Previously, I had only been to Tiburon to take the ferry to Angel Island, so I was pleasantly surprised to find so many great parks. My favorite was definitely Old Saint Hilary's Open Space Preserve, and I had to come back to hike it again because it has quickly become my new favorite hike. This was like Angel Island views without the Angel Island crowds (plus Angel Island is not dog-friendly). There is also a historic chapel from the 1800s you can check out. For the best views, you'll have to take an unmarked trail (that a local told us about) up a short but steep scramble to the Tiburon Uplands. The views are absolutely breathtaking. You'll be able to see San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, the Marin Headlands and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. From Oakland, we reached this preserve on a weekend morning in less than a 40 minute drive, so it was definitely worth the drive! I have outlined how to take the unmarked trails to the peak, as well as a slightly easier route, if you just want to take in the incredible views without such a strenuous hike.
April 12, 2021 Upper Knowland Park - Rope Swing! I had the day off today, so I took Roxy to Upper Knowland Park. We got there a little before noon and didn't run into anyone during our hike, which was nice. We have hiked here often over the years and only ran into a few people even at peak times on weekends. Today was a beautiful, sunny day and I even found a rope swing in the shade to take a break on while enjoying panoramic views of the bay. We even got to see a bear come up to the fence from the zoo! Roxy had a blast! For this hike, start from one of the upper entrances off Malcom Ave. Take any of the dirt trails heading towards the zoo and you'll come to a gravel trail. Take the wide gravel trail down (facing the zoo), and soon you'll see a "public trail" sign off to your left. Take this dirt trail up the hill along the zoo's fence line. You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the bears or other animals, and when you reach the top you'll be rewarded with an incredible view.
February 25, 2021 Save The Redwoods: New Publication Featuring Bailey! My heart is so happy to announce that Save The Redwoods League asked to use some photos of Bailey for their new guide "29 Awesome Dog-Friendly Redwood Parks" and it dropped today. This is a free guide with a bunch of great hikes as well as 5 photos of Bailey! It makes me so happy to know that Bailey's memory continues to live on, and that she continues to help other dogs and their owners find new adventures.
August 17, 2020 Rest In Peace, My Sweet Bailey I'm heartbroken to announce that Bailey passed away today. She has had a rough time over the last week or so, and got to the point where she could not even stand up. She is in a better place now. For nearly a decade we shared so many adventures and special memories together. She brought me out from a dark place when I had a rough patch in my life. She was my best friend and changed my life in so many ways. I've said it before, but I've never felt that type of connection with an animal before. When I adopted her, she was skin and bones and I could tell she had a rough patch in her life too, but she had so much love to give. She was a very special dog. I miss her very much and it's difficult without her. I'm not sure what this means for the future of Hikes Dogs Love. I may continue it with Roxy, but I'm not sure. Bailey and I started it together and as of right now it is too painful to continue. I'll need some time to process everything and I'll let you all know when I make a decision. Thank you all for your support over the years and I'm so glad I was able to share Bailey with you all.
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