The new 3 acre Seal Point Dog Park in San Mateo opened June 4, 2005.

A path of non-dusty decomposed granite runs through this long park. Native grass in the park borders the path. The grass grew to over a foot high in some areas before opening day. The grass was mowed before opening day. The native grass is fighting for a comeback. In the photo below, the growth of weeds, etc. on the hill was also mowed to turn the park golden. This is the term used by native Californians to refer to dried grass on the once green hills. Opening day was a success with many visitors to the dog park and the adjacent Ryders Park childrens playgound. There are still native rabbits on the hill outside of the park. Maggie and Tiger saw a rabbit and ran the entire length of the park. The rabbits remain in the area so think about that before letting your dog off leash (not permitted) outside the park.

This view shows the path that loops around the native grasses at the south end of the park.

photo 2/23/2005



 The narrow road now that has an asphalt coating to allow cars to reach the Seal Point Plateau hill top without raising dust. There is only one handicap parking space at the top. Road to the top foreground, composite decomposed granite path loop Southern park entrance, right of center, JH Clinton drive, top background.

Inside the dog park.

This photo was taken before the park was opened and the grass was still green

Maggie, left, Tiger, right trespasser, center.


Shade Structures Will Not Get Roofs

 There are two structures to provide shade and each has four benches (shown above and below) with nearby animal tamper proof trash containers. The shade structures will not get new roofs to add rain protection as stated here before. Since the park land is a capped city dump, only 7 inches separates the surface from the dump cap. This would not allow the shade structure to be adequately anchored to the foundation to prevent a strong wind lifting the shade structure with a roof attached to the shade structure. Bring an umbrella.


The shade structure and benches.

Maggie: Right.

Left: Not yet mowed native grass before opening day.

This panorama shows in one view the whole park


This Panorama photo taken from the paved vehicle road to the top of Seal Point Plateau. The hill top has trails in a pattern of the number "8" with stairs on the bay side that lead to the top. Besides the paved auto road, there are 4 bike and foot paths to the top in varying degrees of elevation and difficulty from easy to very steep.

The water in the upper left is the Marina Lagoon that runs through Foster City before joining the bay. There are sulfur springs in this area as evidenced by the odor.

The path in the dog park is a composite decomposed granite that promises less dust. Beside the park path are several blocks for sitting. There are shade structures for the big dog section and the small dog section. Even though there are no signs to stay on the path, the presence of the path encourages people and dogs to stay on the path. The path and the shade structure in the big dog section tend to hinder traffic through the park with people and dogs gathered at one spot.

The park has not had enough rain to re-grow the native grass, or test the water draining capacity of the dirt host to the native grass. The entrances to the dog parks, big and little have large areas of decomposed granite. Because of city budget cuts, less care for the DP when the foxtails begin growth. The city was incabable of controling the foxtails. The adjacent hill called Seal Point Plateau has as of 3/16/2009 a large crop growing and soon the first growth of foxtails in the park can be expected.

Both large and small dog sections have 5 fire hydrants (non working) near the entrance. Why? That's what most people ask.  A dog marking a fire-hydrant is a cartoon. Do dogs have fun marking fire hydrants? It's in their DNA to mark a territory.

Seal Point Plateau is the name of the former city dump. There are trails to circle the top, stairs to the top, and three different paths to the top from easy, steeper, and this will put you in shape. The vistas include Coyote Point Marina, to Mt. Tamalpais, Oakland, the San Mateo Bridge, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Hamilton. The bay is subject to the tidal effects. At low and high tides, the shoreline of the bay presents various levels of water. At high tide the bay is 4 feet deep except for the shipping channel for deep water shipping vessels.

Photo from Seal Point Plateau

Ocean- going ship on way to home port



The entrance to the park is along J.H. Clinton Drive. The park is open from 6 AM until 1/2 hour after sunset. There is no light in the park after sunset. The south and north gates remain open but the parking lot is locked at dusk. You may have to find your way home without your car if locked in the parking lot.

History of the conversion of unused land into the largest dog park on the San Francisco Peninsula

August 1999 to June 2005


A meeting held on Monday, November 20, 2000 in City Hall Council Chambers was a

victory for the dogs. The dog park was approved for the Shoreline Park.


On Monday, 2/7/2000, petitions were given to the mayor at city hall

in support of a dog park in San Mateo. At the same time the pros and cons

of a dog run at the proposed Shoreline location was discussed.

This is how it went--

The meeting went extremely well! Kudos to all that put efforts into this project! It was unanimously received by the Mayor and her board. Patty McHugh should be given a huge pat on the back for all the direction and support she offered us. Kalli and Christine did superior jobs presenting our case, especially with having to work with the time constraints that were set upon all the speakers.

How it started. Our pack moved to San Mateo in May 1999. In August, a flyer came in the mail on a proposed dog park in San Mateo.
the meeeting was held by the parks department in August and many dog owners wanted a dog park. Regular meetings were held to discuss plans, locations, wish list for a dog park equipment and preferred surfaces. Next a city council meeting was held and the anti -dog group was silenced.

Park Update: 4/18/2008: The park will be closed until 3 PM for weeding.

Park Update: 4/13/2008 The Foxtails remain despite recent spraying with herbacides. Users of this park must be wary of deadly foxtails that can enter a dog in six different paths by ears, eyes, mouth, nose, anus, and skin. Foxtails are invisible to X-ray and only invasive surgery will remove a foxtail that carry bacteria to cause secondary infection. EXAMINE YOUR DOG AFTER VISITS. STAY ON THE PATH IN AND OUTSIDE THE PARK. THE SEAL POINT PLATEAU OR HILL NEXT TO THE PARK WILL NOT BE MOWED UNTIL MAY 25. The old dump is now a bird habitat. Only seven inches below the surface lies a protective membrane to shield users from dump contents. The best areas free of foxtails are the entrance and the area east of the towers. Stay away from the fences. The loop at the end has foxtails along the path and around the drain has a large crop of new and old decapitated foxtails that are most dangerous when dry.


Park Update: 1/24/2008 The Foxtails are gone however the San Francisco Bay Area is spending most of the time in rain storms so far for the month of January. The San Mateo Dog Park has standing water and only the entrance and path through the park are mud free. If the rains ever stop there may be a bountiful new growth of Foxtails soon.

Park Update: Foxtail alert 6/12/2007

The native grass is gone and replaced by FOXTAILS. Park and Rec. have been notified, the park & Rec. city counsel has been lectured on the danger of foxtails.

Park Update: Foxtails 8/3/07 The park has been mowed. The dog park is 99.99 % free of foxtails . however the surrounding park is not free of foxtail like plants so you dog needs a combing if he walks of the path.

Who to contact:

Email : Parks and Landscape Maintenace:

Parks and Landscape Manager

Howie Odden:

PHONE (650) 522-7423


Dennis Frank:

A. Veeser:

Tim Heck:

Tara Rusell:





last change 3/18/2009