Bay Area Hiker: Where to Hike with Your Dog Where to Hike With Your Dog
These parks/preserves/trails allow dogs -- be sure to read the individual pages for restrictions and details.

North Bay
Marin County:
Alto Bowl Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. This preserve is mostly used by locals -- make sure your dog is well-behaved since the hilltop is home to horses.
Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Other local redwood trails are longer and more popular, but Baltimore Canyon is as pretty as it gets, particularly in winter.
Blithedale Summit Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Blithedale Summit is great for pups and peeps up for a long hike. The trail starts in a Mill Valley redwood grove and climbs up Mount Tam's south slope.
Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. This paved path runs along US101 and through a lovely marsh. It's a busy trail.
Buck Gulch Falls. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. This is an easy and quiet hike to a waterfall.
Camino Alto Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. You'll likely see hikers and dogwalkers greet each other by name at this neighborhood preserve. Choose from nearly flat trails or climb on steep fire roads (it's also possible to extend hikes via neighborhood streets adjacent to the preserve).
Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Leashed dogs are only allowed on signed fire roads and trails. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted. No commercial dog walking. This preserve outside of Fairfax is a fine choice for kids and dogs (together or separately!). Trails along a creek are mellow; others climb through woods to chaparral-coated hillsides.
Cataract Falls. On leash only. On a wet winter day Cataract Trail is one of the most popular destinations in the Bay Area. This narrow trail has a ton of steps, so make sure you and your dogs are up for the climb.
Crown Road. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit.) Dogs walkers outnumber most others at this gateway to Tam's east slope. Good for short jaunts to all-day treks.
Deer Island Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. Although Deer Island feels a bit remote, this small Marin County preserve gets a lot of use from locals, many of whom are accompanied by their dogs.
Fort Baker. On leash only. Departing uphill from the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Fort Baker's trail network is small but great for short hikes.
Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. This little-used and remote preserve is huge, with many trails and fire roads. Some trails are very rocky and might be rough on pups' feet.
Hamilton Field. On leash or under voice control -- limit three dogs. Very mellow flat trails make for easy dogs walks -- and bring your kids!
Ignacio Valley Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. The single trail is super steep and very lightly used at this preserve.
Indian Tree Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. Indian Tree is one of best-kept secrets in Marin County. Gorgeous quiet woods.
Indian Valley Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. Lots of fun choices at this preserve, from flat fire roads to skinny singletracks. Best in winter for a waterfall and lovely damp woods.
Kehoe Beach Trail. Dogs are permitted on the trail to the beach, and must be on a leash at all times; the leash must be no longer than 6 feet. Due to threatened snowy plover habitat, dogs are not allowed on the beach south of the trail at Kehoe Beach. This is the only Point Reyes trail where dogs are permitted.
King Mountain Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. The mostly wooded trails at King Mountain skirt a hilltop; a somewhat steep fire road is the gateway.
Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds. On leash only. Good bird watching and easy strolling are available at this San Rafael site.
Leo Cronin Fish Viewing Area. On leash only. Dogs are not allowed on the trails in adjacent Samuel P. Taylor State Park). This is a short and easy walk along a creek where salmon spawn after heavy rain.
Little Mountain Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Another Novato neighborhood joint, with mostly flat paths at Little Mountain and rolling hills in adjacent Verissimo Hills.
Loma Alta Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. Dispose of waste property. Pack it out. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. This preserve is at the very edge of residental Fairfax. Trails here roam up and down and all around Loma Alta, one of the highest peaks in Marin County.
Lucas Valley Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. Trails ascending to the hilltop are very steep -- up at the ridgeline they roll. Be sure to bring enough water for your dogs, particularly in hot weather.
Marin Headlands/GGNRA (on leash only/many trails restricted)
Tennessee Valley Trailhead. Dogs are only permitted, leashed, on Oakwood Valley, Orchard, and Alta trails. Tennessee Valley is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Bay Area. Dogs aren't allowed on the most heavily-used trails, but you can take them on 3 paths in the Oakwood Valley area.
