If you and your fur buddy are kindred spirits and enjoy hiking through the woods, you'll love the trail at the Land of the Medicine Buddha. Although the trail runs through the private property of the Buddhist retreat, it is open for public use, and there is no entrance fee. There is a parking lot, but it's not always possible to get a space as priority is given to visitors who are taking part in the center's activities. If no space is available, you can park on the roadside which leads to the center.
Make sure you are back from the trail on time as the entrance gate locks automatically, and you won't be able to leave. The retreat cordially requests a $5 donation from hikers and pet parents to help with the upkeep of the trail. There is no access for day visitors on Saturdays. There is a clean up bag dispenser and trash receptacle next to the gate, so grab some bags before you hit the trail.
You and your pup, who needs to be leashed, can get straight on the trail from the retreat entrance. Retreat personnel are often waiting to greet visitors and issue them with a map for the five and a half mile loop trail which is called the Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail. The track meanders through the one hundred acres of shady, redwood forest, alongside a creek and every so often opens up in grassy glades. In each meadow area, you'll find a plaque with one of the eight verses of thought transformation.
As well as enormous redwoods, you'll encounter lots of Buddhist religious artifacts on the trail. There are prayer wheels, temples, and bells all of which day-use visitors are welcome to use. This is a quiet, meditative hike which will give you time to reflect on life. There are deer in the woods. They can be quite timid, but you may spot them if you're lucky. Have an enlightening hike!