Dispatches

The Dog-Days of Summer

Take your canine companion on a walk to remember

When planning this year’s Summer vacation, don’t leave Fido at home. There are plenty of pet-friendly parks and trails where you can spend quality time with your favorite canine (leashes are usually required).

Here are five pet-friendly summer vacation destinations :

1.    Acadia National Park (Maine) spans several islands of the rugged Maine coast. Acadia features 100 miles of pet-friendly hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads. Dogs are also permitted at the Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds as well as an off-leash area adjacent to the park at Little Long Pond.

2.    Yosemite National Park (California) permits dogs on the park’s many roads, sidewalks and paths. However, the only trail open to dogs is the Wawona Meadow Loop. You can bring leashed pets to all of Yosemite’s campgrounds with the exception of walk-in and group camps.

3.    Shenandoah National Park (Virginia) has 500 miles of marked hiking trails. Some of the best short hikes to take with your dog are accessible along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Pets are also allowed at Shenandoah’s campgrounds.

4.    Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio) allows dogs to enjoy the lush forests and rolling meadows of the Valley. Four-legged friends are permitted on the park’s trails and in picnic areas, including the 20-mile Towpath Trail, which follows the course of the historic Ohio and Erie Canal.

5.    Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) does not allow dogs below the rim, but you can take man's best friend for a stroll on any of the hiking trails above the perimeter, including the spectacular South Rim Trail. Safety is a major concern around the canyon, so pets must be leashed and restrained at all times. Grand Canyon National Park even offers a kennel.

Requirements for visiting a national park with your dog can vary, so be sure to check each park’s regulations before you visit. In most cases, pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet. Even in parks that are less pet-friendly than the five listed here, leashed dogs are often permitted on roads and in developed campgrounds.

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