Make no bones about it -- the trail system at King Estate Open Space Park is a true pup’s paradise. Also known as Glenn Daniels King Estate Open Space Park, the fire roads that cut through this Oakland, CA treasure are open to free-roaming furballs -- pooches are welcome to sniff and explore the routes off-leash as long as they’re under strict voice control. There’s free (street) parking on McCormick Avenue, but it’s best to get there early, as spaces are limited. The routes in King Estate Open Space Park are moderately trafficked -- while you and your buddy certainly won’t have the place to yourselves, you’re unlikely to have to deal with crowds. Unsurprisingly, the preserve is very pawpular with local pooches and their people, so Fido might make some new friends!
King Estate Open Space Park is perhaps most famous for its plant life. The wide, open grassland is home to a whole host of gorgeous blooms, including lupine, blue ears, and the wonderfully named wavy-eared soap plant. Avid bird-watchers might want to keep an eye out for bluebirds and warblers. The park is also home to a whole host of wildlife, and it’s not uncommon to see deer, foxes and even grazing goats. If your fur-ball is the type to tear after other critters, you might want to keep them leashed. Many of the trails also boast fabulous views over San Francisco Bay.
A certain level of fitness is required to walk the trails at King Estate, as most of them feature at least a moderate incline. There aren’t any real steep slopes, though, so a trip here shouldn’t prove too taxing to anyone, from the fittest furry friends to the less athletic among us. Keep in mind that many of the trails don’t have a lot of tree cover, and prepare for wind and sun. Remember to bring waste bags and water for your buddy, and have a furrific hike!