Charlottesville is one of the best places in America to share life with your dog. There are lots of dog-friendly activities, trails and dog parks everywhere you look! There is always somewhere new for you and Fido to explore. Whether you prefer a city walk with your dachshund or a trail run with your outward bound hound, Charlottesville offers a trail for you to enjoy.
If you prefer to stay within the city limits, the Rivanna Trail, beginning in Riverview Park, is a popular choice. Enjoy the beauty of the Rivanna River following this picturesque trail that winds through Charlottesville. Dogs are allowed off-leash in designated parts of the trail on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If you are going to let your dog off-leash, remember to keep him under control at all times – he should not be allowed to approach other walkers or dogs without permission.
You can hike near the river at Pen Park as well. Take your dog for a short walk on the paved fitness trail, or choose a longer hike beside the river on the nature walk. The trail is near Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall, where you can enjoy pet-friendly outdoor seating to drink a smoothie or snack on a sandwich after your walk. (Check out our pet-friendly Charlottesville restaurant suggestions!)
Greenbrier Park is another lovely park located near downtown Charlottesville. This beautiful park in the Greenbrier neighborhood includes trails alongside Meadow Creek. These trails share a portion of the Rivanna Trail that allows you to visit nearby McIntire Park.
For off-leash fun, make a stop at Azalea Park. The park provides scenic trails, paved pathways, and a 1-acre dog park. Darden Towe Park, near the downtown area, offers nearly 4 miles of trails and includes a 1-acre dog park. Chris Greene Park also features several hiking trails, in addition to a lakeside dog park where your swimmer can get his feet wet.
For the avid hiker or runner, Preddy Creek Park in Northern Albemarle is a beautiful park with ten miles of trails that wind through the forest and along Preddy Creek. This wilderness area is perfect for a long run through the woods and a splash in the creek or a short loop in the Meadows.
For those seeking adventure and new horizons, Shenandoah National Park provides endless opportunities. Hike with your best friend on part of the Appalachian Trail, or make your way to a stunning mountain view or charming waterfall. Always make sure that trails allow dogs before hiking, and keep watch for wildlife to protect you and your pet.
Charlottesville includes so many places to enjoy a walk with your dog! Try something new and enjoy our beautiful city with your best friend.