Hike These Dog-Friendly Trails in the Hudson Valley

If you and your four-legged friend are fond of the outdoors, visit these dog-friendly hiking trails for adventure and fresh air this spring and summer.

As soon as the weather warms up, the Hudson Valley becomes an uber popular destination for hiking. From scenic, panoramic views to steep, difficult rock scrambles, the region’s terrain offers something for everyone who loves the outdoors…but what about our pets? Lovers of Hudson Valley trails like Breakneck Ridge know that not all the region’s hikes are built for man’s best friend. So, in honor of National Pet Month coming in May, we’ve rounded up some of the Valley’s top dog-friendly destinations to explore this season.

Appalachian Trail

Pawling
Length: 12.5 miles
Difficulty: Hard

 

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Whether as an out-and-back or a loop around Nuclear Lake, the Pawling section of the Appalachian Trail is the perfect hike with your furry companion. Along the way, traverse over the Great Swamp on a scenic boardwalk that’s sure to include lots of wildlife. At 12.5 miles, this trail is an all-day event that generally takes a little less than six hours to complete.

Bash Bish Falls

Copake
Length: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy

 

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On the border of Massachusetts, Bash Bish Falls is a relatively easy hike with views that definitely pay off. While on the 1.5-mile trail, cross the state border and find yourself near the basin of the highest waterfall in the state of Massachusetts. Although the trail is the perfect terrain for dogs to tag along, only plan to bring them if they’re friendly as the hike is very popular.

Black Rock Reservoir Loop

Cornwall
Length: 5.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

 

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If solitude is what you’re after, visit the Black Rock Reservoir Loop for a moderately challenging 5.5-mile hike. The trail offers views of the upper reservoir, streams, meadows, and forest at Black Rock Forest and is popular for birding and hunting in-season. Plan to hike on a weekday for some peace and quiet within nature with your pup.

Deer Mountain Nature Preserve

Coeymans
Length: 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

For an informative and moderately challenging hike in the Capital Region, head to Deer Mountain Nature Preserve in Coeymans. The 3.2-mile loop takes just over an hour to complete and is freckled with signage identifying trees, wildlife, and wetland environments. To add, the trail is generally not too crowded, so it’s perfect for dogs, and they can even be off-leash in some areas.

Diamond Mountain Trail at Harriman State Park

Sloatsburg
Length: 4.9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

 

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In Rockland County, the Diamond Mountain Trail at Harriman State Park provides hikers and their pups with views of Pine Meadow Lake and plenty of forest sights. A 4.9-mile loop, the trail in Sloatsburg tends to attract many other hikers and dogs, so make sure to keep your pet on a leash while exploring.

Kaaterskill Falls

Haines Falls
Length: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

 

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As one of the Hudson Valley’s most-photographed hikes, it’s amazing that the trail to get to the Kaaterskill Falls is only 1.6 miles. Yet, this makes it easily accessible for both humans and their four-legged companions. Be sure to come in swim trunks to dive – or doggy paddle – into the pool at the bottom of the two-stage waterfall in the warmer months once you get to the end of the hike.

Note: Due to popularity, make sure to check the park website for updated rules and regulations before you go.

Pelton Pond at Clarence Fahnestock State Park

Carmel
Length: 1.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy

 

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Clarence Fahnestock State Park in Putnam County has plenty of trails that are dog-friendly, but Pelton Pond is one of the less-populated spots. Perfect for older dogs who may be less mobile, the trail is an easy 1.1 miles that only takes about a half an hour to complete. Even though it’s a short hike, the views are still gorgeous, from the serene pond to the bustling wildlife like geese, beavers, and ducks.

Shaupeneak Ridge Trail

Esopus
Length: 2.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

 

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Another quiet spot, the Shaupeneak Ridge Trail in Esopus is a quick 2.2-mile hike with panoramic views the whole way. Loop around Louisa Pond and back to the Hudson River overlook for breathtaking waterfront sights. Hikers may run into birdwatchers or mountain bikers along the way, but there are some isolated areas where dogs may be off-leash.

Teatown Lake

Ossining
Length: 3.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy

 

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Experience the views of not just one but three lakes on the Teatown Lake Three Lakes Loop in Ossining. A 3.6-mile loop that takes around an hour and a half to finish, the trail cuts through mostly wooded areas as you pass Teatown Lake, Shadow Lake, and Vernay Lake. Bring the pup along if you don’t mind wet paws and a little mud.

Tivoli Bays Trail

Tivoli
Length: 3.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

 

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At the northernmost tip of Dutchess County, the Tivoli Bays Trail is a quiet spot for your dog-friendly hike. Popular for winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and paddle sports in the summer, it’s unlikely that hikers will come across many people on the 3.7-mile loop. If you plan your adventure just right, you may see some colorful wildflowers along the way.

Related: 14 Hudson Valley Hikes With Fire Towers for Jaw-Dropping Views

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