We love to go hiking with Kendall and Virginia is easily one of my favourite places to take her – the weather isn’t usually killing us like in the South and the mountains are gorgeous. You’ll notice that a lot of our recommendations include water and that’s because Kendall is a total water dog and it’s also a great way for her to cool down during the hike. All of these trails are moderate in difficulty and should be completed with proper footwear and attire – sneakers or hiking shoes are a must.
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK – SOUTH RIVER | There are miles and miles of dog friendly trails and Shenandoah is one my favourite places to hike and South River Falls is our absolute favourite places to take Kendall. I’ve never actually measured our walk because we tend to wander but I would give it about three or four-miles round trip ending at beautiful falls where Kendall naturally gets in the water to cool down before walking back entirely uphill back to the car.
GREAT FALLS PARK | While we’ve never been, I’ve heard good things and bonus there are no restrictions on the park trails or falls overlooks for dogs – as long as they remain leashed.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS – McAFEE KNOB | I’m desperate to visit this place, every time we make plans to go and hike this six-mile trail something always comes up but all the amazing reviews can’t be wrong. McAfee Knob is probably one of the most photographed spots along the Appalachian Trail because it gives such amazing views of the mountains. Kendall and I will have a picture here at one point.
CRABTREE FALLS | One of the tallest sets of waterfalls in the U.S. East of the Mississippi River with an elevation of 1,670 feet this is one walk you don’t want to miss. When I first researched this trail I saw 2 miles and thought easy – turns out that was each way and one direction is completely uphill (ugh) but we pushed through and with very well marked paths and stairs with handle rails we made it to the top. Note: definitely keep your dog on leash as the cliffs are steep and rocks are extremely slippery and could easily dangerous to both you and your dog.
If you’re like us after hiking a few miles the first thing you want to do is crash and recover – here’s our two favourite places to crash after a long hike in Virginia:
WHERE WE STAY
The Clifton Inn, located just 8 miles outside of Charlottesville, VA is both dog friendly and the perfect reward for a long hike. If you find yourself there on a Thursday, make sure you’re there in time for Yappy Hour for treats for both you and your dog and no matter what the day take a welcomed dip in their infinity pool to cool down.
The Mountain Lake Lodge, less than an hour away from Roanoke, is a great place to take your dogs after hiking in George Washington and Jefferson National Park because it’s located in the mountains and features there own trails for when they need to burn off a little energy later on in your trip.