Photo Essay • Mitzi Perez, Jonathan Silva, Maite Mejia and Maryalexis Gutierrez
If you have yet to visit Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, it is a sight to see. Point Isabel, a 23-acre dog park with an additional 20 acres right alongside a stunning view of the San Francisco Bay Area, is the one of the largest off-leash dog parks in the United States.
The park is a local favorite for visitors of the East Bay because it allows dogs of all sizes to run around off the leash and enjoy the large grassy areas. Many dogs can also enjoy a refreshing bath on the shore right off the bay.
Some visitors are locals. Others drive a fair distance to have their pooches enjoy the large park.
“It’s beautiful. You get great bay views,” said Vic from Oakland, who came to the park with his dog Rose. “On hot days, it’s cooler here. The people are generally pretty good. I go to places like Redwood Regional Park and Albany Bowl but I prefer this place. I also get to hang out with my friends and Rose gets to hang out with her friends,” he said.
The park has features that are standard for most dog parks. It is equipped with water fountains, doggie bag stations, and a few communal toys. But it also has additional features such as the Mudpuppy’s Tub and Scrub, a dog-bathing and grooming center, and the Sit and Stay Café which offers snacks for humans and canines alike.
“I am a dog walker and my dogs love it,” says Delane from Oakland. “It’s refreshing, it’s sunny, not too hot. There is a slight breeze.”
One of the reasons she likes Point Isabel so much is because it’s a safe place. “I go to other trails where there are deer, coyotes, rattlesnakes, dead animal carcasses, stinging nettles, joggers every once in a while,” she said.
“When dogs see people infrequently they get pretty protective. If there are lots of people walking, like here, they have a different mindset, they don’t get all protective. They don’t chase after people or scare people. It’s dog friendly.”
Visitors to the park are friendly and it’s a great place to start a conversation and meet new people.
Dog owners also engage in park activities such as organized bonding and meet-up times. “The last Saturday of every month, labradoodles [a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle] and their owners visit the park for cupcakes and doggy treats. There is also a Great Dane day the first Saturday of every month,” says Anthony Caro from Berkeley.
“I like how open it is, there are no borders or fences. The view is amazing. These dogs get a better view than me from my apartment. This is a must-stop for anyone traveling with their dog.”
Whether you are a dog walker, an owner or a dog enthusiast, visitors highly recommend taking a walk at Point Isabel Dog Park.