Dog traveling is not easy but planning a National Park getaway with your dog is what every dog owner must try in the coming days. If you thought there are no dog-friendly national parks in the USA, then surprise, surprise! There are some of the popular drive-in campgrounds, picnic areas, and a handful of parks you can plan a visit any time of the year you want. Of course, now with the pandemic going on, you may have to double-check the rules and regulations.
But so long your dog has a leash on, has an ID tag with the necessary information you can plan a mighty, fun-packed quality outdoor time with your dog. Whether it is a bachelor’s trip or a family trip taking your dog with you is the best choice you will ever make.
Best Dog-Friendly National Parks for Outdoor Activities
Americans love taking their dogs outdoors. Even your dog needs a good vacation you know. Before you take your dog to a national park, do your research and ask around other dog owners.
Several national parks have strict restrictions and policies especially when they are far from developed areas. But some are fairly easygoing. So keeping to my list of experience down below is my hand-picked list of the best dog-friendly national parks you can visit someday.
1. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Located between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio is the lush Cuyahoga Valley. Back in 2000, it was all about protecting the wetlands, limestone ledges, and waterfalls ecosystems. Over time the place became popular for its natural wonders and one can imagine now. The most popular is the 65-foot Brandywine Falls that are a marvelous wonder of its own.
Aside from the beauty of the area, you can take your dog on a hike on the outstanding park that stretches over 110 miles of Towpath Trails. You can plan overnight camping stay at the Stanford Campground and enjoy a small bonfire too.
2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
If the summer heat doesn’t bother you or your dog then travel to northern Arizona. Enjoy the 13 miles of the South Rim Trail rail at the Grand Canyon.
The trail paths are easy enough to navigate alongside the edge of the canyon. But you need to remember that the canyon is located at a great height. This means that the sun will be directly at your heads, and with a dry climate, you can easily dehydrate. So do not forget to drink a lot of fluids. Also for your dog bring the collapsible bowl. You can visit the Rim and Greenway trails at South Rim. Then there’s Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and other developed areas of the park.
3. Congaree National Park, South Carolina
You are most welcome to travel to South Caroline to the amazing dog-friendly national park. The campgrounds and trails are perfectly capable of adjusting families with kids and pets and offer boardwalks. The old-growth bottomland hardwood forest, floodplains, wetlands, and wildlife are some of the best options to rely on when visiting the area.
Plus you can always scour the land on a hike and plan a day out. But make sure to bring all the dog’s essentials too.
4. Great Sand Dunes, Colorado
This adventure is a bit different than the ones mentioned above. If you want to travel with your dog someplace different than Colorado is your chance for it. There are some of the tallest dunes in North America. The diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifers, and aspen forests is surely as exciting as it looks on the internet.
The best thing about visiting the national park here is that dogs are welcomed here (or other pets too). The High Dune and Castle Creek Picnic Area adjoin the Great Sand Dunes National Preserve. Because the sand will be hot here, so don’t forget to pack the old towel to dry yourself and your dog.
Afterward, both of you can enjoy some water splashing fun in Medano Creek.
5. Acadia National Park, Maine
One of the most popular destinations you can travel with your dog is the Acadia National Park. comparatively, it is smaller than the other national parks in the USA but it presents great opportunities too for those who want to spend quality time with their pets.
The major highlight is the historic carriage roads on Mount Desert Island. Now it serves as the hiking and cycling trails. It can be easily explored by the dogs too. So if you think you never had a bonding chance with your dog before, now you can have it.
It’s all enjoyable right?
Now, here are some Dog-friendly Park Tips and Essentials to Follow
- Leash must be 6-feet long
- Bring enough for yourself and for your dog
- Pack enough food for both
- Pack the paw pads for unpaved trails
- Never leave your dog unattended
- Collars with ID tags
- Toiletry bag with dog towels
- Pet waste bags
- Always be on alert