You know me, I’m a happy, bouncy pup and I need lots of exercise. I take my human for long walks every day and it gets really boring to go to the same places every day so we both love to sniff out new places to explore. Well, to be fair I do most of the sniffing – she takes the photos and throws my ball.
So, since I moved my pack over to San Francisco, I’ve been on the look-out for the most pawsome and dog friendly parks and beaches where us dogs are allowed to run off leash and I thought it would be fun to share my un-official guide to off-leash fun in San Francisco and the Bay Area here on the blog.
I will assess the beaches and parks on a strict criteria involving how much space there is for a game of fetch and running off leash, how many trees, fire hydrants and lamp posts there are to sniff and whether you can go swimming. That should cover it for most dogs *waggy tail*
First up is one of the most pawsome places I know – Crissy Field.
Crissy Field – Pawsome Views and Off Leash Fun
This beach really is one of the best places on doggie earth. Parking is easy and free somewhere near the Beach Hut Cafe on the east side of the beach, and then you can head straight for the beach itself and start a game of fetch by the water whilst walking west towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
The views are some of the best San Francisco has to offer. You can see both Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge and if you bring your camera along then you can snap some real pawsome photos during your walk.
After a while, your walk will get cut off by the Crissy Field Marsh and you’ll have to make your way back up on to the path which runs along the beach, and then cross a small bridge. Take an immediate right just after the bridge to get back to the beach itself, or continue along the path. If you’re looking for some space for a game of fetch, then head back to the beach *Waggy tail*
Wildlife Protection Area
Dogs can stay off leash until you approach a sign saying you’ve reached the Wildlife Protection Area.The Snowy Plovers who have protected status spend a couple of months of every year there and leashes are the law from about July to May, or whenever the birds decide to return. The leash law is not for the birds obviously but any puppies who might go sniff out what’s on the other side of the fence! *waggy tail*.
Who else goes to the beach?
If the weather is good then you’ll share the beach with other dog walkers and families with young children, but when the famous fog comes rolling in the beach can get quite cold and you pretty much have the place to yourself. The wind usually picks up by mid day, so if you want a quiet walk then head out earlier in the morning.
The Beach is big enough for a decent 30 minutes to an hour round tour off leash depending on how fast you walk and how many stops you make for games of fetch along the way. The water is calmer on this beach than say Ocean Beach, so its pawsome for swimming. Not a whole lot of trees to sniff, but who cares when there’s other dogs to play with and water to swim in! There are no water fountains for drinking so make sure you bring along water! *waggy tail*
I’m giving Crissy Field 4 tennis balls out of 5!
At the time of writing this Crissy Field is one of the most pawsome places for off leash fun in San Francisco. But the Golden Gate National Recreation Area have proposed a new dog management plan which would restrict off leash significantly on their lands, including Crissy Field.
The deadline for opposing, or commenting on their plan is January 11, 2014 – and you can find out more about what you can do to help here.
Have you ever been to Crissy field with your dog? Woof about it in the comments below *waggy tail*