dog friendly hiking trails in new york

10 Best Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in New York

Written By: Michelina Da Fonte

“Walk” may be their all-time favorite word, but once your pup learns “hike” everything else will pale in comparison. A long walk paired with an adventure (aka hiking) is the stuff doggy dreams are made of. 

Hiking in nature has countless physical and emotional well-being benefits for us humans, but bringing your best four-legged friend along with you for the adventure amplifies the experience even more as they benefit from it too. From exercise to mental stimulation to bonding, your furry companion will be healthier and happier with each hike you take together. 

Tips for Hiking with Your Dog Safely

While having fun with your furry friend and exploring is the goal, keeping you and your dog safe on the trails must be a top priority too. To do so, it’s important to be prepared for all instances. Consider the temperature, the weather, the difficulty of the trail, and unforeseen circumstances and emergencies. Hydration is of utmost importance so fresh water and a water bowl are a must. A leash and harness should also be with you at all times, even while on off-leash trails. If the hike is a long one, consider bringing food for your pet, a collapsible food bowl, and perhaps, healthy treats to keep their energy up. Dog boots and coats should be considered for colder weather or rough trails and reflective gear is important for night hiking. It’s always smart to keep a first aid kit, cleansing wipes, pet-safe bug and tick spray, and dog waste bags with you too. 

best dog friendly hikes in ny

New York's top dog friendly hiking trails

New York State is prime for dog-friendly trails. With four full seasons, diverse landscapes, and plentiful habitats, your pup can enjoy on and off-leash hiking experiences through forests, mountains, beaches, wetlands, ruins, and more. Discover the pawfect blend of adventure and bonding on New York’s top dog friendly hiking trails!

dog friendly hikes in ny ashokan rail trail

Chief Barketing Officer Pamplemousse boldly going where many pups have gone before on the Ashokan Rail Trail

1. Ashokan Rail Trail, Ulster County

Located less than two hours north of the George Washington Bridge in Catskill Park, this 11.5-mile recreational trail runs along Ashokan Reservoir between West Hurley and Boiceville in Ulster County. The trail itself is wide and surfaced with highly compacted fine crushed stone making for an easy walk. Open from sunrise to sunset, year-round, you and your best friend can enjoy views of the Ashokan Reservoir. Conveniently, there are dog waste stations with bags and containers for disposal to make cleaning up after your dog a breeze. Pups must be leashed on this dog friendly trail at all times. 

dog friendly hikes nyc Central Park

Meet beautiful Ellie, one of the many pawsome rescues you will see in Central Park!

2. Central Park, Manhattan

In the heart of Manhattan sits one of New York’s best treasures: Central Park. Throughout its 843 acres, there are 23 dog friendly areas scattered through the park with both on and off-leash spots and dedicated hours (off-leash hours include 6 to 9 a.m. and again from 9 p.m. until 1 am.) One of our favorite year-round walking trails is Bridle Path. The 4.2-mile path, which kicks off near Columbus Circle, stretches nearly the entire length of the park and includes loops around the North Meadow and the Reservoir. Dogs must be leashed at all times on the Bridle Path, even during off-leash hours. Throughout the park, there are also 29 dog fountains to keep your furry companion hydrated during your outing. Throughout Central Park, dogs are not allowed to chase wildlife, and pet owners must clean up after their pooch.

dog friendly bear mountain hiking new york

Pawsome photo courtesy of @zeus_york_city

3. Bear Mountain State Park, Rockland County

An hour north of NYC, set in the mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River in Rockland County, Bear Mountain State Park features a plethora of hiking trails for you and your leashed four-legged friend. Choose from a leisurely 1-mile hike down Bear Mountain Dock for views of the Hudson River and Iona Island, or for the more avid hiking pup (and human!), opt for the challenging 6.5-mile loop around Popolopen Gorge and Queensboro Lake where you’ll experience diverse terrain and stunning scenery. It’s important to note that many of the trails in Bear Mountain State Park are challenging and the terrain can be steep and rugged at times.

dog friendly hikes new york inlet pond

Follow this gorgeous pup @hammer_thebullypit

4. Inlet Pond County Park, Suffolk County

On the North Fork, in Eastern Long Island’s Wine Country, sits this diverse 1.5-mile hiking trail that’s dog friendly and approachable with flat land that’s well-marked. Near the dog friendly village of  Greenport, this hike offers woodlands, a mature oak forest, open areas of shrubs and vines, views of freshwater Inlet Pond, a Bluff Overlook of the Long Island Sound, and best of all, a stretch of sandy beach for your pup to frolic and play. Dogs must be leashed at all times, even along the beach, and pet owners are required to bring their own waste bags to properly clean up after their dogs. 

