7 Of The Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails In The United States
What better way to get some exercise in than by going for a hike with your pooch? Now that the weather’s cooler and you can stand outside for more than 10 minutes without getting drenched in sweat, it’s time to hit those hiking trails with your furry partner in crime. For the occasion, we’ve rounded up seven of the best dog-friendly hiking trails in the United States. This list includes options for both seasoned hikers and beginners looking for an easy, yet interesting, stroll through nature.
1. Runyon Canyon — Los Angeles, California
Home to one of the largest off-leash dog parks in the city, this 160-acre park is located in the iconic Hollywood Hills. Runyon Canyon is a great place for both beginner and intermediate hikers (and puppers) because it has both an easy paved path and a more intense trail on the park’s outer border. Since Runyon Canyon has many off-leash areas where dogs can roam free, it’s a popular choice among local pawrents and pups — so you and your doggo are guaranteed to make many new friends. And if you’re into spotting celebrities, you might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of one in this hiking hot-spot.
2. The Cascades at Lake Mohegan — Fairfield, Connecticut
A great 170-acre hiking and swimming spot for East Coasters and their pooches. The Cascades at Lake Mohegan is located right off of Morehouse Highway and consists of multiple trails (easy to intermediate) that surround a lake and a waterfall/creek. Because the recreation area offers designated places where both humans and dogs can swim, this is an ideal trek for pup owners who have water-loving dogs — don’t forget the frisbee!
3. The Appalachian Trail — Georgia through Maine
This trail is one of the longest hiking-only footpaths in the world and arguably one of the prettiest. The Appalachian Trail is 2,190-miles long and traverses 14 states. The best news? You can bring your dog! But it’s recommended that pups stay leashed at all times on the trail, so as to not put unnecessary stress on the surrounding wildlife — you wouldn’t want your doggo to get into a brawl with a bear, right?
If you’re an experienced hiker with a fit dog, you might want to look into doing the thru-hike challenge — completing the entire 2,190-mile trail in one trip. Every year, thousands of hikers attempt this challenge, but only about one in four make it all the way to the end — sounds spooky!
4. Lake Dorothy — King County, Washington
Surrounding one of the largest bodies of water within Washington state’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the Lake Dorothy Trail offers a dog-friendly moderate hike. You and your pup can either hike along the lake’s two-mile shoreline or continue on to lakes Bear and Dear — two smaller lakes located deeper in the Alpine Lake Wilderness. Although dogs are allowed on this hiking trail, owners are required to keep them on the leash at all times. Bonus: The trail features a waterfall!
5. Grand Canyon National Park — Arizona
With its gorgeous landscape consisting of layered bands of red rock, Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most Insta-worthy hikes in the country and it’s also dog-friendly! Although pups must be kept on the leash at all times, they’re allowed on all trails above the rim. Dogs are also allowed on two of the park’s camping grounds — Mather Campground and Desert View Campground — and at Trailer Village, the park’s RV hot-spot. If you want to explore the scenic no-dogs-allowed trails below the rim for a bit, you can drop your pup off at the park’s only kennel, located on the south rim.
6. Beaver Brooke Trail — Golden, Colorado
The Centennial State is known for its gorgeous hiking trails, and this particular one happens to be pet-friendly. The Beaver Brooke Trail is 11-miles long and located on the south rim of Clear Creek Canyon. Although this hiking trail is situated near Denver and easily accessible, it’s a little rocky and a pretty strenuous hike, so we wouldn’t recommend it for pups and humans who are new to hiking. Doggos are allowed on the entire trail, but must be kept on the leash.
7. Gedney Park — Chappaqua, New York
This doggy-paradise is located only a half-an-hour drive from New York City. Dogs are allowed off-leash, so your pup can enjoy roaming free as you explore the park’s three woodsy trails together. Gedney Park boasts 126 miles of woods and spacious lawns, and even a lake where you and your pup can take a dip. It’s a great place to go for a leisurely weekend stroll and picnic with your furry best friend.
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