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Top 10 Bike Trails That Allow Dogs

Top 10 Bike Trails That Allow Dogs

Interested in going road biking or mountain biking with your dog?

Your search for the best bike trails that allow dogs is over! We give the top 10 bike trails and bike destinations for you and your dog. These trails are hand-picked as the most appropriate for dogs to run alongside your bicycle.

Top 10 Bike Trails That Allow Dogs

1. Acadia National Park, Maine
2. American River Bike Trail
3. East Bay Bike Path, Rhode Island
4. Cowboy Trail, Nebraska
5. George S. Mickelson Trail, South Dakota
6. Great Allegheny Passage Trail, Pennsylvania / Maryland
7. Katy Trail, Missouri
8. Banks-Vernonia Trail, Oregon
9. The Flume Trail & Tahoe Rim Trail, Nevada
10. Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota


These are the trails that we think are the most scenic and dog-appropriate. Most of these trails are wide or flat enough for dogs to run on. There are a few challenging, but simply amazing trails for dogs on the list. Off the list are paths that share the road with vehicles and other areas that may be too dangerous for dogs.

Many of these trails are actually rails-to-trails routes, connecting several old railroad routes together into a great bike path for many to enjoy today. If you are on a rails-to-trails route, you’ll likely see a lot of history, wooden bridges and old relics along your journey.

Save this article (click on the paw to save to your saved articles – members only)! We will expand this list and revise periodically.

New to biking with your dog? Be sure to check out some of our other articles to help you get started!

Biking Accessories For Dogs Read This
How to Bike With Your Dog Read This
How To Train Your Dog To Run With You Read This
Running With Your Dog Read This

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Related Pawtivities / Events: Biking, Running


TOP 10 DOG FRIENDLY BIKE TRAILS

 

1 Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is consistently rated as one of the top parks in the nation. Biking trails are well maintained and most are either gravel or paved roads. The Carriage Roads are the most popular place to bike with your dog. It’s the best place to go with your family or just to enjoy the day with your dog. The views and scenery in this park are absolutely majestic.

Hiking - Acadia National Park, Maine
 

2 American River Bike Trail, California

The American River Bike Trail (Jediediah Smith Memorial Trail) is a paved 32 mile-long road running from Old Sacramento to Folsom. Much of the trail is shady with abundant trees and wildflowers making it a prime spot for summer biking with your dog.

 

3 East By Bike Path, Rhode Island

Want a nice, relaxing ride? The East Bay Bike Path is a paved 13.8 mile-long road starting in Independence Park in Bristol, RI and India Point Park in Providence, RI. The road travels through the city and residential neighborhoods but meanders for the most part along the Providence River.

 

4 Cowboy Trail, Nebraska

The Cowboy Trail is the longest, multi-purpose rails-to-trails at 321 miles starting in Norfolk to Chadron, Nebraska. Many use the trail between Norfolk and Valentine. Take a step back in time. You’ll see a lot of prairie flowers, sunflowers in the late summer, farms, and wooden bridges.

 

5 George S. Mickelson Trail, South Dakota

Take a step back in time to the days of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane by starting your bike ride in Deadwood, South Dakota where the George S. Mickelson Trail starts. The trail extends 109 through the Black Hills to Edgemont, South Dakota. Travel through prairies, pine and ponderosa forests and stop to play in the water along the trail with your dog.

 

6 Great Allegheny Passage Trail, Pennsylvania / Maryland

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail (GAP Trail) is the longest rails-to-trails east of the Mississipi River at over 150 miles through Pennsylvania and Maryland. The trail is open year-round and connects to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath Trail that goes all the way to Washington DC as well as the Montour Trail. There are plenty of campgrounds and other activities to do along the route.

 

7 Katy Trail, Missouri

The Katy Trail is one of the longest rails-to-trails projects at 237 miles from Clinton to Machens, Missouri going eastbound. Half of the trail overlaps with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The trail is open year-round, however, the best time to go is during the fall. This is a great, flat mountain bike path for you and your dog with easy access to food, lodgings and campgrounds.

 

8 Banks-Vernonia Trail, Oregon

The Banks-Vernonia Trail is a paved, multi-use 21 mile trail outside Portland, Oregon.Bike past lush forests of Douglas firs and cedars while crossing bridges and wooden trestles that let you take in the serene beauty of the area. Pedestrians, leashed dogs, horses and non-motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail. Camping is also available near the trail at Stub Stewart State Park and Vernonia Lake.

