Over a year ago, I blew out my knee and needed to rehab it with lots of walking. Around the same time I adopted a sweet blue nose Staffordshire terrier named Bula from the San Diego Humane Society.
Not only did she help me through the healing process with lots of love and cuddles, her little stumpy legs were never happier than when we would go on our daily rehab walks through the back areas of Fiesta Island.
Over time my knee healed nicely and our daily 2-mile walk around the dog park helped me get to know her better as well as burn off some extra unwanted chub.
Since then, I have found that I truly enjoy getting quality time with my dog, not only for her benefit but for mine. Luckily for San Diego residents and visitors, there are plenty of ways for you to double up your time to maximize your health and be a good doggy parent. Here are some hikes that are a great workout and dog friendly!
Marian Bear Memorial Park
Enjoy more than three miles of mostly mellow trails along the length of San Clemente Canyon. This hike allows dogs on leashes and several of the trails break off into finger canyons that lead up to the mesa tops. Parking is available off Genesee Avenue and Regents Road, where there are also picnic areas and restrooms.
5566 Genesee Ave., San Diego
Cabrillo tide pools
The tide pools below the Cabrillo National Monument are some of the coolest in San Diego and also happen to have a mellow half-mile hike. This trail is the only area in Cabrillo National Monument where dogs are allowed, but they do need to be on a leash.
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma
This hike is a San Diego favorite and you can bring your dog along, on leash of course. Words of caution: It does get hot and if you are going to bring along your best furry friends, then make sure you have plenty of water for both you and your pooch. I've seen dogs in distress here because the owners underestimated the hike and didn't bring enough water. On extra hot summer days it may even be best to leave your pooch at home. The 3-mile loop climbs significantly.
7055 Golfcrest Drive, San Diego
Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve
The main trails clock in at 7 miles and thread through the park's 4,000 gorgeous acres, which include a waterfall, ponds and streams.
Besides all these super cool areas, do yourself a favor and take your dog on walks all through your neighborhood. They will love you for it and you might just meet some cool people along the way as well.
12115 Black Mountain Road, San Diego
As a lifelong San Diegan, Ken Lewis has surfing and ocean life in his DNA. A 30-year surfer himself, Lewis has worked in the surf and skate industry for most of his career. Send him thoughts about the surfing and fitness worlds to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Instagram @hanger18.