Gerbode Valley Trailhead. Dogs aren't permitted on most trails near this trailhead, but they are allowed on leash, on paths around Rodeo Lagoon as well as a handful of others trails -- check the GGNRA page for current info.
Muir Beach.
Dogs are permitted on Muir Beach and on some Headlands trails (they are not allowed on the trails featured on the linked page)
Rodeo Beach Trailhead. Rodeo Beach is the trailhead for dogs hikes in the Headlands. Trek with your leashed pups on the hike described in this link, play on the beach, or walk around the lagoon.
• Marin Municipal Water District/Mount Tam (on leash only)
Bon Tempe Trailhead. Lovely Bon Tempe offers a sweet loop around the lake or options to climb Rocky Ridge.
Carson Falls Trailhead. Head uphill, then downhill, to visit scenic Carson Falls. Trails are rocky.
Deer Park Trailhead. Trails departing Deer Park are quiet and scenic.
Sky Oaks Trailhead. From this trailhead outside Fairfax head uphill through woods or take an easier stroll around Lake Lagunitas.
Phoenix Lake Trailhead. This very popular trailhead (with limited parking) is a gateway to many trails.
Rock Spring Trailhead. Make sure you and your fluffy one are up for a hike with some tricky navigating, and a few rocky stretches.
McInnis Wetlands. Dogs must be on leash at all times. Lightly-used flat trails here offer lovely wetland views.
Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve . Dogs must be on leash at all times in the Bowman Canyon Creek area. Dogs may be off-leash on designated fire roads if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs must be leashed on designated trails. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. This is a large preserve with many trail options. Some trails are rocky and cattle graze here.
East Peak, Mount Tamalpais State Park. On leash only -- dogs aren't permitted on unpaved trails or fire roads elsewhere in the state park.
Old St. Hilary's Open Space Preserve. Dogs must be on a leash. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and dispose of pet waste. This Tiburon preserve is small in size but mighty in views.
Pacheco Valle Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Pacheco Valle is one of the eastern gateways to Big Rock Ridge. You and your pups can hike for many miles on rugged fire roads and a few hiking-only paths. Be sure to bring a map that shows all the adjacent preserve trails.
Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve . Dogs must be leashed at all times. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Dogs are allowed on signed fire roads and trails only. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person allowed. No commercial dog walking is permitted in this preserve. Tiburon mariposa lilys grow on Ring Mountain and nowhere else in the world. This is a good exercise hike for you and your dog.
Roy's Redwoods Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. This small preserve is best known for a little grove of big redwoods, but the trail network is great too.
Marsh area, Rush Creek Open Space Preserve and Bahia area, Rush Creek Open Space Preserve. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Dogs are allowed on signed fire roads and trails only. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. The most popular trail here runs along a marsh, but press further into the preserve for paths that roll along an oak-studded ridge.
Skywalker Easement. On leash only.
Barnabe Peak, Samuel P. Taylor State Park and Pioneer Tree Trail, Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Dogs must be on leash at all times and are allowed only in the following areas: day-use Picnic Areas; campsites (excluding the Hike & Bike campsite and the cabin area); on the Cross Marin Trail Bike Path. Dogs are not allowed in the following areas: trails (except the Cross Marin Trail Bike Path); Hike & Bike Campsite(s); Madrone Cabins; creeks; any other undeveloped areas or open spaces. Some of the prettiest redwoods in Marin County, plus excellent picnic facilities and a first-rate campground.
San Pedro Mountain Open Space Preserve. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Dogs are allowed on signed fire roads and trails only. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. It's a steep slog to the ridgeline at this little-known preserve adjacent to China Camp State Park (note dogs aren't allowed on China Camp trails).
Santa Venetia Marsh Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted at this preserve. Here you'll find flat trails at the edge of a neighborhood north of China Camp/San Pedro Mountain.
Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve (north). Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Preserve features many neighborhood access points and long trails.
Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve (south). Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Pretty much locals only at this preserve north of San Anselmo.
Maurice Thorner Memorial Open Space Preserve. Must be leashed at all times. Leash must not exceed 6-feet in length. Allowed on signed trails only. Off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. Thorner is a small preserve adjacent to Roys Redwoods. If you live nearby or are traveling through, this is a good stop to stretch your legs.
Tiburon Uplands Open Space Preserve. On leash on trails/off leash permitted on fire roads under voice control; dog owners must have a leash for every dog. This tiny Tiburon preserve, with only one trail, is mostly wooded.
Verissimo Hills Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is permitted with exception granted through commercial use permit. Little Mountain Trail is mellow and mostly flat, while paths in Verissimo Hills roll up and down. This is a neighborhood preserve.
White Hill Open Space Preserve. Dogs may be off-leash on fire roads only if kept under voice control. Leash must always be readily available. Dogs are allowed on signed trails and must be leashed. Leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Off-fire road and off-trail use prohibited. Individuals accompanying dogs are required to clean up and remove pet waste. A maximum of 3 dogs per person is allowed. No commercial dog walking permitted in this preserve. Lovely trails through redwoods and oaks leading to a grassy ridge. Loads of bicylists though.

Napa County:
Alston Park. On leash only throughout the park, and off leash in a large designated area). This Napa County park is the dog-friendly area hotspot. Choose from nearly flat paths or climb a bit to a hilltop with sweeping Napa Valley views.
Moore Creek Park. Dogs are allowed on the Lake Hennessy Unit only (south of parking area) and must be on leash at all times. Lake Hennessy is the key source of drinking water for the City of Napa – no contact with water is allowed at any time (this includes swimming, dogs, horses, or any other animal under your supervision)." Dogs aren't permitted on the hike described in the link, but pups are welcome on the Lake Hennessy Unit trails. The park is east of Napa Valley.
Westwood Park. On leash only. This small park is popular with Napa locals, which is helpful when you find yourself lightly lost in a trail network with few signposts -- someone will come along who knows the way. Stay on the main trails, like the fire road that climbs from the traihead to a hilltop with incredible Napa Valley views.

Sonoma County:
Crane Creek Regional Park. On leash only. You'll find lovely rolling hills and a pretty creek at this park east of Rohnert Park.
Foothill Regional Park. On leash only. On the northeast side of Windsor, Foothill Park's trails wind past little ponds and climb small hills. Surprising views of Mt. St. Helena.
Helen Putnam Regional Park. On leash only. West of Petaluma, Helen Putnam is the premier area park, with a variety of trails through oaks and grassland.
Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail. Dogs are not permitted on the hiking-only path, but are welcome, on leash, on other preserve trails. This mellow trail, on the eastern edge of Sebastopol, is great for easy dog walking.
Maxwell Farms Regional Park. On leash only. This is a tiny park best known for sport fields, but there is a brief trail network too.
Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access. On leash only. Out and back Pinnacle Gulch Trail slips down a crease between coastal-scrub covered hillsides, leading to a beach.
Ragle Ranch Regional Park. On leash only. Another great neighborhood place, with flat or nearly so trails.
Sonoma Baylands. Leashed dogs are permitted only on Sears Point Trail. A flat paved path is available for dogwalking at this bayfront preserve near Sears Point.
Sonoma Valley Regional Park. On leash only -- there's also a small, separate enclosed off-leash area. Mostly locals hike at this preserve near Glen Ellen. Pretty oak woodlands and nice wildflowers in spring.
Tolay Lake Regional Park. On leash only. Tolay Lake is a little oasis surrounded by ranches and vineyards. Pups can hike with you on your choice of eleven miles of trails. Views are outstanding. Note that cows may be present.

Solano County:
Grizzly Island. Dogs are permitted some times during the year; check with the park office.
Rockville Hills Park. On leash only. Stroll with your pups through an oak-studded landscape -- note that some trails are rocky.
