5 Great Hikes to Take with Your Dog

5 Great Hikes to Take with Your Dog

Like many people who work hard to protect and preserve the earth, we love to get out to explore it. And of course, nobody in our family loves it more than Dover, who is always ready for an adventure. Last summer we took one of our favorite hikes with Dover, and we were inspired to write this blog. Of course, summer flew by like it always does, and before we knew it, winter was here, so we decided to wait until it was getting warmer again to talk about hiking with your dog.  In this blog post, we will share why we think dogs make great hiking buddies, plus three great hikes you can take with your dog, and tips for how to have a great experience hiking with your canine best friend. 

Why Dogs Make Natural Hiking Buddies

Hiking with your dog is one of the best activities you can do together. It is fairly low-cost, and it is the ultimate way to just go outside, explore, and enjoy all that nature has to offer without leaving a negative impact. In fact, if you want to take a trash bag and gloves, you can pick up wayward trash along your hike and discard of it properly when you are done. 

Dogs are natural hiking buddies. Most dogs were bred to be active and intelligent, and hiking lets them use their senses as you walk along new terrain together. It is a great mental workout for your pet, good physical exercise, and a great way to experience a mind-meld with your dog as you walk through nature. Hiking with your dog is win-win-win. Good for us, good for our dogs, and good for the earth.

Tips for a Great Hike with Your Dog

Research The Trail Before You Go

Some hikes are simply a walk through the woods or a natural area. Other hikes are more challenging and involve scurrying over fallen trees and across boulders, or even include some moderate rock climbing. Before heading out with your dog, research the trail as much as possible to ensure that your dog will be safe accompanying you. Unless you are an expert, trained rock climber, we suggest leaving your pet behind on the precarious trails. 

AllTrails is a great website to research a trail before heading out with your dog. It is also available as a mobile app. You can access maps, reader reviews, photos, and directions to the trail. The best part is that most of the listings include information about whether dogs are permitted and able to accompany you on the hike. https://www.alltrails.com

The Hiking Project is another excellent resource before setting off on a hike with your dog. This site also lets you know if dogs are permitted, how difficult the terrain is, and a description of what you can expect. Just like AllTrails, you can view photos and reviews from previous hikers. https://www.hikingproject.com

Know Your Dog’s Physical Abilities

You know your dog more than anyone, and it is important to consider how long or strenuous of a hike your dog will enjoy. If you have not been to the vet for a check-up recently and you are going to be hiking more difficult terrain than you usually do, it is always a good idea to have your vet confirm that your dog can handle increased activity. 

Be Prepared for First Aid Emergencies 

Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and a basic first aid kit if you are venturing more than a mile or so away from civilization. If you have a large dog who you cannot carry in the event of an emergency, you should also consider taking an emergency dog carrying harness or even a large reusable shopping tote like you would find at an Ikea or warehouse shopping club. In an emergency, you can slit holes in the bottom for your pet’s legs and use it to carry them to safety should they become injured on a hike. 

Three Great Hikes from Pure Earth Pets Fans

With 50 states full of spectacular scenery and hiking terrain, it would be impossible to list all of the great hikes with dogs across the country. So, we turned to our readers to give you three great hikes from New Jersey all the way to Hawaii, tested and approved by Pure Earth Pets friends and fans. 

Mt. Tammany, Delaware Water Gap, Hardwick Township, New Jersey

Northwest New Jersey is one of the most gorgeous places in the United States. The Delaware Water Gap is located at the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the Delaware River begins to cut through the Kittatinny Mountains. Mt. Tammany is a popular trail with incredible views of the Delaware Water Gap. We love hiking there, and Dover gives it four paws up and a giant tail wag. AllTrails lists this hike as moderate, and there is some scrambling over rocks, but Dover did great, and we can’t wait to head out there with him again. We were really bummed to see so much trash, but you could take a trash bag and go plogging, like we mentioned in our post about The Great Global Cleanup

Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton, Indiana

Sand dunes in Indiana might sound out of place to anyone not familiar with the area, but the Indiana Dunes State Park offers great hiking along the shores of Lake Michigan. In fact, the Indiana Dunes State Park is made up of over 2,100 acres of sand dunes and forest. On a clear day you can see the Chicago skyline from the beach. Hiking on the actual dunes is frowned upon and even prohibited in some places to prevent erosion and destruction of the natural formations, but there are plenty of hiking trails from which to choose. After a long hike, a dip in the lake is a perfect way to end the day, at least when you are a Labrador Retriever. 

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail, Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii

Our second reader-recommended trail comes from pet blogger Bertha Villanueva-Shertzer, author of Aloha Dog Mom. She loves this trail because it is a “nice flat paved trail with phenomenal ocean views.” AllTrails rates this trail as Easy and dog friendly. Although we hope to get to her Paws of the Pacific event in the future, for now we will take her word for it, as well as these gorgeous photos. 

We hope that this post encourages you to get outside and enjoy nature with your own canine best friend. If you have a favorite hiking spot in your area, share it on our Facebook post or tag us on Instagram at @purepearthpets. 

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