s
s
Sections
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?
iPhone

You know the feeling: Work and family demands have been stressful, and you missed your gym time. Now it’s a beautiful weekend and your dog is looking at you with those eyes, even though you have so much to do. A quick, aerobic outdoor jaunt might be just the double-duty solution you’re after. Here are a few good runs you can do in Sonoma County with your pooch that will leave you both revitalized and content.

While the parking costs, dog rules and terrains differ somewhat, always bring a leash and harness for your dog, several disposable waste pickup bags, and enough cool water for both of you.

Foothill Regional Park (Windsor): Dogs on leash. $7 park day fee.

Popular with Windsor locals, the former ranch property is situated at the foot of Mayacamas Mountains (home to Mount St. Helena and Middletown’s Cobb Mountain).

While the park’s steeper Alta Vista trail affords the best views, Windsor resident Zachary Woodson recommends a roughly two-mile loop route taking the Westside trail to Oakwood to Meadow and then to Three Lakes to end up back at the start.

“The whole place is not very big and there are several easy alternative options,” said Woodson, who used to run in the park with his golden retriever Jake before he passed on. “The first part of Westside is a little steep right off the bat, but nowhere near as tough as Annadel.”

Woodson also noted the handiness of the park’s supply of doggie waste bags near the main gate. “There are garbage cans through, so you don’t have to carry [doggie] bags for too long,” said Woodson.

___

Joe Rodota Trail (Santa Rosa/Sebastopol): Dogs on leash, no day fee.

The popular bike path paralleling the south side of Highway 12 on the way to Sebastopol is perhaps one of the more scenic straight shot routes in the area. Affording over eight miles of paved trail, Joe Rodota is part of the county’s regional park system.

Unlike the regular parks, there is no day fee to use the Rodota trail and multiple entrances in Santa Rosa and one in Sebastopol offer some parking. No bathrooms or water fountains are available on this trail though, so make sure you’re prepared.

___

Taylor Mountain Regional Park (Santa Rosa): Dogs on leash, $7 day fee

The still fresh addition to the county’s park system could be a little steep for some dogs and their owners, but the grazing cows along the trail and the views delivered once at the top might make it worth it.

Santa Rosa resident Sarah Martin has taken her rescue mutt Otter to Taylor Mountain. “Her favorite part was seeing her first cow!” said Martin.

___

Prince Memorial Greenway (Santa Rosa): Dogs on leash, no day fee.

The Prince Memorial Greenway is a swatch of parallel roughly 1.5 mile trail and bike paths bordering the Santa Rosa Creek. The beautiful and calm stretch of quiet in West Santa Rosa backs up mostly to neighborhoods, starting at the edge of downtown and running all the way to Fulton Road. Multiple neighborhood entrances and entrances along major thoroughfares like Stony Point Road make the Greenway easy to access.

This year’s Apple Blossom Festival and Parade takes place on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. Visit appleblossomfest.com for details.

___

Spring Lake Regional Park and Howarth Park (Santa Rosa): Dogs on leash, $7 day fee for Spring Lake portion of park.

The most recognizable name in the county’s large portfolio of parks, Spring Lake’s roughly 2.2 mile loop of paved bike path also includes some side trails for your favorite four-legged friend to trot unhindered by pesky foot traffic. Loop too long for your dog? Try the City of Santa Rosa’s neighboring Howarth Park for a shorter jaunt with an equally beautiful stretch of bike path that goes for about half a mile before linking up with Spring Lake’s path.

“My greyhounds love Howarth Park/Spring Lake,” said Susan Barnett-Klengsiri, a Windsor resident who walks her two greyhounds Cyan and Coco in the park regularly.

___

Channel Drive Entrance, Trione-Annadel State Park (Santa Rosa): Dogs on leash, $6 day fee

While dogs are not allowed on the trails of Annadel, you can still take them on walks or runs along the shady 1.5 mile stretch of Channel Drive that parallels a single track trail after passing through the park’s main gate. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and the end of the drive empties into a dirt parking lot with a bathroom, horse trough, picnic area and a water fountain with a doggy bowl available.

___

Riverfront Regional Park (Healdsburg): Dogs on leash. $7 park day fee.

Just off of Eastside Road in between Windsor and Healdsburg, this tucked away gem of a park affords a huge picnic area beneath shady redwoods and a roughly 2.5 mile trail looping around Lake Benoist and another smaller lake.

“Riverfront has the big, wide path for good distance from other dogs,” said Jackie Reese, a Windsor resident who likes to take her dachshund, Rocco, to run with her at the park. “It’s a flat, dirt trail so it’s a great place for beginners.”

___

Dillon Beach (Tomales Bay): Non-aggressive dogs allowed off-leash. $8 parking fee.

Technically this long flat stretch of beach is located halfway between Tomales Bay and Bodega Bay. Choose a low-tide day, so there’s more sand to run on. There is an entrance kiosk with posted rules, which permit non-aggressive, well-behaved dogs to be off-leash. So if your dog knows how to run free alongside you, it’s one of the last places you can do it. Remember to bring fresh water for your dog – you don’t want a thirsty pooch drinking from runoff near the parking lot, or from the ocean itself.

Show Comment