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As the weather begins to brighten, it's time to plan some weekend trips and get outdoors with your favorite furry friend! Want to take a wine tour? A hike in the East Bay? How about a little overnight trip to a dog-friendly Bed and Breakfast? Sure, why not!?
DogTrekker.com is an awesome resource for pet-friendly travel throughout California, and if you're an adventurous pet owner, we highly recommend signing up for their free weekly dog travel newsletter. Just enter your email in the upper right-hand portion of the homepage and an informative newsletter will arrive each week with ideas on where to roam and play with your pets this spring and summer.
One of the destinations Dog Trekker covers is East Bay parks, which means lots and lots of trails waiting to be explored! Here are a few of our favorites.
3 Top Hikes in the East Bay
The East Bay Regional Park District boasts more than 113, 000 acres with upwards of 1,200 miles of trails. But there are a few that really stand out, particularly for pets.
This incredible preserve near Antioch in Contra Coast County boasts 65 miles of pet-friendly trails and 5, 375 acres of open spaces. The preserve was once a massive coal mine where "nearly 400 million tons of coal were removed." In addition to open spaces, you will find interesting human artifacts like cemeteries, crumbling buildings and mine shafts.
"The hilly, oak-studded landscape reminiscent of the Sierra foothills melds into oak chaparral and evergreen forest to keep things interesting for you and Daisy. You and your four-legged sidekick will have to start out connected by a leash, but once 200 feet clear of parking lots, trail heads, staging areas, campgrounds, visitor centers and other developed areas, you can unclip and let her romp unencumbered in the emerald landscape." [DogTrekker.com]
The Macdonald Trail is a true gem and is only accessible via Parkridge Drive, a quiet residential street in the hills above Oakland. From the trail you can see "multi-county" views and go for your desired length of trek, anywhere from a short jaunt to a long hike, stopping for a picnic in one of the many designated spots.
"Visitors can explore miles of beautiful hiking, riding, and bicycling trails through grasslands, chaparral, and shady eucalyptus groves or along the shores of Lake Chabot." [DogTrekker.com]
This 12 mile trail winds along the bank of Alameda Creek and offers lots of open spaces for dogs to frolic in.
"Alameda Creek is Alameda County's largest, and is home to a host of birds and other wildlife. Long ago its rushing waters provided a valuable resource for the Ohlone Indians who first settled in camps and villages along its banks." [http://www.ebparks.org/]
The most important part of outdoor adventure with animals is using good judgment and respecting the rules of the trail. This ensures you and your pup stay safe, and that the experience for fellow trail users is positive. Here's an informative article from REI with lots of expert pointers on Hiking or Backpacking with Your Dog.
What are some of your favorite hikes in the East Bay? If you live outside the Bay Area, where do you love to take your dog to play outdoors? Leave us a note in the comments!