 

9 The Flume Trail & Tahoe Rim Trail, Nevada

Looking for some great mountain biking with your dog with great views of Lake Tahoe? Get on the Flume Trail or Tahoe Rim Trail in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park’s Spooner Lake & backcountry area for 14-24 of great mountain biking. Some portions of the trail are steep and rocky while others are flat. The trails are a great option for the biker that wants a bit of a challenge.

 

10 Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is a 144 mile single-track, multi-use trail between Watford City and Medora. The trail is best for the intermediate to advanced mountain biker. There are plenty of campgrounds along the way to ride the Maah Daah Hey Trail with your dog into a biking trip. Multiple access points also let you pick sections of the trail for a day ride. The trail travels through the North Dakota badlands.

 

Do you know any other great dog friendly bike trails? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Related Pawtivity / Event: Biking, Bikejoring, Running
Activities: Biking, Running, Training

Maah Daah Hey Trail, ND

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is a 144 mile single-track, multi-use trail between Watford City and Medora. The trail is best for the intermediate to advanced mountain biker. There are plenty of campgrounds along the way to ride the Maah Daah Hey Trail with your dog into a biking trip.

Maah Daah Hey Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info and tips for dog owners. Link
Website: http://mdhta.com/
Maps & Access: http://mdhta.com/trail-guide/#trails/maah-daah-hey
Start: Burning Coal Campground – Medora, ND 46.59823, -103.445 Map
End: CCC Campground – Grassy Butte, ND 47.587370, -103.277838 Map
Terrain: Sand, Dirt, Rocks, River Crossings
Elevation: Varied with constant changes. Sections of the trail can be very difficult and steep. Chart: http://mdhta.com/trail-guide/#trails/maah-daah-hey
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed (6ft). Dogs are limited to certain areas within Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Info
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed

Dogs must be leashed on the trail. When in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, bikers and dogs are not allowed on the trail. If you are at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit, take a detour at the Buffalo Gap Trail (between mile 49 and mile 62) marked by a buffalo trail marker. Alternatively, you can just start your ride at the Buffalo Gap Campground.

A great interactive map is available to visitors of the trail. There are several access points and campgrounds along the trail. Map: http://mdhta.com/trail-guide/#trails/maah-daah-hey

The Maah Daah Hey Trail starts and ends at (from south to north):

Burning Coal Vein Trailhead
Burning Coal Vein Campground
Medora, ND 58645
GPS Coordinates 46.59823, -103.445 Map

CCC Campground Trailhead
CCC Campground
Grassy Butte, ND 58634
Watford City, ND
GPS Coordinates 47.58635, -103.2786 Map

Two points of interest on the trail are China Wall between mile 128 and 129 of the trail (GPS Coordinates 47.4899, -103.4122 Map) and Devil’s Post between mile 100 and 101 of the trail (GPS Coordinates 47.2954, -103.5372 Map).

There are additional trails in the general area, including the Maah Daah Hey Trail. More Trails: http://mdhta.com/about/

If you want to do a day hike with your dog consider going on the Long X Trail (5.8 miles) starting at CCC Trailhead (GPS Coordinates 47.58635, -103.2786 Map) located at CCC Campground. This trail connects with the Maah Daah Hey Trail and will give you great views of the badlands. Another trail is the Summit trail (3.8 miles), which branches off the Maah Daah Hey Trail at Mile 142 south of CCC Campground and ends at the Summit Campground.

Interested in camping along the Maah Daah Hey Trail? Here is a list of campgrounds in the area from south to north. Some campgrounds have day use parking and direct access to the Maah Daah Hey Trail. Reservations are required at two of the campgrounds; Cottonwood Campground and Sully Creek Campground. Refer to the interactive map for links to campgrounds.

  • Burning Coal Vein – close to trail
  • Coal Creek
  • Sully Creek Campground – close to trail, reservations required. (North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department)
  • Cottonwood – reservations required.
  • Buffalo Gap
  • Wannagan – day use parking, close to trail
  • Elkhorn – close to trail
  • Magppie – day use parking, very close to trail
  • Bennett – day use parking, offers 2 other trails in the area
  • Summit
  • CCC – day use parking, direct access to trail

 

Primitive camping is also available on US Forest Service and National Park Service (permit required) lands, however, for most it’s much easier and safer with your dog to just stay at one the many campgrounds offered.

