You want to stop at a five-star hotel, spruce up, enjoy a great meal, catch some snooze. But Woof wants to stop at a five-wag dog park with swimming, sniffing, sunshine, a nice nine-mile hike along a babbling water flow at the feet of the Cascade Mountains. You win some arguments. Woof wins a few. If you're in the neighborhood, Woof highly recommends – very fast wagging here – the Deschutes River Trail adjacent to Bend, Oregon, along the stately Cascades.
Dogs are permitted on the popular trail if they are on a leash, which might be because you will likely find other dogs on the trail as well, and leashes add that extra measure of control. Even if dogs were not permitted, this is a terrific day hike for those who aren't into climbing mountains, but love to hike along them. The trail is located north of Sawyer Park running across the defunct Tumalo irrigation canal, ending up at Awbrey Glen.
This is gently rolling countryside, wild and free, Oregon-style. On the scenic side, visitors enjoy the middle section of the trail, where the river has dug itself a deep canyon, while the trail stays on the high ground, the river sinking underfoot as the trail continues. There are notable views of the Riley Ranch Nature Reserve and the snow-capped Cascade Mountains towering in the near-distance.
Technically, the trail is part of the Bend, Oregon, Park and Recreation District. Recommended access to the trail is from Sawyer Park. The rules on pets are pretty straightforward. Domestic animal must be on a leash unless in designated off-leash areas or when authorized by the park director.
Generally, exceptions apply to service dogs, which include guide dogs and others trained for interventions for persons with disabilities. In the off-leash areas, dogs must be under control, and the owners must carry a leash with them at all times. The limit for off-leash dogs per owner is three.