dog friendly hikes ny giant ledge

Photo courtesy of @heyitsme.meganp

5. Giant Ledge (and Panther Mountain), Ulster County

If it’s views you and your furbaby are after, this trail is for you! Located in Phoenicia, nearly three hours from NYC, this dog friendly hiking trail features a series of five rock ledges with breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains. If you and your leashed pup hike to all five ledges it’s a 4-mile round trip (this is an out-and-back trail, not a loop). And if that’s not enough, continue hiking north on Panther Mountain — one of the Catskill 3500’ summits — about 2 miles each way to the summit from the first ledge. Use caution while walking near the ledges, especially with your pet as there are no guardrails.

dog friendly hiking storm king new york

Photo courtesy of @nekothedognamedcat

6. Storm King State Park, Orange County

For the best views of the Hudson Valley and challenging yet fulfilling hikes, head to Storm King State Park in Cornwall-on-Hudson, a quick 1.5 hours north of NYC. This state park offers 10 sections of hiking trails across undisturbed land for you and your leashed pup to explore. The 3.6-mile Storm King Mountain Loop is a top pick which combines three of the 10 trails and makes for a moderately challenging but not overly difficult hike for you and your furry companion. It’s important to note that the hike begins through a rocky area which is an attractive area for rattlesnakes during warm weather, so it’s imperative that dogs are kept on a leash and looked after closely, especially through this segment of the trail.

dog friendly hiking trails kaaterskill falls

Chief Barketing Officer, Pamplemousse debating her hoomins’ sense of direction

7. Kaaterskill Falls, Greene County

A hike that features a two-tiered waterfall? We’re certainly wagging our tails for that! Set in the Northern Catskills, this popular hiking destination has recently undergone renovations of signage, parking (which is now at the Laurel House Road lot), and access routes setting the stage for a safer and more enjoyable journey. At about 1.6 miles, this trail includes 400 feet of elevation including 181 steps to the bottom of the falls, in addition to natural terrain. The steps can be dangerously slippery from the waterfalls so take precautions for you and your pup. Although you might be tempted to hike to the falls during summer, it’s actually the other three seasons that provide the best views with the most water flow. To keep your dog safe, they must be leashed at all times.

dog friendly hiking trails new york sands point

Furbulous photo courtesy of @lupoaussie

8. Sands Point Preserve, Nassau County

For the Gatsby-obsessed, Sands Point Preserve is where you’ll want to visit with your dog in tow. Located on the North Shore of Long Island less than an hour from NYC, this preserve on the original Guggenheim Estate embodies the grandeur that defines the Gold Coast period of the early 20th century. The 216-acre park offers natural and landscaped areas to explore with your leashed pet with multiple loop trails all of which are dog friendly, easy to navigate, and well marked. In addition to the walking trails, dogs are invited to enjoy the dog run aka Charlie’s Run with two large spaces for dogs to run and socialize. The preserve is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to this preserve costs $15 per car.

dog friendly hikes ny Cornish Estate Trail

9. Cornish Estate Trail, Putnam County

Just outside of Cold Spring, about an hour north of NYC, sits an old estate with beautiful ruins set throughout its hiking trails, and Hudson River and Valley views. This very dog friendly gem features a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail or a 4.9-mile loop, both of which are open year-round, and include ruins, and well-maintained flat/moderate terrain including wooded and rocky areas, bridges, and walking paths. Dogs must be leashed at all times and pet owners are responsible for cleaning up any waste their pets leave behind.  

dog friendly trails mohonk mountain preserve

10. Mohonk Mountain Preserve, Ulster County

With five main trailheads featuring both loop-style trails and out-and-back trails with varying degrees of difficulty, boulder climbing, rock climbing, carriage roads, and more, this preserve, located in New Paltz (just over two hours from NYC), is a must-visit destination. It is the largest member and visitor-supported nature preserve in New York State. The preserve is dog friendly with options to bring your leashed pet on the trails and the carriage roads. Dogs must be under the owner’s control at all times and are not allowed to take a dip in the ponds or streams. Trailheads at this preserve are open daily from sunrise to sunset with the visitor center open daily, year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to hike this preserve costs $15 per person per day.

With so many snifftastic trails to explore, every day can be a new adventure with your four-legged pal in the Empire State!

Tails and Trails: Share Your New York State Dog Friendly Hiking Experiences

Have you and your pooch hit the NY hiking trails? Tag #jetsetpets on Instagram for a chance to be featured! We can’t wait to see your tail-wagging-times.

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