Looking for a shuttle service provider that will also haul your camping equipment? Consider Dakota Cyclery. To save on cost, you can also share a shuttle with others. Another option would be to get a non-biking friend or family member to haul your gear to the campsites you’ll be staying at.


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Location: Grassy Butte | Medora | North Dakota
Activities: Walking, Biking, Running, Hiking, Camping

The Flume Trail & Tahoe Rim Trail, NV

Looking for some great mountain biking with your dog? Get on the Flume Trail in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park’s Spooner Lake & backcountry area. The Flume Trail is a 14 mile, one-way trail with some awesome views of the Lake Tahoe area. The best time to go is summer and fall. The park opens from sunrise to sunset year-round. Dogs are allowed on leash.

The Flume Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info and tips for dog owners. Link
Website: http://parks.nv.gov/parks/lake-tahoe-nevada-state-park-1
Maps & Access: http://parks.nv.gov/forms/Spooner_backcountry_map.pdf
Start: Spooner Lake – Carson City, NV 39.106158, -119.917994 Map
End: Incline Village, NV 39.234284, -119.930150 Map
Terrain: Sand, Gravel, Rocky
Elevation: About 7,000-8,000 feet Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed (6ft). http://parks.nv.gov/parks/lake-tahoe-nevada-state-park-1
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed

The starting point of the Flume Trail is Spooner Lake. Vehicles can enter the park at Spooner Lake for $10. Bike entry is $2. There is plenty of parking at the end of the trail as well along Tahoe Blvd. Flume Trail Mountain Bikes in Incline Village provides shuttles to the Flume Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail. The shuttle is free with a bike rental. Both Flume Trail Mountain Bikes and Tunnel Creek Station have their own parking lots.

There is a tough 4 mile climb at the start of the trail that goes up 1000 feet. You may opt to just walk the first few miles with your dog, rest and continue on your way. Stop by Marlette Lake to cool down and rest with your dog before continuing on for a relatively flat ride.

There are some steep cliffsides and narrow single-track trails along the route, so you will need to be able to control your dog by voice command, especially if they are off leash. Always pay attention to your surroundings and watch for other bikers, hikers, and other dogs.

A biking map is provided by Flume Trail Mountain Bikes. You’ll want to go north on North Canyon Trail. Bikes are not allowed on Marlette Lake Trail. Once you hit Marlette Lake, make sure to go towards the west side of Marlette Lake to the Marlette Flume Trail or Flume Trail and on to Tunnel Creek Rd and Incline Village.

We recommend taking a look at the entire map of the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Spooner Backcountry which includes roads, biking trails, hiking trails, campgrounds, facilities and other park amenities. It will help you get a great sense of the surrounding area and trails you don’t want to be on if biking. Link to Map: http://parks.nv.gov/forms/Spooner_backcountry_map.pdf

Want more of a challenge and a 24 mile ride? Try the Tahoe Rim Trail at Tahoe Meadows which also connects to the Flume Trail. Pay attention to signs as bikes are only allowed on the Tahoe Rim Trail on even days and not in all sections.

Interested in camping? There are walk-in campgrounds at Marlette Peak, Hobart, and North Canyon. There are also 2 cabins are located at Spooner Lake if you want to make a weekend to bike the trail, hike, and enjoy the outdoors. Contact ltnsp@parks.nv.gov or call 775-831-0494 for more information on camping or cabins. You can always consider staying in the many lodging options Inline Village, NV or the surrounding Lake Tahoe area.

The Flume Trail starts and ends at:

Spooner Lake – Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
Carson City, NV 89703
GPS Coordinates 39.106158, -119.917994 Map

Tunnel Creek Station
1115 Tunnel Creek Rd, Incline Village, NV 89451
Incline Village NV 89451
GPS Coordinates 39.234284, -119.930150 Map
http://www.tunnelcreekstation.com/about-tunnel-creek-station.html


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Carson City | Incline Village | Lake Tahoe | Nevada
Activities: Mountain Biking, Sports, Sports-Fitness

Banks-Vernonia Trail, OR

The Banks-Vernonia Trail is a paved, multi-use 21 mile trail outside Portland, Oregon.Bike past lush forests of Douglas firs and cedars while crossing bridges and wooden trestles that let you take in the serene beauty of the area. Pedestrians, leashed dogs, horses and non-motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail. Horses will be on certain sections of the trail.

