There are more than 6,000 state parks in the U.S., each offering a combination of outdoor adventure, beautiful landscapes, and deep-rooted history. While we’d love to take Fido along to each and every one, pet policies vary from state to state and park to park, so we’ve focused on the best for our four-legged friends. From dog beaches and dog parks to caves, waterfalls, and dinosaur tracks, these are the most dog-friendly state parks in all 50 states.
The Most Dog-Friendly State Park in Every State
Posted by Lauren Barker
Gulf State Park
Perched along the Alabama Gulf coast, Gulf State Park boasts 28 miles of trails and boardwalks through nine distinct ecosystems. After a long hike, your pup can cool off in the dog pond at Lake Shelby, which also features plenty of green space to run leash-free and shade trees to rest beneath. The dog pond and park are located at the Shelby Lake picnic area, so don’t forget to bring lunch. Fishing, geocaching, and kayaking are also popular activities to try with your pooch.
Bring your tent or RV, or spend the night in a safari tent at the Outpost Campground of Gulf State Park Campground. If you need more space or amenities, bring the whole family to Lucky Dog Beach Cottage and enjoy the hot tub, fenced yard, and barbecue grill.
Chugach State Park
Discover The Last Frontier with Fido at Chugach State Park, one of the largest state parks in the U.S. Covering 490,000 acres of Alaskan coastline, glaciers, ice fields, lakes, and spruce forests, there’s no lack of activities for you and your best friend to enjoy. Leashed dogs are welcome on over 280 miles of trails throughout the park. They can be let off leash in the backcountry provided they obey voice commands. Athletic pooches can even follow in the pawprints of heroes on the Historic Iditarod (Crow Pass) Trail that follows the Iditarod supply route.
Guests with dogs can go backcountry camping in the state park or reserve a spot at Centennial Campground near downtown Anchorage. Or, take your hiking boots off and slide on your slippers at the Ski Inn in downtown Girdwood. The Chugach, Parkview, and Ski View rooms on the first floor are all pet friendly.
Oracle State Park
Due to the harshness of the desert, pet-friendly trails in southwest state parks can be difficult to find. Luckily, Oracle State Park welcomes leashed hounds to hike through the high desert country on over 15 miles of dog-friendly paths. A four-mile section of the Arizona National Scenic Trail passes through the park as well. For a great view of the surrounding mountains and valley, take the Granite Overlook Loop. If you visit in spring, a hike along the Mariposa Trail will reveal gorgeous Mariposa lilies in bloom.
The park has been designated an International Dark Sky Park, so don’t miss the opportunity to stargaze with your pup. Spend the night nearby at Peppersauce Campground, or book this pet-friendly desert gem just two miles from the park.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Bring your “fur-ocious” digger to Crater of Diamonds State Park, a featured attraction in BringFido’s Ruff Guide to Arkansas. You and your pup can hunt for diamonds, minerals, and gemstones in their original volcanic source. The largest diamond ever unearthed in the U.S. was discovered here, and more than 33,000 have been found since the park opened in 1972. Any diamond or gem your mutt sniffs out is his to keep. Before you start your search, visit the Diamond Discovery Center to see exhibits and watch a short video. When you get tired of digging, walk the trails together and enjoy a packed lunch in one of the picnic spots.
After Fido has bagged the jewels for his new diamond-studded collar, retreat to the Codex Cabin. Your pup will feel right at home with the Beagle-themed decor, covered deck, and fire pit. Dogs of any size are welcome for an extra fee of $15 per pet, per night. If you came up empty on your diamond hunt, stay at a tree-shaded campsite at Crater of Diamonds State Park Campground, so you can get an early start for round 2.
Mendocino Headlands State Park
Admire stunning views of the Pacific coastline and hike miles of dog-friendly dirt trails along rugged sea cliffs at Mendocino Headlands State Park. Stop along the paths to search the seas for wildlife, and you might even spot a gray whale off in the distance. Take a short stroll down a path to Portuguese Beach, where your leashed pup can sink his paws into the sand. From there, continue on to the bluffs dotted with benches for admiring the view, or take the path to Big River Beach, where the Big River empties into Mendocino Bay. Leashed dogs are welcome on the west side of the beach.