Rush Ranch. Leashed dogs are only allowed on Suisin Hill Trail at this lonely preserve south of Fairfield.

East Bay
Contra Costa County: • Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns, and on some trails. Bishop Ranch is very close to I680, but once you climb away from the trailhead the hilltops are quiet.
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns, and on some trails. Black Diamond Mines is a totally unique landscape of grassland, chaparral, and chalky rock. Gorgeous wildflowers in spring.
Bear Creek Staging Area. Dogs are required to be on leash (six-foot maximum) at all times in the following areas: Tavan Trail (all), Diablo View Trail between Alhambra Creek Trail and Hidden Pond Trail, Alhambra Creek Trail from the Alhambra Creek Staging Area south to the water trough, and Orchard Trail between Alhambra Creek Trail and west to the Briones Road gate. These leash-required areas are indicated by signage within the park. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted, in picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. Pets must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet; bag it, bin it. So close to Walnut Creek and Concord, but oh so peaceful and bucolic.
Lafayette Ridge Staging Area. Dogs are required to be on leash (six-foot maximum) at all times in the following areas: Tavan Trail (all), Diablo View Trail between Alhambra Creek Trail and Hidden Pond Trail, Alhambra Creek Trail from the Alhambra Creek Staging Area south to the water trough, and Orchard Trail between Alhambra Creek Trail and west to the Briones Road gate. These leash-required areas are indicated by signage within the park. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted, in picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. Pets must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet; bag it, bin it. Lafayette Ridge is on the south side of Briones, and presents out and back hikes.
Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline (east). Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. It's all about the views here, of Carquinez Strait and the surrounding landscape.
Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline (west). Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Near the charming town of Port Costa, Carquinez Strait boasts fire roads through grassland with sweeping views.
Contra Costa Canal Trail. On leash only. This flat paved path through residential neighborhoods is great for easy dog walking.
Crockett Hills Regional Park. Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. You and your pups can really rack up the miles at this park south of Crockett. Surprising view of the Carquinez Strait and bridge.
Diablo Foothills Regional Park. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. They must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet; bag it, bin it. Note that dogs are not allowed in Mount Diablo State Park. Diablo Foothills is adjacent to Mount Diablo State Park and offers easy access to the southwest part of MDSP.
Fernandez Ranch. Dogs must be on-leash near picnic areas; ok off-leash on trails if under control at all times. Fernandez Ranch is kind of in the middle of nowhere, south of CA4. Well-kept trails travel through oak woods and rolling grassland.
Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Kennedy Grove is home to a lovely picnic area; few visit here to hike which is a shame. Trails climb through chaparral to cool woods.
Lafayette Reservoir Recreation Area. Dogs are allowed and must be kept on-leash and under control at all times; leashes may NOT be longer than 6 feet in length. Trails here roll straight up and down every dang hill around a pretty reservoir. It's almost laughable. Almost.
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Views are sublime from ridges at Las Trampas, but be prepared for mud in winter and cows year round.
Lime Ridge Open Space. Rangers recommend dogs remain on leash at all times. In the North Lime Ridge area, north of Ygnacio, dogs must be under positive voice and sight command or leashed at all times. Since cattle graze in this area, dogs chasing cattle can be a serious issue. Lately, there have been some negative dog vs. coyote encounters when dogs stray close to dens as well. No dogs are allowed at any time in the center section of Lime Ridge south of Ygnacio. This is the Lime Ridge Wildlife Preserve area. South of the Preserve, dogs are allowed once again but on leash only. Southeast of Concord, Lime Ridge's trails stretch on either side of Ygnacio Valley Road. There are many miles of chaparral, grassland, and pockets of woods to explore.
Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline. Commercial dog-walking is not allowed at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline. Otherwise, dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Lots of social trails but good views at this park near Point Richmond.