Banks-Vernonia Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Banks, OR 45.622113, -123.114080 Map
End: Vernonia, OR 45.856295, -123.194000 Map
Terrain: Paved, Boardwalk / Trestle
Elevation: Relatively Flight, Slight Incline, Small 11% Grade in Tophill
Dog Policy: Dogs must be on leash (6ft). Info
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed

There are 6 access points with parking along the trail from Banks, Manning, Buxton, Tophill, Beaver Creek, and Vernonia. The Oregon State Park provides a printable map with parking information.

The Banks-Vernonia Trail is open year-round, however day-use hours vary by season. The park is open at the following times:
Summer May 1 – Sep 1: 7am-9pm
Fall Sep 2 – Nov 2: 7am-7pm
Winter Nov 3 – Mar 8: 7am-5pm
Spring Mar 9 – Apr 30: 7am-7pm

Interested in camping? Reserve a campsite at Stub Stewart State Park or Vernonia Lake (http://www.vernonia-or.gov/Recreation/parkdetail.asp?id=7).

The Banks-Vernonia Trail starts and ends at:

Banks, OR
GPS Coordinates 45.622113, -123.114080 Map
NW Banks Rd. & NW Sellars Rd.

Vernonia Lake City Park
1001 E Bridge St
Vernonia, OR 97064
GPS Coordinates 45.856295, -123.194000 Map
The trail loops around Vernonia Lake.


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Location: Banks | Vernonia | Manning | Buxton | Tophill | Beaver Creek | Oregon
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Sports – Winter, Fat Tire Biking

Katy Trail, MO

The Katy Trail is one of the longest rails-to-trails projects at 237 miles from Clinton to Machens, Missouri going eastbound. Half of the trail overlaps with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The trail is open year-round, however, the best time to go is during the fall. Dogs are permitted on leash. Horses are allowed in certain sections of the trail. Motor vehicles are prohibited on the trail.

Katy Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: http://www.bikekatytrail.com/
Maps & Access: Trail Map http://www.bikekatytrail.com/katy-trail-map.aspx  |  Parking http://www.bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx?tid=1&StartCityID=0&EndCityID=0&chkParking=on
Start: Clinton, MO 38.381203, -93.763199 Map
End: Machens, MO 38.903456 -90.331389 Map
Terrain: Gravel
Elevation: Mostly Flat, http://www.bikekatytrail.com/elevations.aspx
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. Info
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed

Bikers can spend about 5 days biking the entire route. The trail is made of gravel so best suitable for mountain bikes and hybrid bikes. Plan your trip using the Katy Trail’s interactive map. Parking is very easy and accessible.

The Katy Trail starts and ends at:

Clinton, Missouri
GPS Coordinates 38.381203, -93.763199 Map
Clinton is southwest of Kansas City.

Machens, Missouri
GPS Coordinates 38.903456 -90.331389 Map
Machens is northeast of St. Charles.

The entire trail is relatively flat with a slight increase in elevation past Boonville, MO. The route passes through several small towns so, there’s a lot to see, eat, and do along the trail, including plenty of campgrounds and other lodgings.

Main trailheads are located in these cities: Clinton, Calhoun, Windsor, Green Ridge, Sedalia, Clifton City, Pilot Grove, Boonville, New Franklin, Rocheport, McBaine, Hartsburg, North Jefferson City, Tebetts, Mokane, Portland, McKittrick, Treloar, Marthasville, Dutzow, Augusta, Matson, Weldon Springs, Green Bottom, St. Charles, and Machens. A mileage chart is available at http://www.bikekatytrail.com/mileage-chart.aspx.

Want to join a group that bikes from St. Charles to Clinton? The Missouri State Parks and Missouri State Parks Foundation hosts an organized ride event every summer.

Want to go one-way? You’ll need to make reservations. Several other service providers provide shuttles to access points along the trail. Amtrak also allows bikes on the trail with advanced reservation however spacing may be limited. More shuttle information can be found here: http://www.bikekatytrail.com/planner.aspx?chkShuttle=on

The Katy Trail connects with the Rock Spur Trail at Windsor, MO – GPS Coordinates 38.540631-93.519752 Map. The Rock Spur Trail continues on towards Kansas City.


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Clinton | Machens | St. Charles | Missouri
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Sports – Winter, Fat Tire Biking

George S. Mickelson Trail, SD

The George S. Mickelson Trail is in the Black Hills between Deadwood and Edgemont, South Dakota. This multi-purpose, gravel trail is 109 miles and 15 trailheads, open to bikers, hikers, horseback riders, fat tire bikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoeing. Dogs must be on leash.

