Guerneville River Park may be small, but it’s still well worth a visit for pups and people looking for a sedate and scenic stroll along the Russian River. While the serious hound-dog hiker might be better off checking out the many redwood-lined trails in Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve, this 5.5-acre pocket park does have its charms -- and it draws far less of a crowd. As an added bonus, there’s plenty of free parking in the parking lot, conveniently located just off of Highway 116. You’ll also find plenty of nice places to picnic, but don’t bring anything alcoholic unless you’ve made a picnic reservation, which you can do either online or over the phone.
The trails here are short, sweet, and flat, running under stately, mature trees, through pristine, grassy parkland, and along the slow-moving Russian River. The trails aren’t named or particularly well-marked, but the park is so small that this doesn’t really matter. Highlights include the wooden pedestrian bridge on the river and the view of the (unfortunately not Fido-friendly) Johnson’s Beach. A word of caution -- the Russian River occasionally has problems with blue algae, which can be toxic to animals. Check out the website for the water safety status before you let your pooch go for a swim!
One of the main selling points of Guerneville River Park is its accessibility -- although most of the trails aren’t paved, the surfaces are level and almost entirely flat. There’s also no shortage of spots where you and your furry friend can sit down and take in the view, or for you to take a load off if it feels like your tiny tearaway has been walking you! In terms of facilities, there are restrooms available at the park entrance. Remember to bring waste bags and water, and have a pawesome time on the Guerneville River Park Trails!