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. This preserve is remote and lonely, with miles of trails through grassland and oak woodlands.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline. Dogs may be off leash within the park. However, keep dogs on leash in parking lots and streets. Ensure leash is a maximum of 6 feet. Keep dogs under voice control and within sight at all times. Keep dogs out of marshlands and away from birds. Immediately leash any dog exhibiting aggression toward people or other dogs. Clean up dog waste and deposit in trash cans. Prevent dogs from digging or destroying park resources. Anyone who walks or exercises a dog or dogs for a fee, or who walks more than three (3) personal dogs, must obtain and have in their possession a revocable annual permit. Dog heaven!
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. Dogs must be leashed within 200 feet of park entrance parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields and on some trails. They may be off leash (under voice control) in open areas. They are not permitted at all on the pier or in the marshes or pond. Dogs must always be on leash in the Dotson Family Marsh Area. Limit to 3 dogs per person. No commercial dog walking trails are available. Dogs are not allowed on the shuttle or on the pier. Savor gorgeous bay views from this spacious park north of Richmond.
Sobrante Ridge Regional Park. Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Sobrante Ridge's trails (mostly fire road) roam up and down, through grassland and pockets of oaks, as well as a little manzanita barren.
Tilden Regional Park. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted in picnic areas and developed areas. Dogs must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet: bag it, bin it. No dogs in Tilden Nature Area. Tilden is Berkeley's backyard playground -- offering tons of trails and trailheads as well as picnic areas.
Tilden Regional Park. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted in picnic areas and developed areas. Dogs must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet: bag it, bin it. No dogs in Tilden Nature Area. Nimitz Way is an easy paved path suitable to strollers and folks out for a mellow walk.
Sibley Volcanic Park. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Dogs are not permitted in adjacent Huckleberry Preserve. Explore little labyrinths and learn about geology as you hike through this park off Skyline Boulevard.
Mount Wanda. On leash only. If you're a fan of John Muir, it's fun to walk on paths through land he once owned.
Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, and at all times in developed areas and in posted areas of the park. Dog walkers are required to clean up after their dogs and remove dog waste bags from the trails. Dogs must be under voice control at all times. Dogs are not permitted at the Botanic Garden and the Little Farm/Environmental Education Center in adjacent Tilden Regional Park. Wildcat Creek Trail is relatively flat -- other trails rise to or run along the ridgeline.

Alameda County:
Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Chabot is just over the hill from Oakland and trails here traverse grassland, woods, and chaparral.
Cesar Chavez/North Waterfront Park. On leash throughout the park, and off leash in a designated area. This small park is right on the bay and serves up sweeping views.
Coyote Hills Regional Park. Dogs must be leashed at all times in Coyote Hills. Dogs are not permitted in any marsh area, on the Chochenyo trail, or in the Nectar Garden. Commercial dog walking is not allowed. Coyote Hills has flat marsh paths and some trails that roll along a ridge.
Crown Memorial Beach. City and Regional Park ordinances, as well as State Health Department rules, prohibit dogs on the beach. Dogs are allowed on lawn areas and along the paved pathways. Dogs must be on leash (six-foot maximum) and under control at all times. Cleaning up after your dog is required. Bayside park in Alameda.
Del Valle Regional Park. Dogs must be leashed (6-foot maximum leash length) 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, roads, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and in posted areas. They must be under voice control at all times. Dogs are not allowed in swim areas, beaches, or wetlands. Dogs may be off leash in open space and undeveloped areas of the park. Over 4,300 acres of rolling oak-dotted hills south of Livermore.
Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge. Leashed dogs are permitted on some preserve trails. Don Edwards trails stretch out into the bay southeast of the Dumbarton Bridge. You know those salt ponds you glimpse out the airplane window on the way to SFO? These are those.
Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted, in picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. Dogs must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet; bag it, bin it. $2 dog fee. These 2 connected parks in foothills east of Union City are old ranch lands with more than 35 miles of trails.
Hayward Regional Shoreline. In order to protect wildlife, dogs are not allowed south of the West Winton Avenue flood control channel. In areas where dogs are allowed, they must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas (lawns and play fields) and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Level bayfront levee trails east of Hayward.
