Hiking With Your Dog In And Around Rockville, MD
Our Top Picks for Dog Parks Around Rockville
The summer months and the early fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. In and around Rockville, MD, there are terrific hiking paths and parks to explore, many which are dog-friendly and welcoming to both two and four-legged visitors.
While some locations are a bit of a drive, they also give the family and the pets a completely different outdoor experience. They are also a terrific way to see different parts of the state without having to plan overnight trips and add in the expense of a hotel.
Located in Bethesda, MD, just a short 20-minute drive from Rockville, is Cabin John Dog Park. Located in a forest, the fenced in dog area is a great place for dogs and people to meet new friends and socialize.
There is also a park around the dog park, with trails designed as both natural surface and hard surface. Dogs can be walked on a leash in the shared use areas of the trails. In all, the loop trail is 14.3 miles, and there are other trails to explore as well. Not all areas of the park permit dogs, so it will be important to know where you can and cannot bring your pet.
Go to the Seashore
Just outside of Berlin, MD, about a three-hour drive from Rockville, dogs will love to visit the Assateague National Seashore. This is a dog-friendly beach, but dogs cannot be on the nature trails that go from the beach area into the surrounding forested areas. This is to protect wildlife and also to prevent the wild animals from moving out of the area due to the presence of dogs.
On the beach, dogs will need to be on a leash which cannot extend more than six feet from the handler. With great picnic areas, a significant beach area and even the famous wild horses of the island, this is a great place to visit. It is important to stay on the Maryland side of the beach and the Island as dogs, even in vehicles, are not permitted on the Virginia side.
A thirty-minute drive from Rockville to Columbia is all it takes to see some amazing scenery and hike some very well-maintained trails. This is a part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy project to turn old, unused railway lines into trails that stretch across the country.
The Patuxent Branch trail offers asphalt, crushed stone and concrete surfaces, with dogs able to walk off to the side. These trails are also used by equestrians, cyclists, joggers, and walkers, so dogs will need to be on a leash. In the winter, the trails are used for cross-country skiing.
The trail is only 4.6 miles, so it is an easy walk. The two endpoints to the trail are Savage Park and Lake Elkhorn, and there is lots of parking available at the trailheads for visitors.
Running along Wootton Parkway in Rockwall, the Carl Henn Millennium Trail is a great place to hike with your dog. This is an urban hike, with the entire trail offering 10.5 miles of relatively flat walking. Dogs, of course, must be on a leash. The main path is relatively flat, but you can head off the trail into the hillier areas for more of a challenge.
In some locations on the trail, the traffic is very close to the paved trail, and there are intersections to cross. However, you can plan a hike and avoid these areas if you prefer.