Recently, I was asked if I’d like to bark reviews of my favorite walks in the neighborhood for the newsletter. I took a nap to snooze on it. Afterwards, I felt the need to walk and the idea sounded like fun. I decided to write about the walk from the Johnson Street footbridge to the Nueva Street Dam, my favorite as a pup.

The footbridge has plazas on both ends, each with a pair of tall pointy spires. These are perfect places to leave your beginning and ending “pee-mail”. I should mention right now, have a big drink of water before leaving home. There are so many great things and places to leave pee-mail on this walk.

My route begins on the east side of the river, the stairs lead down to a landing at the water. Just a few sniffs down the trail is a baggie dispenser. Always remind your human to pick up your deposits and throw them in the trash, leave nothing but the scent. The walk here is under the shade of oak trees and back yards come right to the Riverwalk. My doggy pals will run to the fence and bark, “Hey! What’s smelling?”

Just before passing under the Arsenal Street Bridge, look for the water fountain. This is a special one with a low bowl and faucet for us canines. If you forgot to drink up before leaving home, here’s a great place to fill the tank. Then lead your human back up to street level and into the Upper Mill Park.

Upper Mill Park is my favorite in the neighborhood. It’s a great place to pause for your paws. The hill between the path and the river slopes down at a perfect angle for rolling in the grass. Now, I’m a dog that really appreciates a good roll in the grass and there is a technique to it. Point your head downhill, flip over on your back and wiggle left to right while pushing with your back legs. Just be careful not to get too close to the edge, it’s a long way down to the water here. There’s a nice bench for your human to sit while you roll. After a roll and good shake, look around for squirrels - plenty of them around. This park has lots of trees, shade and bushes, and not a lot of fancy landscaping, perfect for canines.

From here the walk goes downhill to river level again. Just past the park is another baggie dispenser, be sure to point it out to your human. This a short trot to the Cesar Chavez Blvd. Bridge. At the bridge is a path leading back up to the street and the neighborhood. A few times we have met the “Mysterious Bagpiper” under this bridge. He stands near the wall and squeezes a bag of cats. There are long sticks in the bag that the cats scream through. It is so loud and makes me want to howl.

The walk goes uphill as you get close to the dam and you can hear the waterfall from a long way off. The walk crosses over the top of the dam and water rushes under your feet. From here we head back home. This stretch is a long one, but so pleasant with lawns, trees, lamp posts, bushes, stone walls and so many spots to leave a pee-mail.

Past the Arsenal Bridge, the path is lower and closer to the river here and there are stone benches for humans to sit on. All along the way you’ll encounter lots of birds – ducks, herons, egrets, cranes, cormorants, geese and some I don’t recognize. They all smell so interesting and my humans enjoy watching them.

At the footbridge are steps leading back up to the street. I usually stop and exchange a few barks with my good pals Chico and Brindy here before we head back home. This walk – a nice 1.4 miles or so – gets “four paws up!”

We’ll smell you on the trail,

Lucky Bradley