Take A Hike Day is celebrating each year on November 17th and today is a great day for being outside with your four-legged friends! Because it’s mid-November in the Pacific Northwest, it will be a bit cold this weekend but with proper layering, hikes this weekend should still be fun! Plus, there are so many dog-friendly hikes you can go on, including a few that you can do last minute!

Before you head out on a fun adventure, it’s important to spend some time preparing. For one, it’s good to know where your dogs can and cannot go and where they can be off leash. Some trails and parks don’t allow dogs to help protect the wilderness while other places are designated off-leash spots! Those distinctions are important to know for your dog’s safety and for the safety of others. Plus, some hikes might not be a good terrain for some dogs and it’s always good to know what your dog can do in a hike. Too far a hike can be dangerous or exhausting for some dogs!

It’s also good to have some provisions either in a bag you carry or if it’s a shorter hike, in your car. Water for both you and your dog, a water bowl, treats, poop bags, and a first aid kit are all good things to start with! Poop bags should definitely be carried at all times and make sure to scoop the poop and carry it out! It’s never fun to step in dog poop and carrying it out helps to protect the environment.

There are so many places you can go to with your dogs. Lake Padden in Bellingham, WA has a plethora of trails in its system and there’s even a section of its hiking trails that are designated off leash! In May of 2017, Jessica Rhea wrote about 5 easy dog-friendly hikes in Washington where you can see waterfalls on her blog, You Do What With Your Weiner?. If you’re not much of a hiker, Franklin Falls in Snoqualmie Pass is an easy 2-mile roundtrip hike with minimal elevation but maximum views!

If you’re just starting your journey into hiking, there are some really great resources all around the internet and the Pacific Northwest. BringFido and the Washington Trail Association are both great resources for trails that are dog-friendly and for guides on hiking with dogs. On the Washington Trail Association website, you’re also able to search for trails based on different criteria, like if the trails are dog or kid-friendly and what kind of terrain they are.

Are you going on a hike with your dog this weekend? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear all your adventures!

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