It’s a great place to visit during the summer as you’ll get shade from the pine and ponderosa trees, prairie land, and along the trail. You’ll also see 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels. The trail closer to Deadwood travels close to several creeks and rivers – and a great spot to take a break and play with your dog in the water. A portion of the trail that passes through private land may be restricted to dogs.

George S. Mickelson Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Deadwood, SD 44.370657, -103.728618 Map
End: Edgemont, SD 43.311459, -103.818150 Map
Terrain: Gravel
Elevation: Gradual changes in elevation, Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. There may be restrictions on private lands. Info
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed, Snowmobile restriction, Electric powered wheelchairs / scooters ok

Maps of the trail may be found on the State of South Dakota website, including locations of all 15 trailheads.

If you want to bike the trail in 3 days and go with an organized group, consider riding in the Mickelson Trail Trek held the 3rd weekend in September each year. Register early as spots fill up very fast.

The George S. Mickelson Trail starts and ends at:

Deadwood, SD 57732
Off CanAm Hwy 85
GPS Coordinates 44.370657, -103.728618 Map

Deadwood is also home to the many adventures of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, so you can always take a side trip and take a step back into the wild west with your dog.

Edgemont, SD 57735
Off Hwy 185, just north of Old Hwy 18
GPS Coordinates 43.311459, -103.818150 Map

Trail users over 12 must have a pass. The majority of the trail is flat, but a small portion may be challenging. The first few miles from Deadwood come with an elevation gain, so you may decide to start at a city farther south. Hours of operation are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunrise, year-round. Have more questions? Cell phone coverage will be very spotty. Call the Trail Headquarters office at 605.584.3896 or visit the website for more information.

Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and other wildlife along the trail. Poison ivy may also be present along the trail. Cattle and other domesticated animals may also be on the trail. Please respect their space and stay off private lands.

The trail does not allow for motorized vehicles. Snowmobiles are the only vehicle allowed on the trail, but restricted to the trail between Deadwood (Trailhead #1) and Dumont (Trailhead #5) in the winter. Users may bring electric powered wheelchairs and scooters.


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Lead | Deadwood | Edgemont | South Dakota
Activities: Biking, Mountain Biking, Fat Tire Biking, Walking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Great Allegheny Passage Trail, MD & PA

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail (GAP Trail) is the longest rails-to-trails east of the Mississipi River at over 150 miles through Pennsylvania and Maryland. The trail starts in Cumberland, MD and ends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The trail is made of fine crushed limestone and suitable for all bikes, but better for hybrid or mountain bikes. Many use this trail for biking, hiking, horseback riding (designated areas), cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Dogs must be on leash. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail. Electric mobility devices are allowed with slight restrictions.

Great Allegheny Passage Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Cumberland, MD 39.649859, -78.763565 Map
End: Pittsburgh, PA 40.441887, -80.013234 Map
Terrain: Gravel (Crushed Limestone)
Elevation: Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. Info
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed, Electric mobility devices have restrictions.

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Maps and elevation changes of the trail are available on the Great Allegheny Passage website. There’s a printable map available as well.

If you are choosing a westbound path to go on with your dog, we would avoid the Cumberland, MD to Deal, MD route. Obviously, if going eastbound, it would be between Connellsville, PA and Deal, MD. You can find a trail access area on the GAP Trail website. Shuttles are also available in certain cities along the trail.

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail starts and ends at:

Cumberland Visitor Center – C&O Canal National Historial Park
Western Maryland Railroad Station
13 Canal St, Cumberland, MD 21502
GPS Coordinates 39.649859, -78.763565 Map
This is actually the end point of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath Trail.

Great Allegheny Passage (Western Terminus)
Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
GPS Coordinates 40.441887, -80.013234 Map

Interested in camping? There are many campgrounds along the way.

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail actually connects to the 184.5 mile Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O – http://bikewashington.org/canal/) Canal Towpath Trail at Cumberland, Maryland all the way to in Washington, DC for a total of 335 miles. The C&O trail is very flat (1.4% average grade) so a perfect option for dogs and families.

The Montour Trail will connect to the Great Allegheny Passage Trail at McKeesport, PA and go towards Pittsburgh International Airport and Coraopolis.


