There’s no friend like man’s best friend, so don’t leave your sweet pup behind when you’re ready to explore. Leash up and hit one of these favorite dog-friendly hikes for a great adventure in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Please remember to recreate responsibly and follow a few simple guidelines:
- Keep your dog on a leash at all times
- Clean up after your dog and pack out all trash & waste
- Stay on designated trail areas
- Be respectful of native wildlife, travel quietly, and keep your distance
- Be considerate of other hikers along the trail and remember that some people may be uncomfortable or nervous around dogs
Mill Mountain | Roanoke
Encompassing 568 acres, the Mill Mountain Park has 10 miles of trails weaving around it. Reach the summit (1,703 feet) and take in the view, and be sure to swing by the Roanoke Star, one of the prime overlooks from the mountain. Be cautious of cyclists and horses, as these trails are multi-use. To avoid those trail users, stick to the Watchtower or Star trails. They’re for hikers only. Printable Trail Map
Cascade Falls | Pembroke
Four miles of hiking will get you to the 69’ waterfall and back around to your vehicle. This, one of Virginia’s most beautiful waterfalls, is worth the drive. Your dog will really enjoy cooling off in Little Stony Creek or at the base of the falls.
Explore Park | Roanoke
Fourteen miles of trails showcase the beauty that is the 110-acre Explore Park. This historic site is also an active outdoor recreational site. The trail along the Roanoke River is a great place to let the pup chill for a bit, and maybe you, too. Printable Trail Map
Waid Recreational Area | Rocky Mount
Seven miles over the river and through the woods these trails go. Two are ADA compliant and most are multi-use. Share your trail with only a cyclist by choosing an ADA trail or the River Ramble Loop, an easy 0.4-mile leg stretcher. Printable Trail Map
Roaring Run Falls Trail | Eagle Rock
A favorite trail for those seeking a waterfall, Roaring Run delivers that and more. Take in the history of the area when you locate the old iron ore furnace. Photo ops about on this trail with multiple footbridges, a natural water slide, and mini falls along the way.
Read Mountain | Bonsack
Hikers with bigger, more experienced trail dogs will enjoy the challenge of hiking Read Mountain. Climb nearly two miles to Buzzard Rocks and gain 880 feet as you go. Digital Trail Map
Carvins Cove Natural Reserve | Roanoke
More than 12,000 acres make up Carvins Cove Natural Reserve and the 630-acre reservoir that glistens in the noonday sun. More than 40 miles of multi-use trails are at your disposal, but the reservoir is not … at least not for your dog. Canines are to remain leashed at all times and may not get in the water. It’s a source of drinking water, which means you must always clean up after your dog as well. Runoff from the reserve will leach waste into the water, and no one wants that. Digital Trail Map
Stiles Falls | Shawsville
Hike to the 40-foot waterfall that is Stiles Falls when you access the white-blazed trail from Camp Alta Mons. It’s accessible daily when there are no precluding Camp events. The trail is only about a mile out to the falls, but there is some rock hopping and streams to cross; plan accordingly. Please keep your dog leashed in this area and clean up waste as you go.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park | Huddleston
Thirteen trails of varying lengths weave through Smith Mountain Lake State Park, a great place to camp, fish, and boat from. In Virginia State Parks, pets must be leashed at no more than six feet and must not be left unattended. Please also clean up after your dog as well. Printable Trail Map
Claytor Lake State Park | Dublin
Among the easiest trails of all Virginia State Parks, those of Claytor Lake are mostly level, short, and easy. Choose from or do all four. As with SML State Park, dogs are to be leashed no longer than six feet, always attended, and cleaned up after. Printable Trail Map
Fairy Stone State Park | Stuart
Up for a treasure hunt? Keep an eye out for fairy stones along the trails. They’re small and shaped like a cross. Horses are allowed on some of the 11 trails at Fairy Stone, so be mindful of that when you’re out with your leashed dog that you will remember to clean up after. Printable Trail Map
Natural Bridge State Park | Natural Bridge
Take in the enormous limestone arch that is the Natural Bridge. At 215 feet high, it’s kind of a commanding formation as the highlight to your walk along Cedar Creek Trail. Two other trails are available with the Monacan Trail being the longest at 3.3 miles. Keep your pet on a short leash and pick up behind him. Printable Trail Map
Roanoke Valley Greenways | Roanoke
Thirty-miles of scenic greenways welcome hikers, bikers, dog-walkers, and more every day in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Nine greenways and their corresponding maps will have you out and about with your dog in no time!
As you make your way along our trails, be sure to capture those picturesque moments and share them socially with the hashtag #BlueRidgeDay. We love to see where your path leads. Visit our Pet-Friendly section for more ideas about fun things to do with your dog!