May 24, 2017
Six years ago Mr. Bean, a big white mixed breed dog, came for a two-week visit. After three weeks we began to wonder what we would do with such a large dog in a tiny house. Three cats, two adults and one substantial dog in a 720 square foot house makes for a cozy living arrangement. By week four, we had fallen completely, utterly in love with our eternally happy new family member. Even his tail has the upturn of a constant smile. He would dance for his breakfast, enthusiastically learn new tricks and was especially pleased when we would venture to the dog park. I’m not sure if he was into the other dogs, but all those balls and people to throw them - heaven on earth!
For us, Ragle Park in Sebastopol is the closest to home, but there are such a variety of parks in Sonoma County to choose from. Mr. Bean and I have made a list of Sonoma County dog parks for you to enjoy. Please make sure to follow the rules and respect other dogs and people, pick up the poop (most parks have poop nags and disposal so please use them!) and have fun.
Ernie Smith Regional Park ~ 18776 Gilman Dr. (El Verano): This county park includes a half-acre, fenced, off-leash dog park with picnic tables and a pet drinking fountain. Licensed dogs are allowed elsewhere in the park only on a leash no more than 6 feet long.
Glen Ellen ~ Elizabeth Anne Perrone Dog Park @ Sonoma Valley Regional Park - 13630 Sonoma Hwy.
Healdsburg ~ The City of Healdsburg provides fenced dog areas in Badger, Park 900 Heron Dr. (half acre) and Villa Chanticleer, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain (1.5 acres).
Petaluma ~The City of Petaluma provides fenced dog-run areas in Arroyo Park, Bond Park, Del Oro Park, Glenbrook Park, Lucchesi Park, McNear Park, Oak Hill Park, Prince Park, Rocky Memorial Dog Park, W. Casa Grande Rd., Sunrise Parkway, Westridge Open Space, Wiseman Airport Park, and the urban separator area at the intersection of Corona and Ely.
707-778-4380 or www.cityofpetaluma.net
Sebastopol ~ Ragle Ranch Regional Park - 500 Ragle Rd. This 157-acre county park includes a half-acre, fenced, off-leash play area, with a redwood chip surface, mud-free dog-watering area and easy-access parking. One hour each day is reserved for small dogs
(up to 30 pounds); from 11 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday, and from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Rohnert Park ~ The City of Rohnert Park operates enclosed dog areas in Benicia Park, 7469 Bernice; Roberts Lake, 5010 Roberts Lake Road; and Shelter Park, 301 J. Rogers Lane. 707-588-3456 or www.ci.rohnertpark.ca.us
Santa Rosa ~The city provides fenced, off-leash areas for dogs in De Turk Round Barn Park (quarter acre), Doyle Community Park, 700 Doyle Park Dr. (quarter acre), Galvin Community Park, 3330 Yulupa Ave. (half acre), Harvest Park (half acre), 819 Donohue St. Northwest Community Park (half acre), Place to Play Park, and Rincon Valley Community Park, 5108 Badger Rd. (half acre). 707-543-3291 or
Sonoma ~ The city of Sonoma operates Ernest Holman Memorial Dog Park, a quarter-acre, fenced, off-leash dog area at 151 First St. W., with a picnic table and benches. 707-938-3332 or www.sonomacity.org
Sonoma Valley Regional Park ~ (Glen Ellen): This 162 acre county park includes the Elizabeth Anne Perrone Dog Park, a fenced, one-acre, off-leach play area with a double-gated entry, dog drinking fountain, and a shade gazebo. The park also offers paved and dirt trails; outside the play area, dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Windsor ~ The City of Windsor provides a half-acre fenced dog park in Pleasant Oak Park, 302 Sugar Maple Lane. 707-838-1260 or www.ci.windsor.ca.us
SoCo Regional Parks Hike with Hounds ~ Shelly Spriggs (707) 565-3080. Have fun with the dogs at Doran Beach.
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