Visitors and locals alike praise the Monterey Recreational Trail hike for its amazing landscapes, its diverse ocean animal life, and its many sightseeing stops along the way. The trail is an 18-mile stretch from Pacific Grove in Monterey to the small town of Castroville to the north.
Most people stick to the 5 or 6-mile section of trail outlining Monterey Bay, and continuing north to Point Pinos lighthouse is a recommended option. Along the way, you and your dog can explore Monterey Bay Aquarium—where most people enter the trail—and see historical sites like Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.
Nature lovers will find respite among the rocky bluffs where waves thunder down upon the coast. There are no land animals to worry about, but your dog may take interest in the harbor seals, seagulls, sea lions, and of course, Monterey’s famous otters. The trail is protected from the road, and in the midst of the city of Monterey, there are plenty of places to step off-trail and take a break to get water or use the restroom.
Dogs must remain on-leash at all times since the trail is so heavily populated, and the city of Monterey asks that everyone obey common-sense rules of the road. If your dog poops during the walk, it is important that you carry your own bags and pick it up right away.
Most of the trail is paved, and there are several benches along the way where you can rest. Ultimately, it is up to you to be respectful of the large number of people around you, and to keep your dog close to you and under control.
The city of Monterey designed the trail to connect all of the different, beautiful waterfronts that the city has to offer. It may be congested in some areas, but you are bound to be met with friendly dog and people faces. If you have never been to Monterey, hiking the trail is a fantastic way to both become familiar with the area and enjoy the time with your dog all at once.