The Shenandoah Valley is bordered by four mountain ranges – Blue Ridge Mountains, Massanutten Mountain, Great North Mountain, Allegheny Mountain. These valley and mountains offer lots of activities for the outdoor adventure enthusiast.
A great activity is hiking enjoyed by both locals and visitors to the mountains in Virginia and West Virginia an hour from metropolitan DC. Many trails are pet friendly and offer great stress escapes. There are two ways to approach hiking. As a hiking fanatic, the goal is to add a check mark to the completion of one trail after another. As a weekend novice, the goal is to pull alongside a road and take a one to three hour hike. Go Blue Ridge Travel (GoBRT) will let the hiking professionals explore the Appalachian Conservancy. GoBRT will showcase the novice trails here in the northern Shenandoah Valley where West Virginia and Maryland connect to Virginia.
At 1350 feet, Bears Den Rocks provide a panoramic view of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The westward-looking view provides a prime spot for the sunset. This overlook has unique rock formations believed to be a directional landmark of the indigenous people who hunted and fished in the region 12,000 years ago. “One of the most popular experience on the GoBRT’s Kids Bucket List,” said Nancy Craun, owner of GoBRT. “I knew one child who went there four times in one week by not letting his various visiting relatives know he had just been there earlier!”
Marriott Town Place and Country Inn and Suites also welcome pets as well and are less than 15 minutes from Bears Den. There are also vacation rentals and great camping sites available.
Following closer to the Potomac River, Antietam Battlefield located near Sharpsburg, Maryland is an easy drive from Interstate 70 or Route 340 to Shepherdstown, WV crossing the Potomac Bridge into Maryland. The battlefields are easy to find wrapping around the small village of Sharpsburg. There are many places to pull off and just start walking. This is a paved road experience thru the battlefields themselves with lots of markers explaining the battles that were fought.
C & O Canal runs alongside of the Potomac River. Less than 5 minutes from Sharpsburg, the hiker can walk or ride a bike. This section of the Potomac River is great for dogs loving the water. There are many good shallow places to wade into the Potomac. Bring bug spray since this is a historic canal with stagnant water.
West Virginians refer to many of the smaller ridges as the hills of West Virginia. Sitting on Jefferson Rock, one can look across at Maryland Heights and Loudoun Heights. Maryland Heights is a challenging climb but well worth the view at the top. Take a good amount of water for drinking. There are also the paths around Bolivar Heights where battles of the Civil War occurred.
Just over the line from Harpers Ferry is the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. 900 serene acres offer three popular hiking trails. The Farmstead Loop is the Blue Ridge Center’s signature hiking trail. Just over a mile long and with minimal elevation change, the trail is perfect for all ages and fitness levels. There is also the Western Trails with the highlight being Butterfly Alley and Birds of the Ridge for the bird watcher enthusiast.
Chris and Caressa Zanelli of Hillbrook Inn offer a pet friendly welcome with these words. “We are dog lovers at HIllbrook Inn and welcome your furry friends. We realize that some vacations are not complete without the furry members of your family. We have two ponds at Hillbrook Inn. Taking a plunge is not a problem. It is nothing a hose and some towels can’t fix.” said Chris.
June is a great time for a fun weekend with one’s canine friend. There are always music festivals and events that are pet friendly. LIKE US on Facebook.