I moved to California from Arizona in 2013. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring my dog with me and miss her dearly. Along with missing her, I realized one of the great benefits of owning a dog is going for walks with them. Back home I’d walk the dogs along a dirt path every day. I missed the exercise and companionship. So one day I decided to do something about it and find a good place to go walking.
I’d seen a well-paved path near my home. It “starts” on Henry Ave behind Collins Elementary School. The path follows Pinole Creek as it winds toward the bay. With a friend I explored down the trail as it curved behind the school and crossed Pinole Valley Rd/Tennent Ave. I love walking right along the creek. You can hear it as it bubbles over rocks which I found to be calming and soothing. I also like seeing what wildlife I can spot. Almost every day I saw at least one white egret fishing in the creek.
Once past Pinole Valley Rd, it’s a leisurely stroll until you come out at San Pablo Ave and cross at Pinole Valley Rd. What I love most about the spot is right after you cross the street there is a house with rose bushes right beside the sidewalk. A sign in a window of the house says “Stop and smell the roses” which of course I had to do! Roses are some of my favorite flowers.
Continuing on you go right past Fernandez Park. Several times while walking, I came across events happening at the park. One time it was an art festival that I otherwise would have never know was happening. It was fun to meet the artists and see what they had for sale. There are benches here that are great for a quick rest. Past the park is the last stretch before the bay. There’s not much along this stretch except the backs of houses and yards which gives it a slight wild feel.
If you make it to the end of this stretch, a bridge crosses the trail. We always stopped here although the path does go on. The people and dogs I've met while walking have been friendly. There are not many people walking along the path when I walked in the morning, so the walks were peaceful. I like that you can walk as much or as little as you like. It is superior in every way to using a treadmill in a gym. If you're looking for a refreshing trail to walk with your four-legged friends I would recommend following Pinole Creek.
By Beth Chapman, Veterinary Assistant at Pinole Pet Hospital