For an easy hike with the most pawsome views of Ventura County, head over to the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail! Spanning about a mile, this out-and-back trail will take you and your pup from the Ventura City Hall to Grant Park.
To access the Demonstration Trail, drive to the parking lot behind the city hall. Be sure to pick up a map at the trailhead, as this will help you identify the five biomes you will encounter: California, South Africa, Chile, South Australia, and the Mediterranean Sea. As you and Fido follow this mostly dirt, sometimes paved path, you will see beautiful wildflowers and other native California plants lining the way. On some sections, you'll notice cool-looking stone walls, which were actually built by Chinese immigrants centuries ago.
The trail is suitable for visitors of all fitness levels and is wheelchair accessible, with several spots to pawse, rest, and enjoy your surroundings. As it gently zigzags 1,400 feet up to Grant Park, you'll be able to catch puptacular views of the coastline and downtown Ventura. But the best views are at the top, where you and your pup will be greeted by a nearly 360-degree panorama of the mountains, ocean, and city. While you're there, be sure to also check out the Serra Cross. The original wooden cross served as a guidepost for travelers going to the San Buenaventura Mission, while the current one has been standing there since 1941.
Since this is an out-and-back trail, you and your pooch will have to go back down the way you came when you're done admiring the scenery and snapping photos. Remember to practice good trail petiquette by always keeping your pup on a leash and cleaning up after them—bags are available at the bottom of the trail in case you forgot to bring your own. Expect to have a furrific time with Fido on the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail!
Bring sunscreen and a hat as most of the path is out in the open. Also, there may be times when the trail and park are closed due to wildfires, so always check before you go.