Where to Hike With Dogs in Marin

There are tens of thousands of acres, including 130 miles of trails, that are Fido friendly here in Marin, according to the canine travel resource dogtrekker.com. Founder Dave Kendrick of San Rafael says access to wilderness is one of the factors that sold him and his wife, Roxanne, on living here. “There is no simple answer to where dogs are allowed,” he says, “and as many of us have learned, a $50 ticket can be a painful reminder that you have broken the law.” Marin’s public space is governed by four entities: The state parks system and GGNRA allow partial access to trails, while the MMWD and MCOSD both allow dogs on leash on all their public lands. Here are Kendrick’s three top spots for dogs..

Blithedale Summit

Accessed from the top of Glen Drive in Mill Valley, it’s the highest point you can legally take dogs up on Mount Tamalpais. 6.6 miles.

Phoenix Lake Trail

Start at the end of Lagunitas Road in Ross in the Phoenix Lake parking lot. You can add three to five more miles by walking around Phoenix Lake and heading up to Bon Tempe Lake and Lake Lagunitas. Dogs need to stay on leash, but you can’t beat the views; you might even see some turtles basking in the sun. Watch out for newts on the trail. 4.4 miles.

Bolinas Ridge

You need to be mindful of staying on the trail and keeping your dogs on leash, since not all the land is dog friendly and the trail is popular with bikers — but it’s worth the effort for the views of Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean. 10.5 miles.