Mendocino Headlands State Park is day-use only, so camping is not permitted. However, your furry friend will find a warm welcome at Inn at Schoolhouse Creek. Canine guests will be greeted with a pet kit that includes a bed, bowls, treats, a leash lanyard with waste bags, Frisbee, welcome letter, towels, and a mat. You’ll also have access to the “Dog Meadow,” a large lawn on the property.
Chatfield State Park
Centered on the Chatfield Reservoir and surrounded by rolling hills, Chatfield State Park offers plenty of activities for Fido to enjoy. Let him run leash-free in the 69-acre, fully fenced dog park which includes two ponds for doggie paddling, canine water fountains, and miles of paved and unpaved trails. Bring your own boat to sail, cruise, or fish the reservoir, or venture out with your pup on a canoe or paddle board. Daily or annual passes are required for the dog park.
Canine campers are welcome at Chatfield State Park Campground, and at the highly-rated TownPlace Suites by Marriott Denver Southwest Littleton.
Chatfield Hollow State Park
Leash up your pup and hike through pine, oak, and hickory trees along the Chatfield Hollow Brook at Chatfield Hollow State Park. Explore the jagged ledges and rock outcroppings within the park that were once home to Native Americans who used the area for hunting and fishing. Today, Chatfield Hollow is a designated Trout Park and the perfect place to cast a line with your four-legged angler. While swimming isn’t allowed in the pond, there are plenty of streams where your pup can take a dip.
Put your paws up for the night at Sheraton Hartford South Hotel. You’ll be just a stone’s throw from the Rocky Hill Off-Leash Dog Park in case Fido has more energy to burn.
Fenwick Island State Park
Spend a day seaside at Fenwick Island State Park, where leashed pups are welcome to play in the sand and surf year-round on a section of the beach at the northern dune crossing. They’re allowed on other swimming and sunbathing beaches from September 30 to May 1. Once she’s had all the beach fun she can handle, rent a kayak or paddle board from Island Watersports and float on the calm waters of Little Assawoman Bay, or reserve a pontoon boat and take your water-loving pup out for a sunset cruise.
Relax in comfort at Seaside Inn in Fenwick Island. Each room has its own balcony where Fido can bask in the sun or feel the sea breeze in his fur.
Rainbow Springs State Park
Rent a canoe or kayak, or bring your own and paddle with your pooch along the Rainbow River at Rainbow Springs State Park. While dogs are not allowed in the water, they can relax while you navigate the sapphire-blue water, keeping an eye out for aquatic life below. Once you’re back on land, take a hike through the lush, mossy hammocks to three man-made waterfalls, and stop for photos of your pup at one of the largest springs in the state. Be sure to stop by the park’s butterfly garden, where a variety of plants attract many species.
After a busy day in the park, you won’t have to venture far for a good night’s rest at this Rainbow River Getaway.
Fort McAllister State Park
Located on the banks of the Ogeechee River near Savannah, Fort McAllister State Park offers a charming glimpse into the past. Dogs are welcome to join you indoors on a tour through the Civil War museum to view artifacts, explore the grounds of the historic fort, and hike along the Redbird Creek trail. This scenic park nestled among live oaks and a salt marsh showcases the best-preserved earthwork fortification of the Confederacy. While exploring with your pup, you’ll observe cannons, a hot shot furnace, bomb-proof barracks, palisades, and more.
Book a stay at Best Western Plus Richmond Hill Inn and spend extra time in the area visiting other dog-friendly state parks like Skidaway Island in Savannah.
Waianapanapa State Park
If your dog has been dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation, we know just where you can take him. The eastern coastline of Maui is home to Waianapanapa State Park, which encompasses over 120 acres of low-lying volcanic shoreline, a black-sand beach, and native hala forest. While pets are not permitted on beaches, they are welcome on leash on a three-mile, moderate stretch of barren lava along the Ke Ala Loa O Maui/Piilani Trail. Follow the coastline and enjoy breathtaking views of the Maui volcano, Haleakalā, and the Hana Coast.
Dogs of any size are welcome at nearby Haleakalā National Park’s drive-up Hosmer Grove Campground. For a coastal stay, reserve this Maui sunset condo with an ocean and pool view.
