Fall is the perfect season for hiking. With cooler weather and the vivid colors of the changing leaves, taking a hike is a great way to bond with your pet. Whether you’re looking for the best dog friendly trails in Shenandoah National Park or in other local areas, check out our list of the top dog friendly hikes for the fall. 

1.Black Rock Summit Trail

Easy 1.1 miles in Shenandoah National Park

Looking for a quick and easy hike with great views? Check out Black Rock Summit Trail. This 1.1 miles trail only has 180 feet of elevation gain, making it the perfect hike for all family members. Black Rock Summit Trail is about an 1 hour and 10 minutes from Harrisonburg on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.  

If you are looking for a challenging, longer hike in the same area, check out Trayfoot Mountain-Paine Run Loop

2.High Knob Fire Tower Trail

Moderately strenuous 2.9 mile hike in George Washington National Forest

Photo from Hiking Upward

High Knob Fire Tower Trail is a quick 30 minute drive from Harrisonburg on the border of Virginia and West Virginia. The moderately strenuous 2.9 mile hike ends with outstanding views from the historic High Knob Fire Tower. Expect the hike to take about 2 hours.

3.Rose River Loop

Moderately strenuous 3.8 miles hike in Shenandoah National Park

Photo from AllTrails

If you’re looking for a peaceful waterfall hike to take your pet on, check out Rose River Loop. The 3.8 mile trail is moderately strenuous and offers gorgeous views of Rose River Falls and a stream for your pet to cool off. Rose River Loop is about an hour away from Harrisonburg in Shenandoah National Park.

4.Hawksbill Gap Trail

Moderate difficulty 2.6 mile hike in Shenandoah National Park

Photo from AllTrails

Hawksbill Gap Trail is a great place to enjoy the bright colors of fall. The 2.6 moderate hike features amazing mountain views and beautiful wild flowers. Because of the popularity of the trails and the limited parking, it’s recommended to arrive early to beat the crowds. Hawksbill Gap Trail is located about an hour and ten minutes away from Harrisonburg. 

5.Little Stony Man

Easy 0.9 mile hike in Shenandoah National Park

Photo from The Outbound Collective

Have a new puppy? Or have you never been on a hike with your pet before? Little Stony Mountain is a great place for your pet’s first mountain trek. The 0.9 mile out and back trail is quick, easy, and stunning! This can’t-miss hike is an hour and eight minutes away from Harrisonburg in Shenandoah National Park.

While Little Stony Man is dog friendly, please note that similarly named Stony Man summit is not dog friendly. 

6.Humpback Rock

Difficult 2.0 mile hike in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Humpback Rock is a very popular trail, and for good reason! The views are unbelievable. Don’t let the short distance of the hike fool you. The two mile out and back trail is strenuous. Be careful with your pets on the rocks at the top as they have a steep dropoff. Humpback Rock is less than an hour from Harrisonburg on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Before heading out, prepare for your hike. Remember to bring plenty of water for both you and your pet. Make sure your pet is on preventative medications to prevent tick borne illness. Wear sunscreen and bug spray but DO NOT put these products designed for humans on your pets. When on trails, keep your pet on a leash and pick up after them.