Hiking with Dogs

A place for hikers with dogs to share tips, experiences, favorite hikes, concerns.

Some general guidelines to keep in mind, suggested by a staffer at New Jersey DEP:

The general rule is pets are permitted within the outside day use areas of the parks/forests as long as they are held on a leash (maximum length - 6 feet) and you clean up after your pet.   Pets are not permitted in buildings, on swimming beaches or in swimming waters, all overnight facilities (with the exception of the pet friendly campsites), golf courses or botanical gardens.

In the Catskill Forest Preserve, dogs may be unleashed, except for in campgrounds, where they must be leashed.


Second_Cloud's picture

Thx a lot for the info Michael K7!

Me and my wife have been on overnight trips in the Harrimans a few times now (all when snow was still knee deep on the mountains) and have never come across any signs of bears, nor any signs ABOUT bears! Any inexperience hiker won't even know that they are in bear country and should be practicing bear precautions, or even what kind of precautions they are. Initially I thought maybe that's because there're no bears in Harriman-Bear region, now I realize there are bears. I just can't understand why there isn't a single warning sign about it.

I too have seen half consumed fruits and used tissues (assuming they were used to after food) discarded along the trial and once a half bag of chips in the shelter. You're abusolutely right about it's time to step up the effort to better inform and educate hikers/campers before bears in Harriman get bolder and begin to "enjoy" people's left-over, and god forbid, eventually people.

 I'm just really glad to know that bears in the park are still afraid of human and hope that our fellow humans are intelligent enough to know that we should keep it that way...

banjolady's picture

email me off list for further information re hiking w dogs in this area. i do it daily.   susan   [email protected]

pavery's picture

Hello. My husband and I are new to the trail conference, and while we've found the website to be really helpful, we'd like to start hiking/camping with our 2 dogs and don't see too much information about this on the site. Does anyone have any good suggestions for which trails/parks are best for car camping, or have any general hiking experiences/tips they wouldn't mind sharing? We'd love to hear what other members have experienced with their dogs out on the trail (i.e. whether any trails go through areas with lots of ticks, what kind of pet packs work best, etc.). Thanks!
Paul_A's picture

My wife and I have hiked and camped with our dog both in parks and on the Appalachian Trail. I think the longest we were ever out with our dog was about 5 days. We almost always had him on leash both for his own protection as well as for other hikers. A Flexi-lead works really well so that you can adjust it's length for conditions you encounter. Also, be willing to tailor the length and speed of your hike according to your dogs ability. I'm sure there's more, but that's what comes to mind now.
pavery's picture

Paul, thanks for sharing. Just curious - does your dog stay in the tent with you guys and do you ever use a crate?
Paul_A's picture

Our dog, a 70 pound shepherd, stays in our tent with us. He likes it there and we can take care of him more easily when we're all together.
joshbegosh's picture

I have a 3-year old shepherd as well, Buck, who loves to go hiking camping anywhere we go. he would also sleep in our tent too but he would always have to stick his nose out of the door when he slept. he did get sick once (that wasn't fun) but all we do now is give him some petmeds and he's fine for the rest of the trip.
Estelle's picture

Hi,  welcome to the Trail Conference.  Hopefully we are a good resource for you and dog.

Please check "Go Hiking" then Find a Park,  each area below tells you if dogs are permitted. I think you'll find dogs are okay nearly everywhere, as long as they are kept on leash.   Some NJ and NY parks allow camping, you can check those individually to be sure the dog is okay.     I'm sure others will answer you as to gear, etc.      We are finding ticks particularly bad this year, so be sure spray your dog and check after hikes, that goes for the humans too!

Trekker115's picture

Definitely - while we were hiking in Eagle Rock one day last summer, my mother got a bite from a Lyme-infected tick. So be liberal with the bug spray - I like to joke that my favorite summer eau de toilette is Deep Woods Off. :)
pavery's picture

Thanks, Estelle. We use once-a-month topicals on our dogs, but I think we'll take your advice and also bring some spray whenever we head out with our dogs.
sarah's picture

I love camping but I'm afraid my dogs might get hurt by a bear or snake. the spray is a great idea. Also I have pet health plan just in case something happens and I need to rush to the nearest vet.