Round Lake State Park
Explore the northern panhandle of Idaho with Fido at Round Lake State Park. Your adventurous canine can join you on the many trails in the forested park, and for a float or paddle on the 58-acre Round Lake. Kayak and paddle boards are available to rent. Winter activities to enjoy with your pup include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and sledding. Wildlife like beaver, owls, and turkey vultures are prominent in the park, and your pup might even spot a moose.
Continue your time on the water by pitching your tent at one of the 16 serviced sites at Round Lake State Park Campground. You can also kick back at the rustic Huckleberry Hill Log Cabin.
Starved Rock State Park
Named after a Native American legend, Starved Rock State Park is rich with history dating back to the 1700s. Today, the park’s more than 2,600 acres are home to 13 miles of trails and 18 canyons that you can explore with your leashed pup year-round. Waterfalls from snowmelt and heavy rains are viewable in spring, and migrating bald eagles are abundant in winter. Summer is the perfect time to take your dog fishing or boating on the Illinois River. In the fall, don’t miss views of the autumn foliage from the canyon overlooks.
Reserve a scenic site at the pet-friendly Starved Rock State Park Campground. Or, book a stay in one of the four pet-friendly lodgings at nearby Kishauwau Cabins and relax around the outdoor fire pit after a day of hiking.
Fort Harrison State Park
Escape the fast-paced life of Indiana’s capital city with your four-legged park enthusiast at Fort Harrison State Park. Leashed dogs are welcome on all walking and jogging trails in the 1700-acre park, and permitted off leash in the three separate play areas of the state park’s dog park. Each section features different attractions like a dog pond, beach, a shelter with a fireplace, agility equipment, and more. A pass is required to visit the dog park, and weekly and annual options are available.
Ironworks Hotel is a boutique hotel with an industrial vibe just north of downtown. Canine guests are welcomed with treats, a bed, and bowls.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
At Maquoketa Caves State Park, hiking hounds can wander along six miles of trails through hardwood forests, prairies, and the park’s many caves which were formed over many millennia by water erosion. Take time to explore geological features like the Natural Bridge, which stands 50 feet above Raccoon Creek, and the 17-ton Balanced Rock. Then check out the 1,100-foot Dancehall Cave, where dances were once held, along with Hernado’s Hideaway, Shinbone Cave, and Wye Cave. Don’t forget a flashlight!
Share your sleeping bag with your best friend at Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground and snuggle around the campfire, or cuddle by a private fireplace at Moon River Cabins.
Tuttle Creek State Park
Tuttle Creek State Park is a canine’s dream come true. The park is split into five units totaling 1,200 acres, and your outbound hound is permitted in each one. Bring Fido along for hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching, or take advantage of the park’s Stretch Dog Park, which features two sections for large and small dogs. Each one offers shade trees, agility equipment, and benches. Your doggie paddler is also welcome to join you on a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board, available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are five campgrounds located in Tuttle Creek State Park, and dogs are welcome at both the primitive and electric sites. For more creature comforts, check into the Best Western Manhattan Inn.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Known as the “Niagara of the South,” Cumberland Falls at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park cascades 60 feet into a boulder-filled gorge below. Take Fido on a half-mile hike to the falls, or try one of several other trails with beautiful overlooks through the park. Cumberland Falls is one of the few places in the world that regularly produces a “moonbow,” or white lunar rainbow when the sky is clear and the moon is full. Check the park’s moonbow calendar for a chance to see the phenomenon for yourself. Dogs are also welcome to go fishing, picnicking, canoeing, or gem mining with you.
From mid-March to mid-November, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park welcomes campers on two legs and four. Dogs are welcome year-round at the Best Western Corbin Inn, located nearby.
Fontainebleau State Park
Formerly the location of a sugar plantation in the mid-19th century, Fontainebleau State Park is a 2,800-acre recreation area on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. During your visit, see the crumbling brick ruins of a sugar mill built in 1829, hike a beautiful 4.8-mile trail, or walk along the interpretive nature trail spotting some of the 400 different species that live here. Kayaking and paddleboarding down Bayou Cane to Lake Pontchartrain are also “pupular” activities within the park.
The Fontainebleau State Park Campground welcomes canine campers at camp sites and in select glamping tents. Just outside of the park, the About Trace Bed and Breakfast offers a one-room guest house that allows dogs.
