What’s better than a nice summer hike with your furry friend? We can’t think of anything. But since wet, dirty and smelly dogs don’t always make for a fun car ride back after a long hike, we found a website that features dog-accessible hikes in your own backyard. We’ve featured a few recommendations here, but you can access dog-friendly hikes in your own home state by clicking this link.
Oregon – Rogue River National Forest
“…I love to hike in the Rouge-Umpqua Divide Wilderness area. Our favorite hike starts at Skimmerhorn Trailhead and is a loop trail around grasshopper mountain. We pass through old growth forests, Grasshopper meadow, climb to the top of the cliffs, then down to the beautiful, green lakes of Cliff and Buckeye. This trail is moderate and very well maintained. Charles is a lab- Australian Shepherd mix who packs his own food and drinking water. We both enjoy our encounters with other hikers and horse riders. Charles has been hiking since he was four months old and has better trail manners than a lot of people. I can’t imagine a better hobby than hiking with my dog.”
Colorado – Herman Gulch
“…I love the Herman Gulch hike, because it’s gorgeous (lot’s of wildflowers in the summer, and great views of the surrounding mountains), there’s a lot of water, and [the dog] can be off leash. The trail starts on an old sawmill road, located just west of Georgetown on I-70. The parking area and trailhead are located at the northeast corner of exit 218. The hike starts at 10,400 feet, and emerges out of the forested trees within a mile of traveling. The sub-alpine flowers add beauty to an otherwise rocky terrain. Towards the top of the trail, rock cairns lead the way to Herman Lake. The trail ends at 12,000 feet, so there’s 1,600 feet of climbing at high elevation. Be sure to wear your sunscreen and bring plenty of water for the humans. It can be a fairly heavily traveled trail.”
Florida – Brownhard Beach
“I live in Sarasota, FL and they do have one designated dog beach in Sarasota County. It’s actually in the town of Venice (about 30-40 miles south of Sarasota) at Browhard Beach. It is the best dog beach that I have been to in the state. They have the greeting area that is not on the beach where there is a little park and washing stations for the dogs, and you can choose to walk down a small pathway to the beach and let them run right on the beach. Our dog, Raver, loves it to death. He gets himself so tired from running in the waves with other dogs that he sleeps all night long!”
Massachusetts – Tully Trail
“I would like to let you know of a wonderful place in Massachusetts for hiking with your dog. The Tully Trail is very dog friendly. It is a scenic 18 mile loop trail. The northern portion of the trail is very underutilized making it enjoyable to take a dog off leash.”
Michigan – Tahquamenon Falls State Park
“Dogs are allowed on all the trails and we saw many there. The paths to the falls themselves (Upper and Lower) are paved and handicap-accessible. There are also a number of circular backwoods trails in this park, some passing through some old-growth (relatively) forest. The North Country Trail follows parts of these through the park. One great thing about Tahquamenon Falls State Park that is a bit unusual is the micro-brewery at the Upper Falls, at Camp 33. There is a very large outdoor deck with picnic tables, rockers and an outdoor fireplace, and dogs are welcome there. So you can order beer (or other beverages) and food at the micro-brewery and take it outside and enjoy it with your well-behaved dog snoozing under the picnic table.”
Don’t be shy…share your favorite four-legged hikes in your home state!