Fall is here, and it brings pumpkin treats, warm clothing and one of Mother Nature’s greatest shows. It’s that special time of year, when Autumn leaves turn an array of vibrant colors before dropping to the ground for Fido to dash through. Give your pup a front-row seat to the spectacle with a trip to a pet-friendly campsite. Whether you’re sharing a tent or RV, camping is an affordable and convenient way of enjoying the fall foliage. Follow our pet-friendly camping tips and get ready to enjoy the show!
Posted by Billy Francis
Twelvemile Beach Campground
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is considered one of the country’s best areas to see fall foliage. Twelvemile Beach Campground lies in the midst of all the action at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which spans 40 miles of Lake Superior. This rustic campground on a sandy bluff is always a spectacular destination for a weekend away, but lake views paired with autumnal colors is a match made in heaven. Dogs are welcome to stroll along the beach or join you for a hike along the 2-mile interpretive trail at the campsite. If you can’t stomach another PB&J, head along the coast to Grand Marais Tavern for dinner on the patio overlooking the town’s park.
Nightly rates start at $20. Dogs stay for free.
Smugglers’ Notch State Park Campground
The idyllic Vermont landscape provides the backdrop for spectacular displays of color from mid-September through October. You and Fido can reserve one of the 20 camping spots at Smugglers’ Notch State Park Campground in Stowe and immerse yourselves in the surrounding trees. Just beyond the campsite, Smugglers’ Notch State Park invites you to trudge through the leaves, bound over streams and breathe the fresh air with your leashed pooch. Nearby Stowe Pinnacle Trail offers incredible views of the Green Mountains during the fall, but has also gained fame for its two most “pup-ular” hikers: a pair of Golden Retrievers named Baylor and Sampson who live near the trailhead and often trek to the top with visitors.
Nightly rates start at $21.
Shenandoah National Park’s tapestry of fall colors spans more than 300 square miles during the season. It’s also one of the most pet-friendly parks in the country, with only 20 of its 500 hiking trails closed to dogs. You’re invited to stride out with your pooch on one of the epic woodland pathways that lead to exquisite panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After a day of hiking and exploring Skyline Drive, rest up at Luray KOA. The campsite is surrounded by mountains and farmland, and even features a dog park where Fido can play off-leash.
Nightly rates start at $121 for a cabin or yurt, with a $50 pet cleaning fee.
Wakeda Campground on the New Hampshire coast offers a serene escape to the quiet wilderness just an hour north of Boston. The on-site Mike Hambleton Memorial Dog Park is a highlight for furry campers. Fido can tackle an agility course, enjoy the fire hydrant and water fountain, and park his human on a bench while he plays. From the campsite, make your way to the American Independence Byway. The scenic road winds 21 miles through Exeter, Hampton, Hampton Falls and Kensington. Along the way, enjoy the sublime foliage displays and interpretative stops that explain the history of the state.
Nightly rates start at $43 per night. Three pets of any size are allowed at tent sites, RVs or pet-friendly cabins for no additional fee.
Fallen Leaf Campground
Lake Tahoe is a well-known beach and ski destination for the rich and famous, but visiting during the fall is just as much fun even if you’re on a budget. Snag a spot at the aptly named Fallen Leaf Campground, located less than a mile from the south shore of Lake Tahoe and on the north shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. The campground is home to a wonderful pet-friendly trail through a pine forest, which is a great way to start any lake day. After your bracing hike, get up close and personal with the fish who call the lake home on a pet-friendly kayak with Clearly Tahoe. Their kayaks are completely clear, so Fido will be able to see all the sights around and below him .
Nightly rates start at $36.
Lake George RV Park
Lake George RV Park is one of the 10 most pet-friendly campgrounds in the U.S., and there’s no better time to visit than during the fall season. Leaf lovers can hike less than a mile on Stewart Mountain Trail to soak in outstanding views of Gore Mountain and Loon Lake. When you finally return to the campsite, let Fido loose at Charlie’s Dog Park, a 2-acre fenced park with synthetic turf, fire hydrant spray fountain and shaded walking trails. After playing on the 15-event agility course, swing by the canine vending machine to stock up on snacks, bones and toys for your good boy or girl. Don’t forget to wash off any slobber and excess leaves at the indoor dog wash station.
Nightly rates start at $76. Six pets are allowed if you bring your own RV, and two pets are welcome if you rent one of their pet-friendly RVs.
Tom Sawyer’s RV Park
The Great River Road starts in Minnesota and works its way down the middle of the country to Louisiana. Along the way, it stops off in 10 different states, including Arkansas. Tom Sawyer’s RV Park is situated between the gorgeous Ozark Mountains and the vast Mississippi River, near the city of West Memphis in the Wonder State. Take a walk on the trails in the park alongside the water, soak in the stunning sunsets, and cast off with your pup by your side at multiple on-site ponds. While you’re in the area, cross the river into Memphis, Tennessee, and enjoy one of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States.
Nightly rates for primitive tent sites are $14. Dogs are welcome to camp for free.
Which campsite will you and Fido fall for? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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