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
Planning a road trip up the coast of New England? Make sure to stop at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park. This coastal park is set along 200 acres of climax white pine and hemlock forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines of Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. Hike with your dog along the Casco Bay Trail to viewpoints of Eagle and Cousin Islands, and let him dip his paws in the water at points along the path. Interpretive signs along the trails point out important features, and picnic areas under a canopy of oak trees make the perfect spot for a lunch break. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, particularly osprey who nest on nearby Googins Island and spend their summers in the park.
Book a night in The Carriage House at Harraseeket Inn. Visiting canines will receive a dog bed, bowls, and a can of dog food, while humans will appreciate all the townhouse amenities, including a wood-burning fireplace in some units. You might even meet Rodger Dodger, the official spokesdog for the Inn.
Swallow Falls State Park
Maryland may not seem like an obvious place for breathtaking mountain scenery, but Swallow Falls State Park is far from ordinary. Hike with Fido through the mountains of western Maryland, under canopies of hemlocks to Muddy Creek Falls, a 53-foot waterfall along the Youghiogheny River. You’ll be following in the footsteps of famous travelers like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone. On a warm day, let your pup relax in the cool river water, and bring along a picnic lunch to share with your best friend at one of several picnic tables with grills. You can also take your pooch fishing at the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area. Dogs are allowed at Swallow Falls State Park from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
Pitch a tent or set up your camper at one of 65 wooded sites at Swallow Falls State Park Campground, or lay low at this pet-friendly hideaway. Your canine companion can rest his paws while you relax in the hot tub or snuggle with you around the outdoor fire pit.
Halibut Point State Park
Explore pet-friendly trails and tide pools at Halibut Point State Park, a former granite quarry with views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. On clear days you can spot Mount Agamenticus, located 40 miles away in Maine, and the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire. Take a hike through the adjacent Halibut Point Reservation and wind your way down to the bluffs, stopping along the way for lunch at a picnic area. Once you’ve reached the rocky shore, your pup can help look for sea stars, hermit crabs, and harbor snails in the tide pools, while you keep your eye on the skies for terns, ducks, and sandpipers.
Discover the charming town of Rockport and the Cape Ann community with a stay at Rockport Inn and Suites. Fido will be greeted with his own bowl and treats, and he’ll have plenty of green space to sniff out. The hotel is located within walking distance to the beach, as well as downtown shopping and restaurants.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
A town called “Paradise” is the perfect location for Tahquamenon Falls State Park, a paradise in itself. The 50,000-acre park is surrounded by the waterfalls of the Tahquamenon River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. At 200 feet across, the Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi and has a drop of nearly 50 feet. The Lower Falls is a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island accessible by a rowboat that can be rented from park concessions. After viewing the famous falls, continue exploring the park’s 35 miles of dog-friendly trails, but keep your eyes peeled for black bear, moose, and other wildlife.
Pets are allowed in the Tahquamenon Falls State Park Campground. For a rustic retreat with modern conveniences, book the Discover Lodge at Silver Creek.
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
Over 100 varieties of wildflowers and the largest remnant of Big Woods vegetation in Minnesota await you and your mutt at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Your pooch can join you on 11 miles of hiking trails as well as ungroomed snowshoeing trails. Take the self-guided interpretive trail, visit Hidden Falls which freezes over in winter, and admire the vibrant fall foliage in autumn. Birding, picnicking and geocaching are additional activities to enjoy with your furry friend.
From early April to late October, bring your RV, camper or tent and spend a weekend at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park Campground. If your pack prefers a hotel, check in at the Comfort Inn Owatonna.
Clark Creek State Park
Explore more than 50 waterfalls and 700 acres of trails at Clark Creek State Park. Fido can dip his paws in the water while you hike through a landscape dotted with beech and magnolia trees, as well as plants like the endangered Carolina magnolia vine. Keep an eye out for another threatened species in the Magnolia State, the black bear. Birdwatching, botany, and photography are popular activities along the trails.
The secluded location of Clark Creek State Park makes it the perfect place to escape the noise and activity of everyday life. Put your feet up at this cozy cabin in the woods in nearby St. Francisville, LA.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka State Park invites two- and four-legged friends to discover intriguing history and incredible geological features like sinkholes, caves, and natural bridges. Visit the ruins of a turn-of-the-century stone castle, hike along a series of trails and boardwalks, and have a picnic lunch overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. Kayaks are available for rent, and fishing is permitted near Lake Shelter. Before you call it a day, stop by the natural blue water of Ha Ha Tonka Spring and snap a photo for Fido’s Instagram.
