Nothing sounds better than going out enjoying the beautiful scenery the Shenandoah Valley has to offer with your dog! Take Fido further than just your back yard or around the block by bonding on these amazing trails – because animals sometimes understand us better than people do.
To start off, it’s important to mention that just about any trail you choose to hike is also dog-friendly, depending on both you and your canine’s endurance level. Well equipped with water and some treats, the two of you can be ready to take on any mountain! Check out Go Blue Ridge Travel’s picks, ranging from casual to challenging hikes, below.
Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park
Historic landmarks are such a great, educational, and leisurely way to get out and enjoy the fresh air. The Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park is close to Middletown, Virginia. Hiking around the trail system is about a 1.7-mile loop and is referred to as the “Morning Attack Trails” because of its history. This is where the Confederates surprised the Union on October 19th, 1864. The amount of history here is incredible – you will spend so much time learning that you will forget you’re even hiking, plus, it’s a much more gentle hike for those not looking to overwork themselves or their pups.
Overall Run Falls
This hike is full of options, providing different levels for different difficulties. Stay low for a more casual trip, or go high for a challenging experience! The trail is located in the Shenandoah National Park, full of natural beauty and wildlife. The awesome thing about this trail is that it has waterfalls, which are always a huge magnet for hikers! This means, again, lots of good dog-smells and the chance to get to see something unique right here in Virginia!
Maryland Heights Trail
The best thing about this hike is the reward – a beautiful view of scenic Harpers Ferry, WV, a town steeped in civil war history. At 5.3 miles, this hike can take you about 3 hours to complete, but has plenty of options for shorter alternatives. It’s a very popular trail, which means more doggy smells that your canine companion will thank you for!
Head to the Shepherdstown DogFest! April 29-30th
Done with hiking? Complete with free training workshops, obedience advice, dog shows, and a parade, the Shepherdstown DogFest is the ultimate bonding experience for you and man’s best friend! Included in the Fest and taking place on Saturday, the 29th, is a parade of rescue dogs from different breed-specific rescue organizations and local all-breed shelters. If you’ve thought of adopting, now is your chance to give a wonderful dog a new forever home! Sunday will be more centered on dog shows, like Flyball demonstrations and the Community Dog Show, where you can design the perfect costume to showcase your dog’s cutest moments!
Many restaurants in the area will be offering special, dog-themed food and drinks, as well as merchandise, so don’t miss out!
Want more content about hiking with your dog? Check out Hiking Big Schloss + Trail Mix Recipe by Chef Ed Matthews, Hiking Big Schloss for Fantastic Views, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Hiking Loudoun’s Back Roads, all by guest writer Marilyn Finnemore!