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Pittsburgh | Homestead | McKeesport | Boston | West Newton | Connellsville | Ohiopyle | Confluence | Rockwood | Meyersdale | Deal | Frostburg | Cumberland | Maryland | Pennsylvania
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Cowboy Trail, NE

The Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail, or Cowboy Trail, is the longest rails-to trails at 321 miles. It travels across northern Nebraska connecting from Norfolk at the east to Chadron in the west. The trail is used exclusively for recreational use and very flat. During the winter, visitors may use the trail for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and mushing.

Traveling the Cowboy Trail is like taking a step back in time. Explore several small towns along the way. You’ll also see a lot of prairie flowers, sunflowers in the late summer, farms, and wooden bridges (converted for recreational use). 2 miles south of the trail above the Niobrara River in Valentine, NE, you can get on an old railroad bridge (see cover photo). Animals along the way include elk, deer, buffalo, prairie dogs, muskrats, and monarch butterflies.

Cowboy Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Norfolk, NE 42.003530, -97.426620 Map
End: Chadron, NE 42.828751, -102.949715 Map
Terrain: Mostly Gravel, Some Paved
Elevation: Mostly uphill going westbound. http://www.bikecowboytrail.com/elevation.aspx
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. http://www.nrtdatabase.org/trailDetail.php?recordID=2419
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed

This multi-purpose trail is a mostly gravel, but some areas are paved. You’ll want to use either a mountain or hybrid bike on the trail. The most developed portion of the trail is between Norfolk and Valentine. Dogs on the trail should be leashed.

The Nebraska Games and Parks Commission puts out an interactive map to help bikers plan their routes.

There’s even an interactive trip planner and event listing that will help you further, however, the planner goes all the way to Valentine instead of the entire way to Chadron.

The Cowboy Trail starts and ends at:

Johnny Carson Blvd Hwy 8, north of Elkhorn River
Norfolk, NE 68701
GPS Coordinates 42.003530, -97.426620 Map

Slim Butte Road, north of Crazy Horse Memorial Hwy 20
Chadron, NE 69337
GPS Coordinates 42.828751, -102.949715 Map


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Norfolk | Chadron | Valentine | Nebraska
Activities: Walking, Biking, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Erie Canalway Trail, NY

The Erie Canalway extends 360 miles through much of upstate New York starting in Buffalo and ending in Albany.

The trail is both paved as well as gravel. Portions of the trail runs along or passes through the Erie Canal, Hudson River, Mohawk River, Niagara River and beautiful Adirondack Mountains. The park also passes through many parks, giving you a place for you and your dog to stop and play, rest, and eat.

Erie Canalway Trail Quick Links
Pawtivity Listing: Essential info & tips for dog owners. Link
Website: Link
Maps & Access: Map
Start: Buffalo, NY 42.878394, -78.880998 Map
End: Albany, NY 42.649998, -73.749547 Map
Terrain: Paved and Gravel (Stone Dust)
Elevation: Chart
Dog Policy: Dogs must be leashed. Info
Motor Vehicles: Not Allowed

Dogs should be on leash. The trail is open to other pedestrians and horses (at Old Erie Canal State Park). Cross-country skiing is allowed during winter months when snow is on the trail.

An interactive map is available on the Parks & Trails New York website. The map also gives you information on trail conditions, visitor information, parking, trailheads, connections to other trails, and attractions. Thanks New York – very useful!

The Erie Canalway Trail start and end points are:

Veterans Park
Along Marine Dr.
1 Naval Park Cove
Buffalo, NY 14202
GPS Coordinates (estimated) 42.878394, -78.880998 Map

Based on the Parks & Trails New York interactive map, the trail starts along Marine Dr. Some parking is available along Marine Dr.
Head northwest towards Erie St. on your bike. Then, make a right on Erie St and a left on Lakefront Blvd to remain on the Erie Canalway Trail. Alternatively you can start at Erie St. & Lakefront Blvd. Parking lots are convenient around the area.

Jennings Landing (In Corning City Preserve)
Along Maiden Ln.
1 Quay St
Albany, NY 12207
GPS Coordinates (estimated) 42.649998, -73.749547 Map

Based on the Parks & Trails New York interactive map, the trail ends along Maiden Ln. This is slightly west of Jennings Landing. The trail here is renamed the Mohawk-Hudson Hike Bike Trail. Parking lots are convenient around the area.

