Now that the weather’s warm and the sun shines all day, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of some of the gorgeous and scenic trails Ventura County has to offer. Hiking is a great way get some exercise while appreciating the beauty of mother nature – and who loves exercise and appreciating mother nature more than your dog? From Ojai to the Conejo Valley, there are a plethora of places to hike alongside your furry friend. Here are a couple of our favorite local spots:
Arroyo Verde, nestled in the heart of Ventura, is a staple for the local hiking community. With a variety of trails snaking around the area, your desired distance can be made shorter or longer depending on which paths you choose to take. Great choice for inexperienced hikers or people who don’t want to drive farther than their own backyard! Arroyo Verde Trail Map (pdf)
Malibu Creek, located just off the PCH past Mugu Rock, has two trails of 3 and 4 miles round trip. This hike isn’t too challenging, but will definitely provide you and your pet with a fun and beautiful workout! The scenic backdrops have been a staple for film crews, who continue to utilize the land in filing movies and television to this day. Malibu Creek State Park Trail Map (pdf)
Wendy Trail, located in Newbury Park, is another series of trails where you can choose just how far you want to hike. Some of the various trails circle an awesome center with information on wildlife and Native American culture, while others continue for miles until you reach Point Mugu! Map you’re route, and keep an eye out for horses, as this is also a very popular trail for horseback riders! (There is also an excellent trail leading down to waterfalls, but that has recently been closed off to dogs..bummer!) Wendy Trail Map (pdf)
Always remember, bring lots of water for both you and your pet (a healthy dog typically needs about one-half to a full ounce of water per pound of body weight each day). If it’s a rather strenuous hike, consider taking short rest and water breaks when you come upon a shady spot. Even if you feel you can keep going, keep in mind your pooch can’t speak up to tell you when they need one! And always keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. They are generally most visible on trails early on warm afternoons, when they are most likely to be basking in the sun. For those of you who have a frequent furry hiking companion, we recommend keeping their rattlesnake vaccine up to date – and in any case where you think your pet might have had an encounter with a rattler, quickly bringing them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.