Your canine camper can join you at primitive campsites at Ha Ha Tonka State Park Campground. He can also put his paws up at the well-appointed Lake House Hotel.
Bannack State Park
Explore the first Territorial Capital of Montana at Bannack State Park. The park was also the site of Montana's first major gold discovery. Today, you can walk your dog on the deserted streets of this old west ghost town and imagine what it was like in 1862. Leashed pups are also welcome on guided tours, which are conducted daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Your canine outlaw can join you at one of the 24 campsites or in the rental tipi along Grasshopper Creek at Bannack State Park Campground. Fido can also sleep the night away at this Montana Guest Cabin, located on a beautiful ranch.
Fort Robinson State Park
As featured in BringFido’s Ruff Guide to Nebraska, Fort Robinson State Park invites two- and four-legged tourists to unearth a treasure trove of local history and beauty. The park offers more than 60 miles of pristine pine ridge trails to hike with your dog, crystal-blue lakes teeming with bass, and scenic drives through 22,000 acres of prairies. Leashed pups are welcome on all trails, including the popular Red Cloud Butte Trail, which offers picturesque views of Lovers Leap Butte.
You won’t have to look far for a place to lay your head after visiting Fort Robinson. The state park campground allows canine campers, and Fort Robinson State Park Cabins have been renovated to accommodate modern traveler needs without sacrificing their rustic charm.
Valley of Fire State Park
Bring Fido to Valley of Fire State Park, located in the Mojave Desert just northeast of Las Vegas. Hike among 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops and keep your eyes peeled for petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. You may also spot wildlife like roadrunners, kit fox, black-tailed jackrabbit, and if you’re lucky, a rare desert tortoise. The park is a popular place for taking Instagram-worthy photos of your pup. Shaded picnic areas are located throughout for a quick lunch and break from the heat.
After a day in the desert, put your pup’s posh paws up at NoMad Las Vegas and order her a treat from the hotel’s pet room service menu.
Franconia Notch State Park
Located in the heart of White Mountain National Forest, Franconia Notch State Park is an ideal spot for hiking with the whole family. Leashed dogs are welcome on trails throughout the park. Take the Bald Mountain and Artists Bluff Trails for epic views of Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch, or the Basin-Cascades Trail, which leads to Kinsman Falls. Experienced hikers and pups can trek the nine-mile Franconia Ridge Loop for beautiful waterfall views.
Outdoor enthusiasts can camp at nearby Crazy Horse Campground. Other pups will delight in a good night’s rest at Old Maltaise Farm.
Liberty State Park
Most people think of a state park as a wilderness area teeming with wildlife and hiking trails, not views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline. At Liberty State Park, that’s exactly what you’ll find. This green oasis in the heart of Jersey City features a two-mile promenade with stunning views, wide open fields, and miles of dog-friendly pathways. While you’re there, stop by the ‘Empty Sky’ 9/11 Memorial, stroll along the self-guided nature path in the 36-acre Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, and break for a picnic overlooking the Hudson River.
Wake up to views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island when you stay at a campsite at Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Park. If you want to experience Manhattan living with your mutt, make your way through the Holland Tunnel to the Roxy Hotel Tribeca.
Clayton Lake State Park
If your furry Tyrannosaurus has always wanted to see prehistoric dinosaur tracks, plan a trip to Clayton Lake State Park. Stroll along 1.4 miles of trails, including the Clayton Dinosaur Trackway, one of the best dinosaur track sites in the world. You’ll see more than 500 fossilized footprints made by at least eight different dinosaurs over 100 million years ago. Continue your adventure on dog-friendly trails that pass through rolling grasslands, volcanic rocks, and sandstone bluffs, and paddle a kayak or canoe on the 170-acre recreational reservoir.
Pets are welcome to join you at the 26 campsites at Clayton Lake State Park Campground. If you don’t feel like “ruffing” it, the Best Western Kokopelli Lodge is just a short drive away.
