Shenandoah Valley fun isn’t just for families. Include your furbaby on your next Kids Trail adventure. Here’s a rundown of the best pet friendly places in the Blue Ridge, along with important travel and safety tips. And learn how traveling with your animal companion benefits both your pet and you!
The Best Pet Friendly Places in the Blue Ridge
With its wealth of hiking trails, you’ll find plenty of pet friendly places in the Blue Ridge. And while it’s great to follow the Adventures of Chase the Kampground Cat on Facebook, dogs rule the Blue Ridge.
Along the Kids Trail, dogs are welcome at state and national parks, national forests, arboretums and environmental centers. And you’ll find more great local parks for you, your kids, and your pooch on the Action page of vakidstrail.com.
Canine Adventure at Virginia State Parks
Pets are allowed in all Virginia State Parks. They are prohibited from swimming areas and must be kept on a leash. VA State Parks also require proof of vaccination, so make sure you have a tag on Fido. And like a good pet parent, please clean up after your furbaby.
On the Kids Trail, discover Sky Meadows, Shenandoah River, and Natural Bridge state parks, as well as the area’s newest jewel, Seven Bends. Many Virginia State Parks also offer pet friendly cabin and lodge accommodations for a low nightly fee. And there’s no additional charge for pets in the campgrounds.
Other Pet Friendly Places in the Blue Ridge
From Harrisonburg to Harpers Ferry, the Shenandoah Valley is rich with national parks and forests. When planning your hikes in Shenandoah National Park, be aware there are certain trails where dogs are NOT permitted. Don’t worry, there’s still over 500 miles to explore. Your four legged friend is even welcome at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, provided good manners are shown.
Arboretums and environmental centers
Continue your pet friendly adventures at an arboretum or environmental center. At the north end of the Kids Trail in Boyce, is the Virginia State Arboretum. Here you’ll find a tree and shrub collection dating back to the 1930’s. If you’re in Harrisonburg, stop by the Edith J Carrier Arboretum on the James Madison University campus. And just to the east of the Kids Trail in western Loudoun County, you’ll find the 900 acre Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.
More Pet Friendly Stops on the VA Kids Trail
While hikes make up the majority of activity for your animal companion – trust, he doesn’t mind – there are also other pet friendly stops on the VA Kids Trail. Looking for a casual meal? Order up something from the Cafe at West Oaks Farm Market and enjoy some live music. Well manned dogs are also welcome on the patio of Mackintosh Fruit Farm. Grab some farm fresh goodness and have lunch there before heading over to the Blue Ridge Center.
Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville, takes its canine clientele seriously. The seasonal patio is the pet friendly place for a locally sourced lunch. This Gastropub, owned by Ayrshire Farm, serves traditional, local, organic food and heritage breed meats. And check out the farm’s food for companion carnivores, MeatMe Pet Food.
Where to stay with your canine companion? Try the Country Inn & Suites in Winchester. And even your pooch deserves pampering. Just over the West Virginia border, try the Hillbrook Inn & Spa in nearby Charles Town. The inn offers two ponds for Fido – and the towels to dry him off after his swim! And before you turn in for the evening, pack up ALL of the gang and head to the Family Drive-Inn Theatre. Who knows? Maybe your pup might enjoy the big outdoor screen, too!
Four-legged friends are part of the festival scene, too! Be sure to bring your canine companion out the to Shenandoah Valley Apple Harvest Festival, September 18 & 19, at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Be part of the interactive canine course on Sunday – open to all breeds and abilities! This pet and family friendly festival is hosted by the Rotary Club of Winchester and is a major community fundraiser.
Traveling with Your Pet – Tips & Benefits
Whenever you travel with your pet, it’s important to have rabies documentation. Every website we reviewed emphasized this. A leash and supply of waste bags are also essential. The ASPCA has a great list of pet travel tips.
Holidays may And mean longer trips with your pet. Better Pet gives the pros and cons of planes, trains, and automobiles – even boats! Click here for all kinds of helpful advice!
The change in scenery, fresh air, and exercise do your pet as much good as they do you. It also gives your dog an opportunity for different socialization and interaction. And just as importantly, you’ll develop a deeper bond between you and your pet. We found “10 Surprising Benefits of Traveling with Your Dog” insightful and inspiring.
Try some of the best pet friendly places in the Blue Ridge with your kids and canine companion. They’ll bring you and your family closer, strengthen your bond with your pet and make for some fun memories. Woof!
Special thanks to pexels.com for all the great photos for our blog!