The furrific Nature Trail at the Lost Lake Recreation Area is tucked away 19 miles northeast of Fresno, near the Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. As one of Fresno County's most pawpular walking paths, though, Lost Lake isn't as "lost" as the name implies.
While the park and trail are open until 10 pm from April through September, note that they close at 7 pm in winter. That's still plenty of time to enjoy the smooth boardwalk surface of the trail and its views of the water. Bring the whole family! The trail is accessible to strollers and some wheelchairs (though motorized wheelchairs might be difficult on parts of the terrain). The $5 daily admission fee is worth it, but invest in an annual pass if your pack lives nearby: it's "paid for" in 8 visits.
Surrounded by nature, your pups can get in touch with their inner wild child. The recreation area is relatively undeveloped apart from a campground, field, and day-use restrooms. The nature trail first makes an easy loop around interpretive signs (a great way to bone up on your local flora and fauna) and then continues along the river for over a mile.
If you have a nose for history, look closely for Native American grinding holes left behind by the Wakichi Band of Yokuts who once resided here; there are over 300 in the Lost Lake area. To untrained eyes, these 8- to 10-inch holes are just divots in the rock, but take a closer look: the smooth holes were carved out as mortars over centuries of grinding grain and seed pods. Fido and Fifi might not care about the history, but they'll be happy to have you down on hands and knees seeing the world from their level.
The trail is set up above the water, giving you a lovely perspective over the lake and dam. You might want to pack a towel or two, especially if you have enthusiastic dog-paddlers in your pack. The trail itself doesn't reach the shore, but swimming is allowed at Lost Lake if your buddies want to cool off after their walk.