Trails with strict dog regulations and monotonous paw parks got your pooch feeling blue? Throw those cares to the wind on the Homestead Valley Trail, a lax nature trail that will allow your pooch to be free -- just like Mother Nature intended! One of the most pawesome things about this trail is that leashes are totally optional as long as your pooch is under voice control. This will allow them to let their fur down and romp freely! You won't have to worry about mountain bikers or crowds cramping your pup's style -- bikes are not allowed and crowds are minimal.
The western portion of the trail begins near Sequoia Valley Road, off Panoramic Highway. Parking is available at Four Corners, ruffly 0.3 miles from the trailhead. About a third of a mile in, you will come across a bench with spectacular views of Mt. Tam; these are some of the best views on the whole trail, so take a moment to enjoy them! Continuing east, you will come to an intersection with the Maverick Trail -- pay attention to signage here to stay on course!
In approximately 0.35 miles, you will be greeted with a series of sharp bends and a bench -- this is a furrific spot to take a water break with your pack! After a quarter-mile from there, you'll find a second fork in the trail. Again, it is important to pay attention to signage here because these spur trails can be deceiving! Your pack will come to a beautiful old-growth redwood grove about half a mile from the intersection. This is a great place on the western end to catch your breath and enjoy some shade during those dog days of summer! Your expedition will come to an end about a half-mile from the grove. You can double back to the parking lot or keep the good times rolling with the miles of other side trails here! Your pooch will surely thank you with lots of kisses for this scenic off-leash paw-portunity!