Who doesn’t like (and need) to escape to the great outdoors? Leave all your worries behind and explore Mother Nature in all her splendor and beauty. It’s truly therapeutic. And it becomes much more special and enjoyable when you take your pup along.
So, thinking of adventuring out wit your furry sidekick? Start with finding the best hiking trail for you and your pup. There are some basics you’ll need to consider. Be sure the trails welcome four-legged hikers. Check to see if the hike requires dogs be on a leash or allows them off-leash. And also look at the trail rating. Trails are rated based on difficulty. They range from easy to strenuous. Make sure you select the one best suited for both you and your pup.
There are boatloads of amazing dog-friendly National Parks across the United States. We’ve plucked out some of the more popular dog-friendly National Parks to hike, from coast to coast.
1. Acadia National Park: Maine
This stunning park is located in the bayside town of Bar Harbor, Maine. While it is Maine's only National Park, it sure won't disappoint. Hiking people and doggos absolutely love this scenic destination. You'll find Acadia National Park on Maine's coast, across from the ever-popular Mount Desert Island. Almost all of the trails and carriage roads allow dogs. That equates to about 100 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails. No need to worry about you and your pups hiking skills. You'll find trails from beginners to advanced.
The Wonderland Trail is a fan-favorite, short dog-friendly trail. This 1.5 miles long trail leads you out to the ocean and through Maine's robust green forest. Dogs must be on-leash.
Find pet-friendly places to stay in Bar Harbor.
2. Pisgah National Forest: North Carolina
North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest is a gem. It’s located in Brevard, NC, but it actually surrounds the happening, super pet-friendly destination, Asheville, NC. Pisgah National Forest has over 500,00 acres of breathtaking mountains and majestic forests. It’s considered one of the best destinations for outdoor exploration in eastern North America. It’s chock full of waterfalls, whitewater rivers, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails.
A fan-favorite hiking trail for people and their pups is the Sam Nob Trail. It’s rated as a moderate trail. It’s about 2.5 miles long and, on average, it takes about 1.5 hours to hike the trail in its entirety. You’ll enjoy enjoy beautiful views and a well maintained trail. Leashed dogs are welcome.
Find pet-friendly places to stay in Asheville.
3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Ohio
Nestled along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, you'll find the glorious Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This dog-friendly park welcomes dogs at over 100 miles of hiking trails. This park is well known for being a refuge for wildlife, as well as native plants. This provides hikers and park visitors with endless exploration opportunities. The winding Cuyahoga River sweeping into the rolling hills and forest, offer spectacular views that are second to none.
The Salt Run, Kendall Lake and Cross Country Trails are top rated moderate dog-friendly trails. While the Towpath Trail is more of an easier jaunt. It follows the historic route of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Dogs must be leashed.
Find pet-friendly places to stay in Cleveland and Akron.
4. Olympic National Park: Washington
Located near Squim and Port Angeles, WA, Olympic National Park offers a plethora of outdoor adventures, and that includes plenty of dog-friendly hiking trails. Outdoor enthusiasts head to Olympic Park to enjoy its beaches, waterfalls, and stunning lush rain forests. Pets are welcome on many hiking trails and various areas of the beaches.
An ever-popular dog-friendly hike is the Devils Punchbowl via Spruce Railroad Trail. It's rated as an easy trail that hugs the shoreline of the lake. The entire trail takes about 50 minutes to hike.
Find pet-friendly places to stay in Squim and Port Angeles.
5. Shenandoah National Park: Virginia
The glorious Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is home to Shenandoah National Park. It's located just west of Washington,D.C. and expands just over 100 miles - with entrances in Waynesboro and Front Royal, VA. Towering waterfalls, abundant wildlife and jaw-dropping views are just a small sampling of some of the beauty you'll experience on your hike. Hiking trails are plentiful - with over 100 miles of trails to hike. And almost all trails allow dogs. Some trails allow dogs to be off-leash.
The Hawksbill Loop Trail is popular dog-friendly hike. It's rated as moderately challenging. To complete this trail, it normally takes about 1.5 hours. Some areas of this trail allow dogs to be off-leash. Otherwise, dogs must be on-leash.
Find pet-friendly places to stay in Waynesboro and Front Royal.
Need our help to plan a getaway to these or any other destination? Shoot us as an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to help!
Photo Credit: istock/tommasolizzul