Dog-Friendly Hikes in the DC Area

Our nation’s capitol has no shortage of awesome hikes that are perfect to explore with your pooch. Whether hiking through the backcountry in surrounding cities or exploring historic trails through the city, DC treats doggies as valuable members of the family. Washington DC’s rich history and monumental landmarks aren’t the only things that doggies love about the capitol. Read below for the top 10 hikes to take your dog on in DC. And don’t forget to stop by any of our stores or shop online for some pet accessories!

Rock Creek Park
With over 32 miles of trails at Rock Creek Park, you and your pooch have wonderful hiking opportunities ahead! Rock Creek Park is a fantastic place for a walk, run or bike ride with your furry friend. The beautiful green landscape and endless trails through the woods make this hike impossible not to love.

3545 Williamsburg Ln NW Washington, DC, US 20008
Hours: Open during daylight hours
Website

Capital Crescent Trail
The Capital Crescent Trail is a beautiful trail that runs along the picturesque Potomac River. Pooches and their owners love walking, running or hiking the wide, paved trail that runs from Bethesda to Georgetown. From bikers and hikers to stroller pushers and dog walkers, everyone is welcome to enjoy the beautiful views from the Capital Crescent Trail.

3500 K St NW Washington, DC 20007
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Website

Theodore Roosevelt Island
The Theodore Roosevelt Island Hike is a perfect get-away for people and their pups from the hustle and bustle of downtown Washington, DC. The trail is surrounded by forests, parks, and waterfront views. Whether in the mood to take a leisurely stroll, run or hike with your doggy, Theodore Roosevelt Island is a great place to spend time with your pooch, observing all kinds of wildlife such as ducks, fish, frogs, turtle, cranes and bugs!

George Washington Pkwy Arlington, VA 22216
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Website

Great Falls: Billy Goat Trail
If you’re looking for more than just a hike and want to embrace the true experience of mother nature, look no further than the Great Falls Billy Goat Trail. Not only will this hike push your body to the limits (especially your legs), but you’ll see some local residents on the trails too. From snakes to geese, be sure to keep a close eye on Fido during this beautiful hike.

Please note: Dogs are allowed on Trails B and C, but are not allowed on Trail A.

11710 Macarthur Blvd Potomac, MD 20854
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Website

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
If you’re seeking a light walk for you and your canine, Scott’s Run Nature preserve is an easy way to enjoy the beautiful color of the season with a little bit of exercise. Scott’s Run Waterfall is situated right along the hiking trail and it’s a great place for your pooch to have a blast! Your pup will love playing in the swimming holes, cooling off during the summer and playing with other dogs. The trail leads to the Potomac River, a rewarding view for you and your pup after the hike.

7400 Georgetown Pike McLean, VA 22102
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website

Washington & Old Dominion Regional Park
Deemed the skinniest park in Virginia, The Washington and Old Dominican Regional Park is also one of the longest parks, with 45 miles of paved trails and 32 miles of gravel trail for hiking with Fido. If you’re feeling adventurous, the paved trails are great for rollerblading! With beautiful scenery in the urban heartland of the countryside of Northern Virginia, it’s hard not to love this hiking trail.

S Four Mile Run Dr and S Shirlington Rd Arlington, VA 22206
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website

Winkler Botanical Preserve
If you’re looking for a short but scenic hike with Fido, look no further than Winkler Botanical Preserve. The 1.4 mile loop is perfect for a morning stroll or an intense cardio workout! The property is complete with lush plants surrounding a small pond in the center of the park. The park also serves as a local resource for schools in the area to teach schoolchildren about ecology and the environment.

5400 Roanoke Ave Alexandria, VA 22311
Wesbite

Dyke Marsh
Dyke Marsh is a hidden gem located right near Washington DC The beautiful trail leads to a renovated boardwalk where you’ll see panoramic views of a beautiful bridge and the National Harbor. You and your pooch will love being surrounded by marsh and plenty of wildlife. Don’t be surprised to see a few beaver dams, ducks, migratory birds and bald eagles! Dyke Marsh is one of the most peaceful places you can be with your pup!

Boat Launch Rd Alexandria, VA 22307
Hours: Open year-round from 6 am to 10 pm.
Website

Kingman and Heritage Islands Park
Kingman and Heritage Islands Park is a long, narrow island in the Anacostia River. The park is complete with trails, trees and a diversity of birds and bugs. Locals, visitors and furry friends enjoy the bluegrass festival which is held here each year.

575 Oklahoma Ave NE (at N Benning Rd) Washington, DC 20002
Summer Hours: (April through October) Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*, Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*
Winter Hours (November through March) Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – Dusk*, Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM – Dusk*
Website

Mount Vernon Trail
The Mount Vernon Trail is a multi-use trail that’s a great place to walk Fido in Washington DC! The trail is a truly unique way for you and your pup to see parts of DC/Alexandria/and Mount Vernon from a different vantage point. There are plenty of places to stop and stare at the beautiful scenery, including Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. The trail itself is very well maintained which makes it an easier hike for you and your pup.

The Mount Vernon Trail parallels the parkway between Theodore Roosevelt Island and Mount Vernon.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Website


 

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 12.16.02 PMNeed a new leash and collar before you take your pooch on that hike? Our Wolfgang selection features some of the coolest-looking designs we’ve seen. AND, all leash and collars are on sale at all our stores and online, click here to shop!


Source: Dogvacay.com

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Best Skiing/Snowboarding Locations around DC

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It’s not too late to hit the slopes! Washingtonian has compiled a list of the best places to ski and snowboard around the DMV area. Need some new gear? Stop by our stores and shop our Winter Clearance (20% OFF ski accessories, goggles, helmets and socks!). Not only will you get quality gear, but our expert Outfitters will be more than happy to give you advice and tips for your getaway. They are as enthusiastic as you to get some runs in before the season ends!

