The Chew: 7 of the Best Trails to Walk with Your Dog

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

As the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to have some new outdoor adventures with your dog. To help you find the perfect spot to enjoy nature with your pup, we’ve rounded up some of the best trails to walk or run in the area.

Theodore Roosevelt Island
Washington, D.C.

  • Two and a half miles of low intensity trails
  • Most of the trails are wooded, providing shade during the warmer months
  • No fees
  • If your dog is adventurous and water-loving, canoeing and kayaking are available

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
7400 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22102

  • Over 300 acres of trails leading to scenic spots like Scott’s Run Waterfall and overlooks of the Potomac River
  • Variety of trail types, including shaded wooded areas and more intense rocky climbs
  • Some trails cover rocky bluffs that are unsafe for dogs

Washington And Old Dominion Trail
21293 Smiths Switch Road
Ashburn, VA 20147

  • Sixty-five miles of trails
  • Trails are mostly paved or gravel, making them easier for beginners
  • This former railroad trail is open year-round

Great Falls
9200 Old Dominion Drive
McLean, VA 22102

  • Fifteen miles of trails
  • Variety of trails, from the Swamp Trail through lowland forest to the more challenging Billy Goat Trail perfect for high-energy dogs
  • Most of the trails are wider, multi-use paths, so if your dog is uncomfortable around bikes and horses, consider a different trail

Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20015

  • Thirty-two miles of trails
  • Both rustic and paved paths
  • During the weekend, parts of Beach Drive are closed to cars so you can feel free to walk your dog down the road
  • There is a horse center in the middle of the park, and deer are common, so the trails are best suited for dogs who are already familiar with these animals

Catoctin Mountain Park
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788

  • Twenty-five miles of trails
  • Location of Camp David, the presidential retreat
  • Dogs must be leashed
  • Variety of trail difficulties to match all abilities

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East
Luray, VA 22835

  • Nearly 500 miles of dog-friendly trails
  • One of the few national parks that allows dogs on their trails
  • Keep dogs leashed, as bear sightings are common

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website.

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