If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably agree that there’s no better hiking partner than one with four legs. These five trails offer the best nature that has to offer and are completely dog friendly – hello hiking goals!
1) Kealia Trail - Hawaii
On the north shore of island of Oahu you’ll find Kealia Trail
. Spanning a distance of seven miles that increases over 2,100 feet in elevation, this is the perfect trail if you and your dog are looking for a bit of a workout. One of the great things about this trail is that it is quite shaded, so you and your pup can hike out of the sun’s direct rays. It takes an average of three to four hours to complete, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the nearby towns of Waialua and Haleiwa as well as the north shore as you journey along.
2) Appalachian Trail - Georgia and Maine
The Appalachian Trail
holds the title of one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world. With approximately 2,180 miles of trails that stretch between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine, it will take quite a while before you run out of trail to explore. The Appalachian Trail sees two to three million visitors each year, so it’s highly recommended that you keep your pup on a leash throughout your hike. However, you are only required to leash your pet on about 40% of the total trail, so you can be selective about your route if you want to go leash-free.
3) Four Pass Loop - Colorado
From the mountain peaks to meadows surrounded by alpine lakes, the Four Pass Loop
at Snowmass Village has some of the finest scenery you could hope for on a hike. The loop covers a span of 27 miles with a total elevation change of more than 8,000 feet, so if you want to do it all in one go you’ll need to give yourself between three and four days. However, many hikers, especially those with canine companions, prefer to complete the loop in more manageable chunks. A benefit of doing it this way is that you’re able to experience its breathtaking beauty more than once!
4) Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park - California
Tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains, but still easily accessible from West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, is the Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park
. This park has 1,500 aces of backcountry trails where you and your pup can explore canyons, valleys, and mountains. There are trails of varying levels of difficulty, so you can choose whether you want a nice casual stroll or a more intense incline. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the Los Angeles area when you make it to the top. As a bonus, the park has provided pet waste bags on the trails so you can easily pick up after your dog.
5) Laurel Highlands Trail - Pennsylvania
Known for its quiet trails with minimal crowds, the Laurel Highland Trail
is the perfect choice if you and your pup are looking for some alone time. Arguably one of the most beautiful trails in Pennsylvania, the Laurel Highland Trail is famous for its varied terrain and natural beauty. It actually accounts for 70 miles of the 710-mile Potomac Heritage Trail, but if you’re looking for a smaller section to explore, there’s a 10.5 miles stretch that goes directly alongside the Youghiogheny River. If you do intend to take a longer hike, you’ll be happy to know that every 8 to 10 miles there are overnight areas equipped with fresh water and shelter.
Whether you’re heading out for a 1-mile or 10-mile hike, make sure you’ve got these must-have items packed
and ready to go before you hit the trail. Happy hiking!