Dog-Friendly Hiking in the East Bay Area, California

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January 25, 2010
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The East Bay region of California is full of awesome nature, and so many options for hikers. If you are on vacation in San Francisco, and you and your dog need a break from the city life, you are definitely not short of options.

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Point Isabel Regional Shoreline

Although it is not a true “hiking” spot, this park does allow dogs to run around off-leash. Point Isabel Regional Shoreline is a landscaped, 21-acre park that has flat, paved trails suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. You can easily take a 3.2 mile hike, going back and forth, at a beginner’s level.

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Humans get to enjoy excellent views of of SF Bay, into the city, as well as Mount Tamalpaid and Angel Island. This spot also features easy parking, picnic tables and restrooms. There are waste bags available.

Redwood Regional Park

This 1,829 acre park has a great trail network, with a few major ones, and many minor ones. It has many coast Redwoods, along with evergreens and grassy areas; Redwood Creek runs throughout parts of the park. Parking lots can get crowded on the weekends, so try to get there early. You can choose your path, and they range from level of difficulty and distance. The park has some picnic areas which are handicap accessible. Dogs are required to be on leash in the developed areas, and on voice command in undeveloped areas.

Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park

This is a huge park of 5,271 acres, that has limited trails to preserve the nature of the area. It is very busy when you first enter the first two miles of the trail from the parking lot, with hikers, cyclists, joggers and dog walkers; it gets less crowded, and more pleasant, the further in you go. When you hike further inward, there are excellent views of the canyon, and access to some streams. Dogs are required to be on leash in the developed areas, and on voice command in undeveloped areas.

Mission Peak Regional Preserve

This lesser-known 3,000 acre park is east of Fremont, and contains Mission and Monument Peaks. Mission Peak offers excellent views of many other mountains and mountain ranges, for those who seek a challenge with a scenic award. There are some wild goats roaming the mountainside. It takes about five hours to go up to the peak and back. Of course there are less challenging trails as well. There is no shade throughout the trails of the greater park, so hikers should probably go on cooler or cloudier days. Dogs are required to be on leash in the developed areas, and on voice command in undeveloped areas.

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