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10 Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in Upstate NY You Can Visit In 2024

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

blue merle shetland sheepdog at the park

Are you looking for a way to bond with your dog while enjoying the beauty of Upstate New York? Hiking with your dog can be an awesome way to enjoy nature while getting some great exercise as well. Not only will you get a chance to explore the great outdoors, but you’ll also get to spend quality time with your best friend. So, let’s take a look at some of the best hiking trails located in the area!

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The 10 Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in Upstate New York

1. Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area

🗺️ Address: 📍 46 Timber Lane, Lake Placid, NY 12946
🕐 Open Times: 24/7
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • The Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Area is a must-see destination for hiking enthusiasts.
  • With over 46 high peaks, there are plenty of trails to choose from.
  • The trails are well-maintained and offer breathtaking views of the Adirondack Mountains.

2. Catskill Mountains

🗺️ Address: 📍 Catskill Mountains Shandaken, NY 12464
🕐 Open Times: 24/7
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • The Catskill Mountains offer some of the best hiking trails in Upstate NY.
  • With over 700,000 acres of public land, there are plenty of trails to explore.
  • Dogs are allowed on most of the trails but must be leashed.
  • The trails range from easy strolls to challenging climbs, so there’s something for every level of hiker.

3. Letchworth State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427
🕐 Open Times: 6 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Letchworth State Park is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and is a popular destination for hikers.
  • The park offers over 60 miles of hiking trails, with stunning waterfalls, gorges, and scenic overlooks.
  • Dogs are allowed on the trails but must be leashed.
  • Make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your furry companion, as there are limited water sources available.

4. Finger Lakes Trail

🗺️ Address: 📍 6111 Visitor Center Rd, Mt Morris, NY 14510
🕐 Open Times: 24/7
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Not in all areas
  • The Finger Lakes Trail is a 585-mile hiking trail that stretches from the Catskill Mountains to the Allegheny Mountains.
  • It may be difficult to complete the entire trail, but there are plenty of sections that are dog-friendly and offer stunning scenery.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.
  • Be sure to bring poop bags and water.

5. Hudson Highlands State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 3260 NY-9D, Cold Spring, NY 10516
🕐 Open Times: 24/7
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, in some areas
  • Hudson Highlands State Park is located just an hour north of New York City.
  • Offers some of the best hiking trails in the region.
  • The park offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains.
  • Owners should bring plenty of water, as there are limited water sources available.

6. Sterling Nature Center

🗺️ Address: 📍 15730 Jensvold Rd, Sterling, NY 13156
🕐 Open Times: 8 am to 9 pm Mon-Sat
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: In some areas
  • Sterling Nature Center is a hidden gem in Upstate NY, with over 1400 acres of wetlands, forests, and meadows.
  • The park offers over 10 miles of hiking trails, with stunning views of Lake Ontario.
  • There aren’t many water areas and restrooms once you get on the trail so be sure to bring supplies.

7. Watkins Glen State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
🕐 Open Times: 24/7
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, in some areas
  • Watkins Glen State Park is a popular destination for hikers, with over 19 waterfalls and stunning rock formations.
  • The park offers over 3 miles of hiking trails, with options for both easy strolls and challenging climbs.
  • This family park is a great place to relax and let your dog roam leash-free.

8. Tinker Falls

🗺️ Address: 📍 Tinker Falls Trail, Tully, NY 13159
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to sunset
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Tinker Falls is a short but rewarding hike in the Tully Valley State Forest.
  • The trail is only 0.6 miles long but offers stunning views of the 50-foot waterfall.
  • Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be leashed.
  • Make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your furry companion–the trail can be challenging.

9. Hook Mountain State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 N Rte 9W, Nyack, NY 10960
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to sunset
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Hook Mountain State Park is located just 30 miles north of New York City and offers some of the best hiking trails in the region.
  • Parking can be tight on the weekend so getting there early in the morning is helpful.
  • The park offers stunning views of the Hudson River and the surrounding mountains.

10. Clark Reservation State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 6105 E Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY
🕐 Open Times: 24/7
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, in some areas
  • Clark Reservation State Park is a unique geological wonder, with towering cliffs and deep lakes.
  • The park offers over 5 miles of hiking trails, with options for both easy strolls and challenging climbs.
  • Some of the trails are easier than others, so be sure to be ready for a workout.

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Tips for Hiking Safely With Dogs

Be sure to prepare your dog for its hike, especially if it’s you or your dog’s first time hiking or out on the trail. Here are some tips for making sure that you ensure your dog’s safety and that of your and other hikers.

Teach Basic Obedience

Hiking with your furry friend can be an exciting time, make sure that your dog is properly prepared for the trails ahead. So before hitting the hiking trail, do some training with your dog to ensure that they have the basic obedience skills necessary to stay safe on the trail. This includes teaching your dog to come when called, walk on a leash without pulling, and stay focused on you rather than getting distracted by other animals or scents.

Ensure Your Dog’s Health

In addition to training, it’s also important to make sure that your dog is physically prepared for the hike. This means gradually increasing the length and intensity of your walks in the weeks leading up to the hike to build up their endurance. You should also make sure that your dog is up to date on all of their vaccinations and flea and tick prevention before hitting the trails.

Pack the Essentials

When it comes to packing for your hike, don’t forget to pack plenty of water and snacks for your dog. It’s also important to bring a first-aid kit in case of any injuries or accidents on the trail. Additionally, you should make sure that your dog is wearing a sturdy collar with identification tags that include your contact information in case they get lost on the trail.

During the hike, it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog and make sure that they are not getting too tired or overheated. Take frequent breaks and offer your dog plenty of water to keep them hydrated. You should also be aware of any potential hazards on the trail, such as steep drops or sharp rocks, and keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from wandering off.

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Conclusion

Hiking with your dog can provide numerous physical and mental benefits for both you and your pup. Upstate NY offers some of the best hiking trails in the region, with stunning scenery and options for every level of hiker. Just remember to follow the trail regulations, bring plenty of water and essential supplies, and keep your furry companion leashed in any areas where there are signs to do so. We hope you enjoy hitting the trail with your furry friend!


Featured Image Credit: arturs.stiebrins, Shutterstock

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