Storm King State Park
Admire stunning views of the Hudson River, Bannerman Island, Cold Spring, and Constitution Marsh from Storm King State Park. Experienced hikers and their pups can set out on a 3.5-mile trek through this undeveloped park, stopping to take in the views of the Hudson Valley and Catskills at the many outcroppings. Visit in the fall to witness gorgeous autumn colors from 1,300 feet above the valley. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare Peregrine Falcons, which disappeared from New York in the 1960s but have made a return to the park in recent years.
Glamp with your canine in a canvas tent with luxury camp amenities at Twin Ponds on the Farm.
Fort Fisher State Park
Take your sandy paws for a stroll along the 1.1-mile Basin Trail boardwalk over a salt marsh at Fort Fisher State Park. Along the way, you can admire sound-side flora and fauna and the Maritime Forest. Afterwards, make your way to the five miles of pristine beach and let your leashed pup play in the sand and surf of the Atlantic Ocean. Just be on the lookout for – and make sure not to disturb – Loggerhead sea turtles nesting along the shore. Anglers should bring a rod and reel to snag a speckled trout for Fido’s dinner.
Enjoy your dinner from the balcony overlooking the beach at Vitamin Sea.
Fort Stevenson State Park
Located on the bluffs of the north shore of Lake Sakakawea, Fort Stevenson State Park provides breathtaking views year-round. Bring your history “ruff” to learn about the park’s military past, and walk along nearly 10 miles of pet-friendly trails through grasslands, woodlands, and native prairie. Let your pooch loose at the on-site dog park, unpack a picnic in scenic surroundings, and rent a kayak, paddle boat or stand up paddle board if you want to spend the day on the lake. In winter, cold-weather pups can join you for skijoring, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Friendly dogs are allowed to join you around the campfire at the Fort Stevenson State Park Campground. If you prefer a dog-friendly Airbnb, this Early Bird Retreat in nearby Coleharbor has a fenced backyard.
Hueston Woods State Park
Experience four seasons of fun at Hueston Woods State Park, a featured attraction in BringFido’s Ruff Guide to Ohio. In the springtime, take a hike on one of the eight dog-friendly trails running through the nearly 3,500-acre park, and go fossil hunting or geocaching along the way. When the weather heats up in summer, Action Lake offers boating, canoeing, and fishing for catfish and bass. Fido can splash around at the dog beach or let loose inside the park’s three-acre, fenced-in dog park. The fall is a great time to witness the leaves change, and in the winter, visitors can sled, cross-country ski, and ice fish with their pups.
With so much to see and do, you’ll want to spend a night (or more!) in the state park. The Hueston Woods Lodge & Conference Center provides efficiency cabins by the lake.
Beavers Bend State Park
With its pristine lakes and rivers surrounded by towering pine trees, Beavers Bend State Park is a beautiful place to adventure with your pooch. Experienced trekkers can tackle the six-mile Skyline Trail or the more challenging David Boren Trail, while casual hikers can choose from several shorter trails. Water-loving dogs will prefer to rent a kayak or canoe and take on the Class I-II rapids on the Mountain Fork River, or take a dip in Broken Bow Lake. The Mountain Fork River is stocked with trout on a weekly basis, so fishermen will definitely want to bring their gear along!
For those looking to stay overnight in the park, Beavers Bend Resort Park offers a number of pet-friendly cabin rentals. For travelers interested in more refined accommodations, this Heaven Sent Cabin boasts a hot tub, fireplace, and bbq grill on the deck.
Ecola State Park
Four-legged beach bums can splash in the waves leash-free along nine miles of coastline at Ecola State Park. Dip a paw in beautiful tidepools at Indian Beach and view the famed sea stack rocks that line the Pacific Ocean. Leashed pups can also hike with you on trails through Sitka spruce forests and along nine miles of trails. You may even walk in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Look for wildlife like eagles, deer, and elk along the way, and if you’re visiting in spring or winter, maybe even migrating gray whales.
Your pup can have his pick of pet-friendly accommodations in Cannon Beach. Two dogs of any size are permitted at The Wayside Inn, where they’ll receive a welcome basket of dog amenities at check-in. If your family needs extra room, book a King Bungalow at The Ocean Lodge. Furry friends will receive a basket of goodies to enjoy during their stay.
