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Marin's Dog Parks: Something to Bark About

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Scenic Marin County, just north of San Francisco, is a great place to be a dog. Fresh air, sunshine, beaches, trails, and lots of aromatic wafts to whiff. There's also an abundance of pooch-friendly parks where your dog can run free and be, well, like a dog!

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Mill Valley's Dog Park is located in the town's Bayfront Park near the Sausalito-Mill Valley bike path and several soccer fields. It has million dollar views of Mount Tamalpais and is adjacent to the shallow, bird-rich estuaries of Richardson Bay.

Dogbone Meadow Park in Novato is a great local dog park that's big enough to throw balls and frisbees. The park has a grassy, usually poop-free area in the middle and a long dirt track around the perimeter. The park is located on Novato Boulevard, west of the Equestrian Center at O'Hair Park.

In San Rafael, the Field of Dogs is located just across the street from the Civic Center. The park consists of a large fenced-in area with a smaller enclosure inside the main park for smaller dogs to play in if they are not comfortable with larger dogs. Water bowls are provided for the dogs as well as hoses to fill the bowls and to clean your dog off on those dirt-filled days. Picnic tables and benches are also available for relaxing while your dog is running around.

Red Hill Dog Park in San Anselmo is a scenic one-acre facility located at the Red Hill Community Park, just behind Safeway. Just a few years old, the park is a completely fenced-in field for off-leash fun for the dogs. Entry and exits areas with double gates provide peace of mind for the owners. Benches, picnic tables, two water fountains (one for canines and one for humans), seasonal umbrellas and growing trees for shade, trash cans and dog waste dispensers are available.

For a list of Marin's dog-friendy parks, suggestions for beaches and hikes to bring your leashed dogs, as well as pet-friendly restaurants and lodging, see www.visitmarin.org

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