Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hiking at Palo Alto Baylands

Early Saturday morning we took Abbey and Maddie on a HikeABull hike at the Palo Alto Baylands. Maddie (our foster dog) previously spent around 8 months in the shelter, since taking Maddie on as a foster we've been working really hard on his reactivity to everyday things, squirrels, cats and other dogs. After spending a few weeks walking him in our local neighborhood we started to take Maddie on group hikes with HikeABull, a local dog hiking group. Walking within a group, although hard at first has really helped Maddie with his leash reactivity.

This Saturday around 17 other dogs joined Abbey and Maddie at Palo Alto. Maddie rocked the grouped hike, he patiently waited at the start of the hike as each owner introduced themselves and their dogs. The trial at Palo Alto is quite busy with other walkers, runners and cyclists. Walking within a group of so many dogs always turns heads, and it's so great that Maddie can just disappear within the group. While we were hiking we were passed by several dogs, Maddie kept his composure and focus throughout the entire hike.

I've copied the hike information from the HikeABull meetup group website for anyone wishing to see further information on the hike and to get an ideas of the hikes organized by HikeABull.

For further information about HikeABull checkout their facebook page at or at their site at

About the Palo Alto Baylands

Bounded by Mountain View and East Palo Alto, the 1,940-acre Baylands Preserve is the largest tract of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Fifteen miles of multi-use trails provide access to a unique mixture of tidal and fresh water habitats.

For further information, check out the official website


The Palo Alto Baylands hike is a there-and-back hike that meanders along the baylands. Although, the trial is open to hikers, runners and cyclists, the trial is wide enough to allow all users to pass one another without a problem. While on the hike many different forms of wildlife can be seen including: -

  • Great White Egrets
  • Humming Birds
  • Gulls
  • Avocets

Here are some photos from recent HikeABull hikes

The trail surface is primarily dirt / gravel and so can be hiked all year round. At the trial entrance you'll find bathrooms and a place to fill up with water. Trash cans can be found in several locations along the trail. The Palo Alto Baylands has no shade cover, and in summer the temperature can rise quite early in the day. It's therefore important to bring water (or other refreshments) for yourself and water for your dog(s). Sunscreen is also a recommendation. The path been a dirt / gravel combination can be quite hard on dogs paws. If your dog hasn't hiked on this surface before periodically check your dogs paws for signs of wear.

Distance : ~5miles - there and back.
difficulty : easy
Elavation : ~0
Time : 1.5 - 2hrs
Trail Surface : dirt trail (gravel)

A detailed (satellite) map can be found at: -

Satellite view of the Hike