Joaquin Miller Park. Dogs are allowed - on leash - throughout the park and a fenced off-leash dog areas for both large and small dogs is available on park property. Redwoods in Oakland!
Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve. Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Leona Canyon is used by locals for daily walks.
Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. No dogs in marsh areas. Flat trails along the edge of wetlands.
Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Dogs must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, and on some trails. They must be under voice control at all times. Pick up dog waste and deposit bags in trash cans. Never leave bags on trails. This is the popular long haul to a great viewpoint. Be sure to bring enough water for your dogs.
Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline. Keep dogs on a leash in all developed areas. Thank you for protecting wildlife, especially during nesting season when many animals nest on the ground (burrowing owls, northern harriers, jackrabbits, etc.).
Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. Pets must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet; bag it, bin it. Pleasanton Ridge stretches over 9000 acres, in foothills between Pleasanton and Union City.
Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area. At Quarry Lakes, dogs must be on leash and out of the water at all times while in the park. Leashes may not exceed six feet in length. Persons who walk more than three dogs at a time, or who walk dogs for a fee, must obtain a permit. On Alameda Creek Trail dogs are permitted (gravel side only) under voice control. Easy strolling around old quarry pits.
Redwood Regional Park. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted, in picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. Pets must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet: bag it, bin it. $2 Dog fee. This aptly-named park is the best East Bay spot for redwoods.
Sunol Regional Wilderness. Pets must be leashed 200 feet from any trail or park entrance. Pets must be leashed in parking lots, picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. They must be under voice control at all times. In the middle of nowhere, in the best possible sense. Miles of trails through grassland and oaks.
Sycamore Grove Park. On leash only. South of Livermore, Sycamore Grove is an easy-going park with lots of grassland and just a bit of shade.
Vargas Plateau. Dogs must be leashed in parking lots, 200 feet from any trail or park entrance or as posted, in picnic areas, developed areas such as lawns and play fields, on some trails, and where grazing animals are present. Dogs must be under voice control at all times. Clean up after your pet; bag it, bin it. This grassy shelf in the Fremont Hills feels like an island floating above civilization. Except for the cows.


Peninsula/South Bay
San Mateo County:
Bayfront Park. Leashed dogs are allowed on these easy-going trails near the Dumbarton Bridge.
Big Canyon Park. Leashed dogs are welcome at this neighborhood park in San Carlos.
Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park. Dogs are permitted on the service road only at the quiet and small state park.
Butano State Park. Dogs are not permitted on the trails, but they are allowed in campgrounds and paved areas. At Butano trails depart from a forested canyon.
Coal Creek Open Space Preserve. Leashed dogs permitted on designated trails. This preserve hangs off the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains and without a major trailhead, is easily missed.
Devil's Slide Trail. Dogs are permitted on leash along this mellow paved path with outstanding coastal views.
Eaton Park. Eaton is the sister park to Big Canyon. Leashed dogs are welcome at this neighborhood park in San Carlos.
Blufftop Coastal Park/Half Moon Bay State Beach. Dogs are not permitted on the beaches. When in the campground, in the dayuse picnic areas, or on the Coastside Trail, dogs must be on a leash no more than 6 feet long.
Hidden Canyon Park. This is a quirky neighborhood park in Belmont. Leashed dogs are permitted.
Junipero Serra County Park. Junipero Serra is a small park with a nice mix of oaks and grassland. Leashed dogs are permitted.
La Honda Open Space Preserve. This large preserve is currently cut into two non-contiguous areas -- a permit-only northern section and a newer southern parcel. Leashed dogs are welcome on trails in the Allen Road area. The Sears Ranch trailhead offers one dog-friendly path -- note that cattle are present and dogs are resricted from August 1-December 15.
Larry Lane Trail. This lovely wooded trail, where dogs are allowed on leash only, feels like walking at a private estate.
