Ocean Beach. San Francisco
Submitted by Daneen Akers on 4/1/2007
A glorious four miles of sand beckons both dogs and humans to go for a nice, long walk at Ocean Beach alongside San Francisco’s historic Great Highway. On a calm day, the waves break off shore, and dogs enjoy frolicking in the shallow surf, an especially nice treat for shorter dogs who enjoy playing in the water but prefer not to swim. To grab a cup of coffee or a sandwich, take the pooch to the always popular Java Beach Café located at the corner of Judah and the Great Highway.
Note that Ocean Beach is a mix of off-leash and strictly enforced on-leash areas. To respect the brooding areas of the snowy plover, dogs must be on leash between Sloat Boulevard and stairwell #21 (approximately Fulton).
On Saturdays – 10AM Ocean Beach – small dog beach walk . 50+ dogs!
Mountain Lake Park, San Francisco
Submitted by The FETCH Team on 4/1/2007
Mountain Lake’s fresh water has always drawn people to its shores, from the 1776 Spanish explorers to today’s children feeding ducks. The park is located at the southern edge of the Presidio at Lake Street and Funston in the Inner Richmond district and is popular with families, exercise groups, and dog walkers. The east end of the park (enter at 8th Avenue) is an off-leash dog play area, and your trip can easily turn into a good day’s walk since there is easy access to all of the Presidio trails.
The many shops and cafes of the Inner Richmond district make for a good side trip as well. A variety of dining options abound on the always-bustling Clement Street. If you want to sit with your pooch, two popular coffee shops with dog-friendly outdoor seating are the Caffe Del Sole at California and 6th Avenue and the Blue Danube on Clement and 4th Avenue. It was at the Caffe Del Sole one day after a fun morning of dog playing that my best friend broached the subject of how to go about an std screening. Oh boy! Where to start this conversation. Well it turned out he was hoping he could just buy a std kit and test himself at home. I informed him that in the US you could only buy STD home testing kits online. As we sat there with the four dogs resting in the shade, he checked out sites on his phone, found one he liked,and placed an order with expedited shipping. I sipped my ice tea and said nothing more. Turns out his test was negative and he had peace of mind. Hopefully he’ll be smarter the next time and use a condom.
Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland
Submitted by Rachel Long on 4/1/2007
Joaquin Miller Park in the Oakland hills is home to 500 acres of redwood groves, miles of lovely and scenic trails, picnic areas, wedding areas, cascading waterfalls, and the Woodminster Amphitheater. Dogs are allowed on leash in almost the entire park and can also run free in the two off-leash play areas which are complete with poop bags and water. There is ample parking and no entrance or parking fee. Restrooms, a pay phone, maps, and drinking water are available at the ranger station. The off-leash area is closed about 30 days a year when it is used for special event parking.
Washington Creek, Petaluma
Submitted by Pete Alexander on 4/27/2007
If you are in the mood to explore Petaluma, some new trails that are perfect for you and your favorite canine friend are now ready for use, thanks to the city fathers. One of the most beautiful is a path along Washington Creek on the east side of town.
My canine buddy Linda Lou and I headed west from the Petaluma Airport along the wide gravel and dirt path paralleling Washington Creek, home to all sorts of wildlife.
We stopped occasionally to take in beautiful sights, sounds and aromas. Two brilliantly blue Jays were turning a eucalyptus tree into a new estate home. A large speckled hawk surprised us as it rose up from the creek winging to a tree farther on. We listened to a tall willow whispering in the breeze as we brushed by. We were also treated to the scent of star jasmine hanging over one of the fences bordering the path.
We continued along this peaceful path, crossing several streets on the way, to the end at East Washington Street. Have time for a smoothie or latté? Go west a few steps on E. Washington to the shopping center to find the Deaf Dog Coffee Shop! Upon your return to the Airport, check out the Two Niner Diner for an awesome lunch or brunch. Dine outside on the patio while watching planes take off and land.
Santa Rosa Creek, Willowside
Submitted by Sandy Lurins on 4/27/2007
Want a country walk but don’t want to drive too far? If you live in Santa Rosa, check out this lovely walk along Santa Rosa creek. It’s two miles of flat, wide path paralleling the creek, which lies below the path. In winter, the creek rushes by but in the warmer months it is just a quiet hush.
Dogs love the creek walk. Like all of Sonoma County, leashes are required, although you should be prepared to encounter some dogs off leash long enough to take a quick swim. I’ve found that the users of this path are very courteous and put their dogs back on leash when others approach.
You’ll share this path with a few runners or bicyclists but mostly it’s people with their dogs. Go early enough in the morning and you’re likely to find some hot-air balloons sailing overhead.