The Bluff Top Sea Ranch Trail in Sonoma County is an excellent place for packs to stretch their legs and breathe some fresh ocean air! This 3-mile point-to-point trail winds along the picturesque coastline from Walk On Beach to Gualala Point Regional Park. The trail traverses through many different habitats in its short course, including coastal forests, meadows of wildflowers, and beachfront neighborhoods.
This area is furrific for whale-watching, and since the trail parallels the shore, you will have an excellent viewpoint when they decide to come out to play! Your bird dog will be glad to know there are plenty of other wildlife sighting opportunities as well, including lots of beautiful waterfowl and sea turtles! You will need to stay on the marked paths, as some of the spur trails and roads are privately-owned by a nearby resort. Be kind to the habitat (and other walkers) by bringing doggie waste bags to pick up any "presents" your pooch may leave behind. The canopy of cypress, firs, and pines will keep your pup cool for much of the journey (which does not go unappreciated in the hot Californian summer!). Although much of the path is shaded, you will still need some sun protection -- wear a brimmed hat and sunscreen to protect your (fur-less) coat.
This trail is quite popular with other walkers, but mountain bikes are not allowed. If your pup is on the shy side, you may want to come on a weekday morning to avoid crowds. The trail opens at 8 am in the winter months and at 6 am during the summer but closes at sunset year-round. Bring plenty of water and some sandwiches to enjoy at one of the picnic shelters. Go ahead and take a couple of hours out of your hectic schedule to enjoy a relaxing beachside stroll with your fur-iends! You've earned it!