Q97 Snapshot: Me and You and Fido, too
Redding’s Lema Ranch Trails DO NOT allow dogs, but the Churn Creek Trails right next door in the Churn Creek Open Space do. Access the trails system by taking College View Drive to Tidmore Lane.
The Blue Gravel Mine Trail that starts at the corner of Buenaventura and Placer in Redding (across from Fire Station 2) is also dog-friendly, paved and shaded for much of the way. The trail splits to allow different routes. Park in the Holiday Market shopping center and the crosswalk headed west takes you directly to the trailhead. West Redding also offers the Mary Lake trail and overlooking the lake are the Westside Trails, which are mostly shaded as well.
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area allows leashed dogs for camping and on the hiking trails, but dogs are not permitted on any of the main swimming beaches or in the group picnic area. You can still find many areas to let Fido take a dip.
Most areas of Mt. Shasta in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest are off limits to pooches, but the Gray Butte Trail near Panther Meadows and the Old Ski Bowl areas are dog friendly.
The aptly named Dog Island Park in Red Bluff is great for humans, too. It offers trails, but also picnic/barbecue areas and access to fishing.
Black Butte Lake in Orland offers trails, picnic areas and campsites. They also offer horse trails, so larger four-legged friends can tag along.
If you’re feeling adventurous and have energy to spare, the nine-mile loop on the Feather Falls Trail pays off with an amazing view of the falls. Make sure you have good directions in advance; the parking lot at the trailhead was a little tough to find on the fly.
As always, make sure you have doggie poop bags and water on hand. Consider the outdoor temperature because hot pavement/ground can burn your dog’s feet. Stay on the trails to avoid other animals (like snakes) and poison oak. Most areas require your dog to be on a leash, regardless of how friendly and well behaved they are. Dogs are scary creatures to many folks who have no way of knowing which pooches are/aren’t people friendly. Be considerate on trails; stop and have your dog sit next to you if others seem afraid and want to pass by.
Here’s a great link to more than 30 of Redding’s trails: healthyshasta.org/maps.htm