5 Awesome Hiking Trails You & Your Dog Will Love




Sound familiar? It’s the call of a spandex-clad cyclist barreling towards you from behind on a public trail that’s not so easy to share.  

Whether you’re the cyclist or the runner, or the average pedestrian taking a stroll with your friends or family, there are unexpected obstacles to enjoying public outdoor spaces–especially if you take your pet.

If you want to get out on a hike with your favorite four-legged friend, it can be tricky to dodge cyclists zooming by along with other foot traffic on the path.  

Sometimes a sign pops up on a trailhead that tells you dogs aren’t allowed (we’re looking at you, Billy Goat Section A). Read on to see what local spots not only allow doggos but provide some off-leash fun.


Photo credit: www.bikelist.org

1. Billy Goat Trail Sections B & C

Dogs are not allowed on Billy Goat Trail Section A (too dangerous), but Sections B and C are very dog-friendly. Section B is slightly more strenuous than Section C, so be cautious taking a less-than-athletic breed on your adventure.

#FrayLife Tip: It’s illegal to go off-leash in the park though many overlook this rule. Know your responsibility as a dog owner and be confident in your dog’s recall if you choose to take the risk.

2. Scott’s Run

This nature preserve just outside the Beltway in Fairfax County has very dog-friendly trails. The main attraction at Scott’s Run is its small waterfall, so bring a swimsuit! The waterfall is a popular spot for humans and dogs alike to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

#FrayLife Tip: The first parking lot you will come across only holds about a dozen cars. Drive past it a ways to the other lot for better odds at getting a spot.


3. Cabin John Regional Park Trails

Take your pup on Cabin John’s Stream Valley Trail totaling 8.8 miles and they will worship you till the cows come home. Why? Because there is an enormous and magical woodland dog park right off of it complete with a canine rock climbing area.  

#FrayLife Tip: Even the poop bags here are top notch (2-ply!)

4. Hemlock Overlook Regional Park/Paradise Springs Winery

Take a drive just under an hour from the district to Clifton, Virginia, for a mild trail hike on one of the many trails at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. Arguably the most exciting part of your adventure will be a stop at Paradise Springs Winery, a dog-friendly winery right across the main parking area at Hemlock.! 

#FrayLife Tip: Note that dogs are allowed anywhere on the property except inside the buildings and back patio of the main building. It might be a good idea to take another human with you to stay with your pup while you grab refills.

5. Palisades Trail near Fort Bennett Park

If you’re one of our Virginia peeps, this trail will be your new best friend (and your doggo’s.) Palisades Trail in situated in Fort Bennett Park, which is over 11 acres in size with many designated areas your pup can run free.

Where do you head when you and your dog need to stretch your legs? Next time you’re out on the trail and post a pic of your pup, make sure to tag us with #FrayLife!

Need more pet-friendly things to do in DC? Here are 5 brunch places that cater to man’s best friend.



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