No matter what activity you choose, it’s not hard to argue that it’s better with good company. And there’s seldom better company than our friends on four legs! Butte County offers a plethora of dog-friendly activities; whether it’s challenging yourself outdoors or lounging inside, you will create those Instagram-worthy memories with your canine pals, and give them the activity-packed, enriching lives they deserve.
Bidwell Park (Lower and Upper Park), Chico
Leash Rules Vary
Perhaps the most obvious choice for explorers with furry companions! The sprawling expanse of Bidwell offers endless curiosities for your pup to investigate, whether you’re leisurely strolling through the shaded, grassy areas of Lower Park near Sycamore Pool or putting your pup through her paces on some of the gentler trails near Horseshoe Lake in Upper Park. If you choose the latter, of course, be aware that life is a little more wild out here; watch out for rattlesnakes, insect nests, or thorned fauna that dogs are so adept at sticking their noses into. And, at the end of a long walk, it’s hard to beat a dip in Big Chico Creek on your way back toward One Mile Recreation Area.
In Lower Park, dogs may be off leash from 5:30 AM until 8:30 AM — all other times dogs must be on a leash. Along the north side of Upper Park Road, dogs may be off leash anytime. While off leash, dogs must remain under voice control. Dogs are not allowed in the water at One-Mile or Five-Mile swimming areas, or swimming holes in Upper Park.
Table Mountain, Oroville
Any place that’s a good walk for humans is probably a good walk for pooches, and beautiful Table Mountain is no different. Open from dawn until dusk, the ecological reserve offers wildlife viewing for you and fresh air and plenty of walking for your dog. It’s often a popular spot for dog-walkers, so chances are usually pretty good that your pup will meet some new faces, too.
DeGarmo Dog Park, Chico
Leash Required Outside of Dog Area
A great place to get your dog some outdoor exercise as well as to socialize, DeGarmo Park’s facility offers owners a chance to let their pups off the leash to make friends and stretch their legs. A roomy sand-and-dirt play area is the main feature here, so bring a ball to throw or some treats to practice training. Shyer dogs may be content to hang out with their owners, but there are picnic tables and lawn chairs for those dogs who prefer a lap to sit in over a lap to run around.
Lake Oroville, multiple Butte County areas
Leash Rules Vary
If your dog shares your love for the open water, he’ll be at home on Lake Oroville, especially if you bring him along for a patio boat trek out to a cove with a decent beach. It’s not uncommon to spot lake-goers bringing their dogs with them for their day trips on the water (bring some kind of flotation device if you plan on doing anything more than puttering around Oroville’s various marinas).
Burgers & Brews, Chico
Burgers, brews, and you best bud. What could be better? In a prime Downtown Chico location, Burgers & Brew is a great spot for you and your four-legged friend. You’ll love the hardy menu and extensive beer list, and they’ll love watching all the comings and goings of the city...when not sneaking a fry or two.
Hilltop Cafe, Magalia
A long-standing staple of the upper Ridge community, the Hilltop is a great breakfast/brunch option for those setting out on a day of adventure and exploration of the area with their dogs. Outdoor seating means pups can partake and get some fresh air, too--there’s not a fenced area, though, so bring your leash.
The Lab Bar & Grill, Chico
With an excellent and budget-friendly happy hour (eight beers and cocktails from $3-$5, plus four food options $10 or under), outdoor dining area and pup-friendly policy, The Lab is a terrific option for, uhm, your lab. (We assume all breeds are welcome.)
The Rawbar Restaurant & Sushi, Chico
With a recent remodel, The Rawbar joins the ranks of dog-friendly eateries in Butte County. You can still enjoy their fresh rolls and sashimi inside as always, but now, the whole (furry) family can dine in style al fresco, complete with views of the City Plaza.
Tres Hombres, Chico
Patio dining, a cool margarita, and passers-by people-watching makes for great entertainment--and, like everything, it’s better with your dog! Tres is cool with your well-behaved pooch on the patio, but obviously a leash is required. Sneaking table scraps is up to you.
No matter if you’re seeking leisure and a bite, or exploration and wide-open spaces, there are ample options for dogs and their people all over Butte County.