National Take A Hike Day – With Your Dog
At DogiZone, we love it when national days are something we can share with our four-legged friends. National Take A Hike Day is officially on November 17th, and this is a perfect time to get out in the great outdoors and spend some time getting exercise, lots of fresh air, and spending time with your family, friends, and your dog.
Hiking is a popular activity in the Rockville, Maryland area, especially in the autumn when the days are cooler and the leaves are changing color. There are some great trails to consider that are good for novice hikers or those with a lot of miles of experience.
To get started, here are a few popular pet-friendly trails and what you need to know before heading out:
- The Cabin John Trail – this is a great hike for those looking for a shorter walk. It is just about 3 miles and loops around in a full circle and is mostly level terrain with a slight incline. There are some cyclists on the trail, but it is a dog-friendly place to go.
- Civic Center Croyden Creek Loop – this is shorter at about 2.33 miles. It is considered moderately difficult as there is a gain of just over 250 ft in elevation along the trail. There are some parts where the trail is not as well maintained, but it is easy to follow.
- Rock Creek Trail Southern Route – this is more of an urban hike, and you will cross the creek twice and also cross a few streets. It is about 3.7 miles long and is well marked and is generally considered a good hike for families.
- Black Hill Regional Park – there are several different trails to hike in this park, including around Little Seneca Lake. It is a bit out of the way and doesn’t get as much traffic, so it is perfect for seeing wildlife and birds.
- The Billy Goat Trail is actually three sections, with different levels of challenge. Hikers wanting to bring their dogs will need to stay on Section C as dogs are not allowed on Section A, and Section B is currently closed.
What to Bring
In addition to packing clothing, water, and snacks for yourself, be sure to pack for your dog as well. Bottled water is recommended for your pet, and a collapsible water dish makes it easy to give your dog a drink. If you are going overnight, food is another requirement, and don’t forget a few treats.
In addition, be sure to have a basic pet first aid kit and any medication your dog may require. Hiking on the trail means keeping your dog on a leash or a harness. You may also want to bring booties if hiking over rough terrain and a glowing light for your dog’s collar if hiking at dusk or dawn. Finally, be sure to bring enough bags to pick up your dog’s waste. An extra bag to put the poop bags in is also handy until you find the proper place for disposal.