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Water Bark returns to Spring Lake

Popular late-summer splash zone for canines
Water Bark returns to Spring Lake
Pooches enjoying the Water Bark at Spring Lake.Photo by Julie Vader

By Christian Kallen

Even dogs appreciate a nice cool dip on a hot day, and Sonoma County Regional Parks has just the place to take Rover, Baxter, or Lola: the Spring Lake Water Bark, two and a half weekends in September.

The Spring Lake Water Bark is held at the Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon. The popular dog swimming event will be offered on the weekends of Sept. 10-11 and 24-25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The only catch: tickets are required. Online tickets are $7 per dog for Regional Parks members and $9 per dog for non-members. Tickets purchased at the gate on event day are $10 per dog. Each person may bring a maximum of three dogs.

“Water Bark is absolutely one of our favorite events of the year,” said Melissa Kelley, executive director of the nonprofit Sonoma County Parks Foundation. “Sonoma County is full of dog owners looking for fun outdoor activities for their pets to explore and enjoy, especially if they involve water during the hot summer months. We are happy to offer this safe swimming option for dogs, and at the same time raise funds to support our dog-friendly Regional Parks.”

An additional Water Bark takes place Sunday, Sept.

18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, Water Bark will not be offered on Saturday that weekend due to a cross country race at the park that day.

For the Water Bark events, the lagoon will be circled by snow fencing to keep dogs safely enclosed. The lagoon water will remain filtered, treated and closely monitored by Regional Parks staff for safety, as well.

Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase online Water Bark tickets in advance, not only to receive the discounted price, but also to help reduce the wait time for furry friends at entry. Parking for Regional Parks members is free, while parking for non-members is $7 per car. Advance tickets can be purchased at sonomacountyparksfoundation. org/water-bark.html The swimming lagoon remains open for human use through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5.

Almost all Regional Parks welcome dogs on leash (exceptions are North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Preserve and Shiloh Ranch Regional Park). Regional Parks also operates leash-free dog parks at Sonoma Valley Regional Park (Glen Ellen), Ernie Smith Community Park (Sonoma), Andy’s Unity Park (Santa Rosa), and Ragle Ranch Regional Park (Sebastopol).