Need a new place to walk your dog? Grab the leash and head over to the Ventura River Trail for a little doggy cardio. Also known to the locals as Ojai Valley Extension Trail, it stretches 5.5 from the beachside end of Ventura up to nearby Foster Park. Its namesake, the Ventura River, makes an appearance throughout the walk.
This trail cuts through what use to be a corridor for the Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad. Don’t expect a nice walk in the woods or a wander through Mother Nature. Rather, plan on a paved path with an industrial vibe. As you begin your walk from the southern trailhead, your pooch will be fascinated with the rusty industrial sites, oil derricks, and abandoned USA Petroleum Refinery. Although the structures aren’t the most pleasant scenery your pooch can imagine, they have helped grow the area’s economy. While they are trotting along, your pup can also keep an eye out for the urban art pieces along the trail. Sculptures of birds and abstract art keep this path interesting.
As it makes its way north, the trail eventually passes through some pastures and equestrian trails. And the Ventura River comes into view. By the time you reach Foster Park, your pup will be ready for a break. Unfurtunately, dogs are not allowed in the day use area of the park. They can go into the campground though. Water and restrooms are available here.
Once you reach the park, you have a few options. You can
turn around and head back to the trailhead, arrange for a pick up, or continue
walking. From here, the trail seamlessly connects to the Ojai Valley Trail and
heads north for several more miles. Keep in mind both trails are multi-use;
expect to see cyclists, runners, and people on roller blades. Bring plenty of water and clean up bags, and
be sure to pick up after your pup. This trail will definitely make your pup’s