The Russian River District in Sonoma County covers 1,485 square miles of moving water, riverside greenery, and numerous recreation areas from Cloverdale in northeast Sonoma, all the way through the Alexander, Dry Creek, and the Russian River valleys til it empties into the Pacific Ocean. If you have a water-loving pup, you may want to enjoy this pawtastic river with your best canine by your side! The various parks and river beaches along the way each have their own pet guidelines, so be sure to plan your trip and check where your furry bestie is welcome.
Whether you are swimming, boating, hiking, or just checking out a park or two, be sure to have everything you need for a safe and fun day out. For your pup, that means having plenty of water, snacks, and clean-up bags to leave no trace behind! For many people, the start of the adventure on the Russian River is an hour north of San Francisco in Cloverdale. The Cloverdale River Park allows pups on leash, and has picnic areas, a trail, and a launch for canoes and kayaks.
As a general rule, dogs need to be on a leash no longer than 6 feet in most state and local parks along the river. Most of the parks are open from sunrise to sunset and provide a lot of amenities for visitors and their pets. Dogs are allowed on roads and open areas, but should be kept off trails in many state parks, so be sure to check each one for rules. Choose where to visit or land your boat wisely, as not all state beaches allow pups. Head for the ones that welcome doggoes, such as Marshall Gulch, Carmet Beach, Schoolhouse Beach, Portuguese Beach, Duncan's Cove, Wright's Beach, Furlong Gulch, Shell Beach, Blind Beach, and Russian Gulch. These beaches can be found between Jenner and Bodega on Highway 1. Note that dogs are not allowed on beaches north of Goat Rock or south of Marshall Gulch.
Off-leash dog parks can also be found at the riverfront dog park in Monte Rio, as well as several different locations in Santa Rosa, situated 15 to 20 miles down the river. Since there are a lot of attractions along the Russian River, you can customize your adventure to get the most bang for your puppy buck!
The Russian River District offers top amenities and vacation rentals, so that you and your four-legged friend can enjoy the best summer adventures. Whether you take to the water, or hang out on the land, there's something for every human and pup!