Presque Isle State Park
Situated on a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula jutting out into Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park offers no shortage of pet-friendly fun. Hike along the 11 miles of trails that wind through wooded swamps, sand dunes, and pine stands. Then make a stop at the designated dog beach so your pup can splash in the water of Lake Erie. Bring a picnic lunch to share with your pooch, and end the day by kayaking with your canine in one of the interior lagoons.
After a full day at the park, you’ll be dog-tired. Rest up at Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront.
Fort Adams State Park
Canine brothers in arms are welcome to visit the largest and most complex coastal fortification in the U.S. at Fort Adams State Park. Your pup can join you on a guided tour of this World War II fort located at the mouth of Newport Harbor. You’ll hear stories of American history and military culture while marveling at the complex architecture and engineering. The fort is located on a peninsula with sweeping views of Narragansett Bay. Dogs are permitted in open spaces throughout the park, a section of pet-friendly beach, and on the two-mile Fort Adams Bay Walk, where you can catch a beautiful sunset.
Spend the night at nearby Paws on Pelham, an inn created with pets in mind. All 13 rooms welcome four-legged guests, feature dog decor, and include a whimsical dog bed. Furry VIPs also receive bowls, a pet mat, and treats at check-in.
Hunting Island State Park
Furry friends can bury their paws in the sand and hunt for shark teeth at Hunting Island State Park, just off the coast of South Carolina. This Lowcountry park is home to abundant wildlife, the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse, and five miles of pristine beach. Leashed pups can explore over 10 miles of trails through marsh and maritime forests, and visit most areas of the beach with the exception of a small, marked section of protected shorebird habitat. Bring lunch along and dine at one the tables in the park’s expansive picnic area.
Pitch your tent or park your camper just across the dunes at Hunting Island Campground. If you don’t feel like camping, this nearby oceanfront condo on St. Helena Island offers access to a dog-friendly beach.
Custer State Park
If your dog likes to walk on the wild side, he will love hiking the trails carved out by early pioneers at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. You’re likely to encounter prairie dogs, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and deer on the trails, but the park is most famous for being home to one of the nation’s largest free-roaming bison herds. The best way to see them is by driving the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road in the early morning or late evening, just before sunset.
Cozy up to your pup at one of the nine Custer State Park Campgrounds. For rustic digs with modern amenities, book a log cabin retreat at Gold Camp Cabins.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Take Fido’s photo with one of the highest free-falling waterfalls east of the Mississippi River at Fall Creek Falls State Park on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. The park’s nearly 30,000 acres also include three other waterfalls: Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls, and Cane Creek Cascades. Leashed dogs are allowed on most of the 56 miles of trails, including long-distance overnight trails, and in canoes and kayaks on beautiful Fall Creek Falls Lake.
Snag a quiet, wooded spot at Fall Creek Falls State Park Campground. If a dog-friendly vacation rental is more to your taste, book a stay at Autumn Breeze in nearby Spencer, TN.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Road trippers along Route 66 will want to stop at Palo Duro Canyon State Park for a Texas-sized adventure. The park’s central feature is the 120-mile-long canyon that plunges more than 800 feet to the floor. Palo Duro is believed to be the country’s second-largest canyon. Drive with your furry co-pilot along 16 miles of paved roads to admire the scenic views, stopping along the way for photo ops and historical markers. Hike one of the pet-friendly trails that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous, including the 5.6-mile round-trip hike to the Lighthouse, the park’s most iconic rock formation.
Spend the night in the park at Palo Duro Canyon State Park Campground. For more creature comforts, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Canyon is located nearby.
Dead Horse Point State Park
What Moab’s national parks lack in pet-friendly activities, neighboring Dead Horse Point State Park makes up for. Encompassing over 5,000 acres of high desert and rigid canyons, Dead Horse Point allows leashed dogs on many of the paved and dirt trails. Stroll along the 0.8-mile Visitor Center Nature trail, which is lined with interpretive signs pointing to plants and unique features, or take Fido on one of four additional trails ranging from 1 to 3.5 miles each way. You’ll see desert potholes (seasonal pools of water), wildlife, and incredible overlooks. Bring a picnic lunch or grab a snack and beverage from the visitor center, and pick a table on the dog-friendly deck to admire the stunning views while you eat.
Pet-friendly campsites are available within Dead Horse Point State Park. You can also upgrade your camping experience and glamp at Under Canvas Moab.
