7 Top Dog-Friendly Hikes near Philadelphia

This is a guest post from Lauren Stites of Where the Wild Kids Wander

We love Philadelphia! Thanks to the two major rivers and multiple parks, there are plenty of fun places to walk your dog.

But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, these dog-friendly hikes in and near Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, are perfect for you and your four-legged friend.

Most of the hikes listed below are 45 minutes or less from Philadelphia (some are even in the city!), and all but one require your dog to be leashed.

#1 Wissahickon Valley Park

Distance: Up to 8 miles, depending on the trail
Difficulty: Moderate with steep sections and rocks
On-leash the entire length

Wissahickon Valley Park is one of the best places to hike in Philadelphia. With multiple trails ranging from easy to moderate, it’s a fun place to take the pup for a morning or afternoon hike.

We love the Orange Trail that follows Wissahickon Creek. It’s a moderate trail that features multiple elevation changes. There are also many rocks and roots along the trail.

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Wissahickon Valley Park

But it’s the perfect trail if your dog enjoys splashing around in the water. You can access the Wissahickon Creek from multiple points along the trail. Your dog may even enjoy a swim in the Devil’s Pool. about mid-way through the trail. 

This is a popular place for dog owners, so you’re bound to meet some other four-legged friends along the way. Although the park requires dogs to be leashed, many owners will let their pups roam freely, so keep that in mind when planning your hike.

#2 Trolley Trail in West Fairmount Park

Distance: 4 mile loop
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
On-leash the entire length

Another fun place to hike with dogs in Philadelphia is the Trolley Trail in West Fairmount Park. This 4-mile loop has recently been refreshed with new signage along the trail.

You can grab the trail at either end of Chamounix Drive and follow it through the woods. Some steep sections are along the trail, but the majority is relatively flat, with some roots and rocks to navigate.

The loop features infrastructure of the now-gone Fairmount Park Transit Company. One of the notable features on the trail is the Skew Arch Bridge that is made of 15 skewed brick arches. Other fun features are the footbridge over the trolley’s trench and the Car Barn.

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Trolley Trail

Since the park is located right in the city’s heart, there are traffic sounds. This is a shared-use trail so that you might encounter mountain bikers and horses during your hike.

#3 Rolling Hill Park in Gladwyne, PA

Distance: Up to 2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Off-leash on certain trails

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly hike near Philadelphia, where your pup can be off-leash, you’ll want to check out Rolling Hill Park in Gladwyne. There are multiple trails inside the park where dogs can run around off their leash. Keep in mind that you’ll have to apply for an off-leash dog permit to use the off-leash trails.

The trails that allow off-leash dogs are well-marked. However, you can bring your dog on every trail if leashed. We recommend hiking down to Mill Creek to check out some of the ruins along the trail.

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Rolling Hill Park

Off-leash activity is only permitted at certain times, from sunrise to 9:30 am and 3:30 pm to 6 pm daily. They also have a fenced dog park on-site.

#4 Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA

Distance: Multiple trails up to 25 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
On-leash the entire length

Tyler State Park is one of the best state parks near Philadelphia for hiking with dogs. There are several trails ranging from paved and easy to moderate. Plus, dogs will love splashing around in the Neshaminy Creek to cool down.

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Tyler State Park

The best trail for your pup is the Nature Trail. This 2-mile loop takes you along a Neshaminy Creek tributary with some steep sections and rocks to navigate. You may encounter horses on the second half of the trail.

You’ll encounter many dogs along your hikes and walks through the park, as this is one of the most popular places to hike with dogs near Philly.

#5 Ridley Creek State Park in Media, PA

Distance: Multiple trails up to 13 miles
Difficulty: Moderate with steep sections and rocks
On-leash the entire length

Ridley Creek State Park is another state park near Philadelphia that is popular with dog owners. Several trails within the park intersect, so you can make your hike as long or short as you’d like.

The trails in Ridley Creek are steep in sections, with some rocks and roots to navigate. But there are plenty of sniff spots for your pup!

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Ridley Creek State Park

Our favorite trail is the Blue Trail, which leads to some ruins from the old farms that used to be on the property. However, your dog may prefer the Orange Trail to get close to the water and splash around.

You may encounter other dogs along the trails, but fewer than other hikes nearby.

#6 Valley Forge National Historical Park

Distance: The Mount Misery/Valley Creek loop is 3 miles|
Difficulty: Moderate with steep sections
On-leash the entire length

Another fun place to hike with your dog near Philadelphia is at Valley Forge National Historical Park. There are a few different hiking trails, but we love the Mount Misery/ Valley Creek trail loop.

Mount Misery Trail is very steep and connects to the Horseshoe Trail. That will lead to some ruins that are fun to explore. After you reach the ruins, continue down the mountain to the Valley Creek Trail. You’ll find an open area along the creek perfect for splashing around and having a few treats there.

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Valley Forge

The remaining part of Valley Creek is relatively flat and easy, which is a nice reprieve from the steepness of Mount Misery.

#7 Sourland Mountain Preserve

Distance: Multiple trails ranging from 1.4- 5.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
On-leash the entire length

Although Sourland Mountain Preserve is a bit of a drive from Philadelphia, it’s still worth visiting for a dog-friendly hike. The preserve has multiple trails you can combine ranging from 1.4 to 5.4 miles. Some of the trails are rocky and steep with occasional foot bridges and boulders to walk around and over.

Dog Friendly Hikes Near Philadelphia - Sourland Mountain Preserve

Our favorite trail is the Yellow Trail, which leads to Devil’s Half-Acre Boulders. Dogs who love climbing up and over rocks will really enjoy themselves on this hike.

This place is popular with dog owners, so you’ll encounter many along the trails.

About the Author

Lauren Stites

Lauren is the visionary behind Where the Wild Kids Wander. She is a travel enthusiast who lives outside of Philadelphia.

For more than a decade, she’s been hitting the road, exploring the nooks and crannies of the United States alongside her family. Her passions include visiting big cities and small towns and trekking through nature’s trails. She loves sharing those adventures with fellow travelers.

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