Picture of a French Bulldog
picture of a french bulldog

It’s no secret that pets are more than just an animal. A lot of people consider dogs an extension of their family. With approximately 300 days a year of sunshine, there’s minimal excuse to get outside and enjoy the weather. So we made a list of some of our favorite dog friendly hikes in Santa Cruz county.

Nisene Marks, located in Aptos, has over 40 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. There are bathroom facilities and limited, on-site paid parking available. Additional parking for Nisene Marks can be found along Soquel Dr and Aptos Creek Rd.

With approximately 11 miles of trails throughout Pogonip open space preserve, there is undoubtedly something for everyone and their dog! Highlights include a secret koi pond. Unfortunately, parking on Golf Club Dr can fill up fast on the weekends. So, we suggest getting an early start or starting your hike at the Mclaughlin Dr entrance.

Henry Cowell State Park allows dogs on the Meadow Trail, Graham Hill Trail, Powder Mill Fire Road, and Pipeline Road. In addition, they allow dogs in the picnic area and the campsites for anyone interested in bringing their dog camping with them. Henry Cowell is full of beautiful Redwood trees and has an observation deck at the top of Observation Deck Trail’s aptly names.

Manresa State Beach is a great place to walk with your dog with miles upon miles of soft sand. Located in the southern part of Santa Cruz County, this state beach offers a parking lot with a day rate of ten dollars, bathrooms, and a picnic area. You can walk north and get to New Brighton beach in approximately 6.3 miles. Is walking on the beach considered a hike? That’s debatable, but who doesn’t like going for a walk on the beach?

two women walking a dog

Arana Gulch is located near the upper harbor, has picturesque rolling hills and even a grazing pasture. Ripe with a variety of different habitats, this 1.1 mile loop is excellent for senior dogs that may not be able to walk far distances. Parking for the Arana Gulch trail can be found in the surrounding neighborhoods including Agnes St, Frederick St, and 7th Ave.

De La Veaga has much to offer, including hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The park also has free parking, a bocce ball court, a disc golf course, and a picnic area. Also, be sure to check out the beautiful wildflower blooms during springtime.

If you enjoy going on dog friendly hikes in Santa Cruz county and think you may do so at a state park frequently, we recommend purchasing a Poppy Pass. The Poppy Pass is a placard that you hang from the review mirror that allows you to park unlimited at state parks in California for a one-time cost of $125.00. The pass is good for twelve months from the month purchased.

The Madani team and ROOM Real Estate have been helping home buyers and sellers in Santa Cruz County for almost two decades. Equipped with a large team of dedicated agents and staff, ROOM Real Estate works tirelessly to help its clients accomplish their real estate goals. We are here for you; and all of your real estate-related needs.

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