Long Ridge Open Space Preserve. Dogs are only allowed on a small section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail (1.4 miles) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. Long Ridge is one of several open space preserves hanging off the ridgeline. Great views.
McNee Ranch State Park. On leash only. Dogs aren't usually allowed on state park trails, but they are welcome, leashed, on the trails of McNee Ranch. Note they are not permitted on trails in adjacent San Pedro Valley Park.
Milagra Ridge. Leashed dogs are welcome at this bluff-top preserve with sweeping views.
Mills Canyon. Dogs are permitted, on leash only, in this tiny preserve tucked in a Burlingame canyon.
Mori Point. Leashed dogs are welcome at this coastal Pacifica preserve.
Pillar Point. Leashed dogs are permitted on the path to the beach, but not elsewhere in this preserve.
Portola Redwoods State Park. Dogs are allowed only on campsites and paved roads, not on trails.
Pulgas Open Space Preserve. Pulgas Ridge is the premier dog-friendly peninsula preserve. Leashed pups are welcome on trails, and can romp off leash in the 17.5-acre area located in the center of the preserve, accessible from the Cordilleras Trail, Polly Geraci/Hassler Trails and the Blue Oak Trail. While in this area, visitors must have a leash in their possession and their dog must be under voice control. On all other trails, dogs must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access.
Quarry Park. This San Mateo County Park features fire roads and a few trails through eucalyptus woods in El Granada. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Sugarloaf Open Space. Leashed dogs are welcome at this hilly San Mateo preserve.
Sweeney Ridge and Skyline College (on leash only). Views views views! It's a haul to the ridge (on a paved fire road from the main trailhead -- dirt trails from the Skyline College trailhead) but worth it.
Thornewood Open Space Preserve. Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this preserve (marked on map) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Extended leashes must be locked at 6’ when in the presence of other visitors. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. Thornewood is a little preserve off CA84, about 1/2 way up to the ridge. Quiet trails are lovely year round.
Waterdog Lake Park. Very popular peninsula park for (on leash only) dog hiking.
Sausal Trail loop, Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. Leashed dogs are welcome at this easy loop on the outskirts of Portola Valley.

Santa Clara County:
Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park on a 6 foot or less leash. With 37 miles of hiking trails, there is plenty of room of roam in this park southwest of San Jose. Almaden Quicksilver, the site of the most profitable mine in California, can get very hot, so be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pups.
Arastradero Preserve. Dogs are welcome on leash only and under physical control at all times at this lovely Palo Alto preserve.
Calero County Park. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park on a 6 foot or less leash, except for all trails south of Bald Peaks Trail. This large park south of San Jose is mostly rolling oak-studded hills.
El Sereno Open Space Preserve. Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this preserve (marked on map) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. El Sereno is lovely and loney, with great views.
Fremont Older Open Space Preserve. Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this preserve (marked on map) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. Fremont Older is at the edge of suburbia -- it's the kind of preserve you wish you could walk to for daily exercise.
Grant County Park. Dogs are allowed on trails, in picnic areas and campgrounds as long as they are on a 6-foot leash. Grant is a massive park with over 10,000 acres and miles of trails, east of San Jose.
Henry Coe State Park. Dogs are allowed in the Coe Ranch Campground, as well as the paved areas and 1/2-mile Live Oak Trail at the Coe Ranch Entrance. Dogs are NOT allowed anywhere else inside the park. Dogs must be kept on a leash and under control at all times. The dog leash must be no longer than 6 feet. Dogs cannot be left unattended and must be kept in your vehicle or tent with you at night. Dog owners/walkers are expected to immediately clean up after their animals (removing and properly disposing of excrement). Bring your own bags for waste disposal. Pet waste bags are NOT provided by the park. There is no fee for dogs at Coe Park.
Los Alamitos Creek Trail. On leash only -- no dogs in the western park of Almaden Lake. Enjoy easy dog walking on paved and flat Los Alamitos Creek Trail.
Mount Madonna County Park. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park on a 6 foot or less leash. Mount Madonna is a very large park west of Gilroy with excellent camping and trails through grassland and woods.
