Going off-road for a change…
Disclosure: Bow isn’t thrilled by traditional walks around the neighborhood.
If they exceed 20 minutes, she stages protests, halting in her tracks and stiff-arming into the pavement. Not cool when you’re in an intersection…
Hikes — especially if they involve her tribe of family and friends — are another story, and we’re fortunate to have the 11-mile “Loop” (Fullerton Loop – MTB & Hiking Trail) right in our backyard in Fullerton.
It runs from west Fullerton — where we live — north and east along, roughly, Valley View Drive toward Laguna Lake and Hillcrest Park, south on the east side to the city’s main thoroughfare, Chapman Avenue, and back west to the airport side of town.
On a clear day, there are gorgeous views of the San Gabriel Mountains and Mt. Baldy.
Our labradoodle is likely going to see and smell things she doesn’t see and smell on suburban streets. Cotton-tailed brown rabbits. Coastal cactus wren. Wildflowers. She’ll go for miles on these treks and sleep like the Greek god Hypnos through the nights.
Recently, we started on the west side and walked northeast toward Laguna Lake for about 2 miles before round-a-abouting back to our car near the trailhead. There were two, steep inclines and declines on this portion of the Loop. About 1,000-foot elevation at their apex. Great workout for the pack.
We humans paused for views of Baldy, a bit of snow on top like a dapper, elderly man, but Bow’s not big on vistas, she’s all about what’s ahead of her that she can chase and sniff, both of which are limited by her leash. But we indulged her as she did her bloodhound impression, no doubt identifying off-road trails taken by this creature or that.
These trails are busy with hikers, bikers and horse riders, and there are plenty of coyotes and other predatory wildlife in this part of Orange County. Be careful, and be courteous. About 70 percent of the Loop is single-track and a favorite of cyclists.
The Loop is dog-friendly, but your pooch must be leashed. The trail is open year-round, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, call 714-738-6575 or, https://www.facebook.com/thefullertonloop/