Written by Hailey Terry
Dogs might be the best hiking partners out there. They are always up for an adventure, they never complain about the elevation gain, and they're not picky about what snacks you bring. It's important though to make sure you only bring them on dog friendly trails.
Some hikes restrict dogs because of a watershed, wildlife, and state regulations. And most trails in U.S. National Parks restrict dogs as well. Always check the trail regulations before heading out on your adventures. There are a few ways I like to find dog friendly hiking trails either near me or for trips I'm about to go on.
Hiking Trail Apps
A great and easy way to find dog friendly trails is to use an app. Alltrails is a widely popular app and website that allows you to search by area for hiking trails. You can add filters and only s
how results that are dog friendly. When you have that option selected, you will have a plethora of great hiking trail options that your pup can join you on!
Dog Friendly Hiking Blogs
Another great way to find dog friendly hiking trails is to do a quick google search for dog friendly hikes in ____[insert where you'll be hiking]____. Many dog lovers will have already done the research for you and have a post written with lots of necessary details. BringFido.com has always been a reliable source and a site I have frequented often.
Blogs are also a great option because not only will you find dog friendly trails, but they will usually include helpful details about conditions for your dogs such as temperature, how much natural water is on the trail, best time of day to go, and other helpful details.
Word of Mouth
So many dog owners are a wealth of knowledge and love to share about the fun trails they've done with their pups. If you have a friend with a dog who just got back a trip, ask them what trails they did and write them down. Save them for when you're able to take a trip to that location.
Ask other dog owners on Instagram. Look up the location you will be heading to and see if anyone has posted a picture of their dog there. Reach out and see if they'll share what trails they did. It never hurts to ask!
Trail Guide Books
It might seem outdated, but hiking books are a great resource to finding dog friendly trails, especially when you are on a camping trip without any service. They have detailed descriptions on where the trailhead is, the trail conditions, and usually include a map which is always handy.
FalconGuides has a large collection of Best Dog Hikes books that are separated by states. So next time you're visiting a new area, pick up a Best Dog Hikes book before you head out and mark up the spots you want to hit.