There are some San Mateo County Parks trails that welcome dogs on leash accompanied by their human companions. To make your visit enjoyable and safe for all park patrons, please keep in mind a few simple, common courtesies. Dogs that join you on our dog-friendly trails are expected to be on-leash. The leash rule is aimed at providing a safe experience for your dog and other park visitors. Along trails like Devil’s Slide, bicyclists, or potentially even horses, could pose an injury risk to a dog off-leash from collisions or altercations. In addition to protecting your dog, the leash rules are also intended to protect other visitors from unwanted dog interactions. Sometimes high energy dogs can knock over children and the elderly when off-leash or allowed to run up to strangers. By keeping your dog on-leash you are greatly reducing the likelihood of this occurring. Remember not everyone has dogs and for some people these fuzzy companions are intimidating and even scary.
An important and real health risk does stem from dog waste in community parks. Dog waste, both fresh and old, poses a serious health risk if left in public parks. Dog waste has been documented to carry and transmit various diseases to people including Giardiasis, Cryptosporidiosis, Toxocariasis, Salmonella, and others. Exposure to these diseases can occur through contaminated soil or water resources or even direct contact. Children often playing in parks run the highest risk of exposure due to the likelihood of playing on the ground in the dirt, near water, or through inadvertent contact. The “bag-it” rule is aimed at eliminating this risk factor. Always bring at least one plastic bag to clean up after your dog. Dog waste should be promptly picked up and disposed of in garbage receptacles. Bagged dog-waste left along trails is considered littering, is subject to littering fines, and does not significantly reduce the risk of exposure to these diseases.
The Parks Department is excited to have more people and their canine companions using our parks. With the addition of dog-friendly recreation more responsibility from the park users planning on bringing their dogs to San Mateo County Parks is expected. Your dog cannot always determine who wants to be approached, so make sure you help your dog make new friends appropriately. And more importantly, your dog cannot bag their own waste, so please help your dog clean-up after themselves.
Please remember to be a good neighbor, keep your dog on-leash for both their safety and the safety of others, and bag that waste!
Jean Lauer Trail wanders the windswept heights of Pillar Point Bluff. It is an ADA accessible dirt-packed trail which connects the Pillar Point Bluff parking lot and Bernal Ave and is open to hikers, joggers, bicyclists, equestrians, and dogs on leash.... ViewView Jean Lauer Trail
The 1-mile Vista Point Trail begins as a service road in the main parking lot. The road enters a dense eucalyptus forest and begins to gain elevation. Enjoy great views through the trees of the Pacific Ocean.... ViewView Vista Point Trail
A short segment of the California Coastal Trail that connects California St. and Cypress St. It travels through Cypress grove and along a riparian area that provides habitat for migrating birds. The trail is disability accessible and bicycles and horses are permitted.... ViewView Dardenelle Trail
A .36 mile multi-use and ADA accessible trail from Magellan Ave. to Surfers Beach provides an important link in the California Coastal Trail, a popular trail for sea-side strolls, jogs, or rides. Another trail leads from Highway 1 to Quarry Park through Mirada Surf East. Paths are open to hikers, joggers, equestrians, bicyclists and dogs on leash.... ViewView Trails at Mirada Surf
Pillar Point Bluff offers hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and dog-walkers a chance to take in the breathtaking sights and sounds of the Pacific Ocean. The 220-acre bluff top includes a section of the California Coastal Trail and offers views of Half Moon Bay Harbor, agricultural lands and the world famous Mavericks surf break.... ViewView Pillar Point Bluff
More Dog Recreational Areas
The California State Parks guide to on- and off-leash dog recreational areas on and around the San Mateo coast.