Palo Alto Baylands Preserve. Dogs are permitted on leash, at this popular Palo Alto preserve with flat trails.
Sanborn County Park. Dogs are allowed on all trails unless marked no access. Must be controlled on a 6-foot (or less) leash at all times. Sanborn is one of the secret Santa Clara parks, with miles of trails through deep woods.
Santa Teresa County Park. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park on a 6 foot or less leash, except for the Bernal-Gulnac Joice Historical Area. Santa Teresa shines in wildflower season but you and your dogs can savor the park's great views any time of the year.
Stevens Creek County Park Allowed in all picnic areas and most trails. Must be controlled on a minimum 6-foot leash at all times. Not allowed in the water or on the Creek or Zinfandel Trails. Stevens Creek Park has excellent picnic facilities and trails that run along and above the reservoir. Stevens Creek County Park is adjacent to Fremont Older, southwest of Cupertino.
Stile Ranch. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park on a 6 foot or less leash, except for the Bernal-Gulnac Joice Historical Area. Excellent wildflowers on these trails adjacent to Santa Teresa County Park.
St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve. Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this preserve (marked on map) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access. St. Joesph's Hill is a sun-drenched preserve south of Los Gatos.
Uvas Canyon County Park. Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park on a 6 foot or less leash. Uvas is famous for waterfalls and deep woods. Note that advance reservations are required.
Villa Montalvo County Park. Dogs are prohibited in botanical gardens and managed grounds. Leashed dogs are permitted on forested, single track trails. Villa Montalvo is a small park; climb from the forested traihead to a sweet viewpoint.
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. Windy Hill's "dog loop" is the best long hike option on the peninsula. Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this preserve (marked on map) and must be controlled on a 6-foot or less leash. Self-retracting leashes are allowed with a maximum extended length of 25 feet. Extended leashes must be locked at 6’ when in the presence of other visitors. Visitors may have no more than three dogs per person. Bag dog waste and take it with you. Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access.

Santa Cruz County:
Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Dogs are allowed on paved roads. They must be on a leash and attended at all times. Dogs are not permitted on any of the trails or fire roads. Dogs are not allowed in any portion of the Rancho del Oso area, or on Waddell State Beach.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and are allowed only in picnic areas and campsites and on the Meadow Trail, Pipeline Road, Graham Hill Trail, and Powder Mill Fire Road.
Loch Lomond Recreation Area. Pets on leash are welcome on all trails and picnic areas. However, they are not permitted on our rental boats or in the reservoir. This rec area north of Santa Cruz is like an alpine getaway, with a pretty lake and forested trails.
Soquel Demonstration State Forest. On leash only. This forest south of San Jose is mostly used by mountain bikers. It's a long drive on little roads to the trailhead.

San Francisco
Crissy Field. Stroll along the edge of the bay at Crissy Field, where dogs are welcome (restricted from some areas).
Glen Canyon Park. Leashed dogs are permitted at this SF canyon park.
Heron's Head Park. Leashed dogs are permitted at this bayfront park.
Inspiration Point, the Presidio. Lovely trails in a bustling, yet quiet part of SF. Dogs are permitted on leash only.
Lands End. Dogs are permitted, leashed or under voice control (note additional dog regulations posted along the trails). Savor outstanding coastal and Golden Gate Bridge views from the one and only Lands End.
Lobos Creek. Lobos Creek is a beautiful trail through restored coastal dunes. Dogs are permitted on leash only.
McLaren Park. One of the secret SF parks -- McLaren is huge with miles of trails. Dogs are permitted on leash only.
Mount Davidson Park. This is the SF hill with the cross on it. Dogs are permitted on leash only.
Stow Lake. Trails loop around and up and down this charming man-made lake in Golden Gate Park. Dogs are permitted on leash only.
Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks are the highly-visible (and visited) hills in the middle of the City, with great views. Dogs are permitted on leash only.