A convenient location, spectacular scenery, and plenty of wonderful wildlife -- Benicia State Recreation Area in Benicia, CA is a pawfect spot for an afternoon hike with your furry friend! Though the park itself is rather large -- 720 acres -- the total trail mileage is only two-and-a-half miles. There is a campsite for those coming in from out of town, or that just want to spend the night surrounded by nature, but camping is restricted to motorhomes or vehicles with trailers only. If you’re just there for the day, you can park in the lot for a $6 fee. Benicia State Recreation Area is a pretty popular spot, and it’s best to get there early. You might need to deal with a crowd, so be mindful of your pup’s temperament.
Most of the park’s area is given over to marshland, a habitat for some pretty unique flora and fauna. Avid birders will be glad to know that there’s a good chance of spotting shorebirds, waterbirds, woodpeckers, raptors, and a whole host of other species of feathered friends. The views from the trails aren’t bad, either -- the preserve is a verdant green oasis in all seasons except summer, and you can expect to see some colorful wildflowers in spring. Hike from Glen Cove to Miller’s Point and you’ll be treated to fabulous views of the Carquinez Strait.
The trails in Benicia State Recreation Area are almost entirely level, making this an accessible hike for everyone from the most athletic animals to older four-pawed pals who can’t quite move like they used to. Some routes have a loose gravel surface, though, so watch your step and check a map if you’re bringing a wheelchair or stroller. In terms of facilities, you’ll find restrooms dotted throughout the park and water fountains along the trails. Remember to bring waste bags for your buddy, and have a furrific walk!