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A Quick Primer For Hiking With Dogs on Federal Lands

National Parks
As a general rule, dogs in national parks are welcome to go "anywhere a car can go." This means your dog can hike along roadways and walk around parking lots. In most parks dogs can also go in picnic areas and stay in campgrounds. Occasionally dogs will be permitted on short trails around a Visitor Center or a campground.

National Monuments
These parks are a notch below in national parks in terms of prestige and are a mixed bag for active dog owners. Some, like Dinosaur National Monument or White Sands National Monument, allow dogs on most trails while others, Devil's Tower or Cedar Breaks for instance, ban canine hikers from all trails.


National Forests
National forests, under the stewardship of the Department of Agriculture and not the Department of the Interior like national parks, offer the meatiest hiking opportunities for dog owners. Dogs are permitted on most national forest trails, although access can sometimes be remote. Many times national forest lands surround national parks so you can get your dog on a trail after being cooped up there.


National Grasslands
These parks are cousins of national forests and you can expect to have your dog accompany you on your hike. Hiking opportunities are limited, however, as there typically aren't many trails in a natioanl grassland.


National Recreation Areas
As the name implies, these lands are managed to maximize public use - for humans and dogs. Many trails in national recreation areas are open to off-road vehicles, mountains bikes, and horses. These types of trails will invariably be open to dogs as well. You can expect to find good canine hikes in almost any national recreation area.


National Seashores and Lakeshores
Dogs are seldom allowed on trails at a national seashore but happily most (the southeastern national seashores are an exception) allow dogs on the beach year-round. National lakeshores are good bets for canine hikers as dogs are allowed on many trails in these parks along the Great Lakes.


National Historical Parks
These parks are hidden gems for canine hikers. There are few bans on dogs in national historical parks. In addition to learning a thing or two about American history, these parks often feature interesting hiking: the rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania in Valley Forge Historical Park, the mountains of Harpers Ferry Historical Park, the wild Potomac River of the Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park to name a few.

Article written by:
Doug Gelbert, publisher, A BARK IN THE PARK SERIES; Author - THE CANINE HIKERS BIBLE - check the website! Cruden Bay Books, P.O. Box 467, Montchanin DE 19710
Email: crubay@earthlink.net
www.hikewithyourdog.com



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