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Looking for great dog-friendly hikes for you and your furry friends? To make it easier for you to find a spot to bring your dog, here’s a list of our favorite POST-protected properties right here on the Peninsula that welcome pups. Learn more about these dog-friendly hikes below!
Coal Creek Open Space Preserve
Portola Valley, San Mateo County
This three-mile hike offers a lovely mix of woods and grassy patches, with an energetic stream winding through it all. POST saved this pristine habitat from becoming a housing development. This property, now managed by our partner Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, is an important link to Windy Hill, Skyline Ridge and Russian Ridge Open Space Preserves. Look for blackberries along the trail, and keep your pets away from the local skunks!
Palo Alto, Santa Clara County
Once you’re out on the trail, it’s hard to believe that the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is within the city limits of Palo Alto. Lucky you, though – this grassy oasis is only a short drive from downtown Palo Alto. This 3.7-mile loop hike is full of rolling hills, great views and lots of wildlife for your pet to get excited about. The first section of the preserve was protected in 1981, and in 2002 POST continued this legacy by saving an additional section of land in the park from being developed. When you hit the trail, look for wildflowers, California quail, blackberries, wild roses and cottontail rabbits.
Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve
Los Gatos, Santa Clara County
If you have an energetic dog that craves adventure, you’ll love this hike! This 13.3-mile trek is great for owners and pets who take their hiking seriously. Your hard work will be rewarded with panoramic views of the South Bay. Look for coast live oak, bay trees, redwoods, deer, bobcats and coyotes and bring a snack to treat yourself at the top!
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
Portola Valley, San Mateo County
Looking for a challenge? Try the steep grades at Windy Hill, the first property that POST ever protected back in 1980. It’s still one of Midpen’s crown jewels, especially popular given that it’s essentially in Portola Valley’s backyard and that the trails are all dog-friendly. Try the classic and popular ridge trail, a 7.2-mile hike provides beautiful views of the entire Peninsula from the summit. Look for Mount Diablo, Mount Tamalpais and Mount Hamilton, as well as California mule deer, coyote, bobcats and raptors.
El Granada, San Mateo County
The Vista Point Trail is a great short trail through a eucalyptus forest, with awesome views of the Pacific through the trees. There is a moderate grade along the 1.1-mile hike. At the Vista Point, you can enjoy views of Princeton Harbor and take a few minutes for your dog to nose around!
More information from San Mateo County Parks
Pillar Point Bluff
Moss Beach, San Mateo County
This trail, part of the California Coastal Trail, is an easy coastside hike for you and your dog to enjoy. The low-grade 1.4-mile hike is perfect for a short stroll along the ocean. There is no beach access, but you might catch a glimpse of seals on the shore!
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 78,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more