Best Overall Ski Resort: Snowshoe Mountain Resort

With 57 trails, Snowshoe is not only the largest ski resort in the region; it also has the highest vertical drop (1,500 feet) and the most natural snow (an average of 180 inches annually), although all 251 acres are covered by snow-making if necessary. Four terrain parks and an Olympic-size Superpipe make the West Virginia retreat a top pick for snowboarders and freestyle skiers, too. An abundance of blue runs on the main face and in the Silver Creek area make Snowshoe a great choice for intermediate skiers as well. Lodging ranges from inexpensive, comfortable hotels in the valley to slope-side condos. The mountaintop village also includes an array of shops and restaurants as well as swimming pools and a 15,000-square-foot arcade. 877-441-4386; snowshoemtn.com.

Best for Families: Wisp Resort

Adjacent to Deep Creek Lake, Wisp—Maryland’s only ski resort—is ideal for families, with plenty of discounted ski-and-stay packages. Thirty percent of the terrain is rated easy, so children and other beginners will have a fine time. Off-slope family fun includes snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and riding the Mountain Coaster—whose cars zoom along 3,500 feet of downhill steel track snaking through the woods. 301-387-4000;wispresort.com.

Most Romantic: Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen offers a mountaintop spa with outdoor hot tubs as well as nicely appointed condos along a ridgeline facing east over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Virginia wine country. Couples can ski, get a massage, snuggle in front of their fireplace, and wake to a spectacular sunrise. 434-325-2200; wintergreenresort.com.

Best for Expert Skiers: Blue Knob

There’s nothing fancy about Blue Knob, in Claysburg, Pennsylvania. It’s a skier’s mountain, with five beginner slopes, 15 intermediate, and a whopping 14 expert runs on the steepest terrain in the region, including the Extrovert and the Lower Shortway, two of the toughest slopes in the Mid-Atlantic. The resort also features expert glade skiing through the trees, tight chutes, and an open bowl area. 800-458-3403; blueknob.com.

Best Ski School: Seven Springs

There’s a learning program for everyone at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania. Amost all instructors are certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America or the American Association of Snowboard Instructors. Group lessons are limited to eight students and based on skill level. The resort also offers private lessons, the Burton Snowboards Learn to Ride program, a Tiny Tots School, a Youth Academy, telemark skiing classes, and a 55-plus program for older skiers of intermediate ability who wish to take it to the next level. After a lesson, you can enjoy the best nightlife of any regional resort, including live music on weekends, bowling, swimming, roller-skating, and indoor mini-golf. 800-452-2223; 7springs.com.

Best Night Skiing: Liberty Mountain Resort

Only an hour and a half’s drive north of DC, Liberty in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, is the most convenient resort for Washingtonians. All 16 trails are well lit for night skiing: You can leave work at 4 and be on the slopes for the 5-to-10-pm ticket. Want a bite to eat? McKee’s Tavern serves great burgers, sandwiches, and a variety of beers on tap and in bottles. 717-642-8282; libertymountainresort.com.

Massanutten Resort (bottom left) thrills those seeking snowtubing. Photograph courtesy of the resort.

Best Day Trip: Whitetail Resort

Also 90 minutes from DC, Whitetail in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, is a lot bigger than Liberty. There are 22 trails (six more than at Liberty) and 935 feet of vertical drop (compared with Liberty’s 620). All of the slopes are wide open, and the east-facing mountain helps keep the snow from turning to ice. There are two terrain parks, a halfpipe, and the area’s best mogul run. The bumps on the Bold Decision expert slope are big and relentless but generally soft. Don’t miss the beginner Sidewinder Trail, where the pitch is constant from top to bottom. 717-328-9400; skiwhitetail.com.

Least Crowded: Montage Mountain

Right off of Interstate 81 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Montage—formerly Sno Mountain—is an easy drive, at less than four hours from DC, but never overrun. Even on holiday weekends, lift lines are usually short to nonexistent. The mountain offers 26 trails with a 1,000-foot vertical drop, and all are lit for night skiing. For a fun getaway, head to Montage for a Saturday-afternoon/evening ticket, book a cheap hotel room near the interstate in Scranton that night, then on Sunday continue about 50 minutes north to ski Elk Mountain (elkskier.com), a bit of Vermont in Pennsylvania. 855-754-7946; montageisback.com.

Best Bargain: Canaan Valley

A high-season, adult weekend lift ticket at Canaan Valley in Davis, West Virginia, is only $52—compared with $62 and up at most other regional resorts. That’s just the start of the bargains: A weekend pass runs $85, and a midweek lodging/ski/breakfast package is $84 per person per night (based on double occupancy). If you crave more than Canaan’s 43 trails—and don’t mind spending more money—visit adjacent Timberline Resort (timberlineresort.com), home of the two-mile Salamander Trail, the longest run in the Mid-Atlantic. 304-866-4121; canaanresort.com.

Best Adaptive Skiing: Wintergreen Resort

Founded in 1984, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, which works with the Wounded Warrior Project, brings skiing and snowboarding to the physically and mentally challenged. Each skier is provided with customized equipment, such as a sit-down ski sled, and specialized assistance from some 100 volunteer instructors. 434-325-2007; wintergreenresort.com.

Best Snow Tubing: Massanutten Resort

The 900-foot-long, 125-foot-high tubing hill at Massanutten in Harrisonburg, Virginia, thrills riders with three whoop-de-doo jumps, high-walled individual lanes, and one magic-carpet lift that makes it an easy trip back up for multiple runs on a two-hour lift ticket. 540-289-4954; massresort.com.

This article appears in the January 2014 issue of Washingtonian.