Niquette Bay State Park
Located on the shore of Lake Champlain, Niquette Bay State Park welcomes furry adventures throughout its 584 acres. Hike along one of the many trails with impressive vistas overlooking the Green Mountains, Malletts Bay, and the Lake Champlain Islands. The 3.2-mile Niquette Bay State Park Trail combines multiple trails to form one large loop through the park, taking you and your pup along the shores of Lake Champlain and through the lakeside forest. Stop for a break at Calm Cove, where your pooch is welcome to take a dip and cool off in the pet swim area.
Your lakeside getaway doesn’t have to end when you leave the park. Stay at this 2-bedroom Harbor View Lake House with views of Malletts Bay and the Bay Harbor Marina. Canoes and kayaks are available if you want to take your furry friend out on the water.
Kiptopeke State Park
Just a 30-minute drive from Virginia Beach, Fido can have the time of his life at Kiptopeke State Park. Situated on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the park allows pets to swim off the coast on the south end of the beach. Fishing, crabbing, and boating are also permitted in this area, and kayaks and paddle boards can be rented at the camp store. Trekking terriers can cover five miles of trails, including the upland Baywoods Trail, which connects to the southern beach by extensive boardwalks over Kiptopeke’s dune formations. Watch for wildlife like deer and foxes along the way.
The Kiptopeke State Park Campground allows four-legged campers at campsites and in cabins, yurts, and the campground lodge. The nearby Sunset Beach Resort also welcomes furry guests and boasts a private beach.
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Whether your best friend prefers land or water, there’s something for her at Lake Wenatchee State Park. The glacier-fed lake is surrounded by mountains and offers exceptional views, crystal-clear water, and plenty of opportunities for swimming or boating. Kayaks and paddle boards are also available to rent. If water isn’t her thing, hike through the highland forest, including a trek up the nine-mile Dirtyface Peak that rises 3,950 feet and provides unparalleled vistas. During winter, the park becomes Chiwawa Sno-Park, a winter wonderland ideal for skiing or snowshoeing with your pooch along 30 miles of groomed trails.
Lake Wenatchee State Park allows year-round camping. In winter, pitch your tent next to a fire ring along the lake’s shoreline and enjoy amenities like heated restrooms and warming shelters. If a hotel is more your style, book a room at Bavarian Ritz Hotel in nearby Leavenworth.
Blackwater Falls State Park
Slip on Fido’s hiking boots and trek 20 miles of scenic trails that wind through beautiful Blackwater Falls State Park. Tucked away in the rugged Allegheny Mountain Range of northern West Virginia, the park is named after its 57-foot amber waterfall, one of the state’s most photographed natural attractions. Snap a selfie in front of the cascading marvel before climbing to the top of Lindy Point and Pendleton Point Overlook to capture gorgeous views of verdant valleys and cloud-filled skies. Use the wooden walking paths and observation platforms, or venture out with your dog along numerous man-made side trails.
From April through October, Blackwater Falls State Park Campground welcomes campers and their pets at tent and trailer sites, and at 10 pet-friendly cabins. You can also make your home away from home at White Aspen, a dog-friendly rental a short drive from the park.
Whitefish Dunes State Park
Sturgeon Bay, in the center of the Door Peninsula, offers an array of activities on and around Lake Michigan for humans and canines. A highlight for hounds is the designated dog beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park, which is accessible by a short hike along the shaded Red Trail. After your dog digs in the sand and splashes in the surf, you can tackle several other trails throughout the park together.
Swim in Sturgeon Bay or lounge in the sun with your pup at Beach Harbor Resort. Furry friends can join you on the water with one of the resort’s kayaks or stand up paddle boards, and dine with you on the patio of the resort restaurant, Waterfront Mary’s.
Emily Stevens Park
While activities for pets are limited in Grand Teton National Park, the more dog-friendly Emily Stevens Park invites canine visitors to soak in the magnificent views while exploring the stunning natural surroundings. Three miles of dog-friendly trails offer breathtaking glimpses of the Teton mountain range and the Snake River. Dogs can run off leash if they obey voice commands.
Book a room with a view at Snow King Resort Hotel, where four-legged guests receive a basket of goodies at check-in.
Do you have a favorite dog-friendly state park in your state? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
Banner photo by @thedriftlessdog.