Need some help deciding what section of the trail to bike? It may be helpful to see what else is happening in various areas and plan for a weekend trip! The Parks & Trails New York website breaks up the trail into 4 segments: 1) Buffalo to Rochester 2) Rochester to Syracuse 3) Syracuse to Little Falls and 4) Little Falls to Albany. Each area brings a different experience to your bike ride. The best trails for dogs are usually ones for kids as well. The National Heritage Corridor gives some great tips what to do in each city and on kid friendly trails.


Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Buffalo | Albany | New York
Activities: Biking, Mountain Biking, Fat Tire Biking, Walking, Running, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, Mushing

Acadia National Park – Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guide

Acadia National Park (Bar Harbor, ME) has over 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of roads. This park is consistently rated one of the top parks in the nation. And the majority of the park is dog friendly. There’s so much to do here year-round; hiking, camping, biking, sightseeing, fishing, winter sports, and more. 

The Island Explorer shuttle bus runs between Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The shuttle is fare-free and dog friendly. Routes run from June through October. There’s a bicycle express that you can take, although they may not be able to take tandem bikes. Check the Island Explorer website for updated run dates, timetables, and more information.

Pets are not allowed in some areas of the park. They are also prohibited from entering bodies of water and must be kept on a 6 foot leash. Some trails and beaches (Sand Beach and Echo Lake) are off-limits to pets during peak season only. Click here for more information about bringing pets at Acadia National Park.

Maps for Acadia can be found on the National Park Service website. Need more maps of the area? Check out the maps offered by the Acadia Chamber.

Nearby towns of Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor are extremely dog friendly if you want stop for dinner on your way home. Looking for a dog park? We hear there’s a place outside the park just south of Jordan Pond between Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor past a stone and wood gate.

GPS Coordinates: 44.40897, -68.24727 (Visitor Center) Map


See our full list of Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guides made just for dog owners. We give you everything you need to plan your next adventure outing with your dog right at your fingertips. We also pick the best dog friendly trails for you! These destination guides are invaluable one-stop source of information if you have a dog!


HIKING

 

Acadia National park has over 100 miles of hiking trails. There’s always a new place to explore.

Some of the most popular hikes include the 27 mile Park Loop Road or the Cadillac Summit Trail Loop (0.4mi). The park provides many maps that highlight each trail. Don’t leave the area without grabbing some food and an amazing popover at Jordan Pond House.

Day hiking with your dog is also available a ferry ride away on Isle au Haut (“High Island”) – go early as visitors are limited on the island. Hiking on the island is rough, but there are a lot of short loops.


CAMPING

 

Acadia National Park (Bar Harbor, ME) has 3 dog friendly campgrounds: Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods. Book early as spots fill up quickly.


BIKING

 

Biking is only permitted in certain areas of the park. Bikes are not allowed on hiking trails. Dogs must be on leash biking or hiking. Don’t have a bike? There are plenty of bike rental shops in Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor to consider.

Some areas actually permit bikes and dogs, but we don’t recommend them for dogs due to safety. These areas include: Park Loop Trail, Cadillac Mountain, Penobscot Peninsula, and Summit Road.

Carriage Roads: This is really where you want to be biking with your dog in Acadia. The carriage roads are 45 miles of mostly gravel road and car-free, but also open to hikers and horses. You’ll likely pass by waterfalls and the most picturesque views around.The Jordan Pond House is a great place to hike and stop for a bite to eat on the lawn. Please watch signs as some carriage roads are closed to bikes. During winter, fat tire bikes are not allowed on the carriage roads as they have been groomed.

Southwest Harbor: Southwest Harbor is cut off from the Carriage Roads by Somes Sound, the only North American fjord created by a glacier. There are a lot of fishing and road biking here. Roads here are not as heavily populated. Still, you do share the road so make sure your dog is well trained and that you proceed with caution.

Schoodic Peninsula: Schoodic Peninsula is another biking destination. The main biking route from Winter Harbor is about 10 miles of gravel pathways. Plan to have a picnic at Grindstone Neck or Schoodic Point. Longer bike rides are available from Frazer Point. Some areas are challenging and steep. Roads in this area are one-way only. During winter, the path is open to everyone when ungroomed. https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/schoodic.htm

 

How was your trip? What trail or campground did you go to? Do you have any tips that you want to pass on to fellow dog owners? 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Related Pawtivities / Events: Hiking, CampingBiking, RunningAcadia National Park, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing

Location: Bar Harbor, ME | Frenchman Bay | Maine
Activities: Beach, Hiking, Camping, Walking, Biking, Sightseeing