I love fall in Virginia. We have some of the most beautiful seasons and after a hot summer, I’m always ready for the cooler temps, changing leaves and the smell of fire pits and roasted marshmellows in the air. Fall is the perfect time to spend lots of time with your pup outside. We’ve had a hot August, and it’s been hard for the dogs to run around as much as they like to, so we’re all looking forward to more outdoor time. It’s also a great time to take them with you. As you know, Corey and I love to take our dogs with us in the RV to sightsee, and naturally, we don’t leave them inside when we head out for the day. We travel as a family! There is much to do and see in our area that allows dogs. Here are some of my favorite things to do with our pups.
Take a hike
Northern Virginia is rich with nature trails and hiking paths that run the gamut from easy to challenging. I like to take the dogs on hikes to places that wide paths that aren’t too rocky. (Imagine walking barefoot on those rocks yourself!) And while I love the idea of letting my dogs run wild off lead, I don’t suggest it, because of other dogs and wildlife. But let them sniff and make friends to their hearts content! Manassas National Battlefield Park has miles of trails that are great for dogs. Some are in the woods, but plenty are out in the fields. And there are always lots of dogs there so you never know who you’ll meet. There is great 7-mile nature walk in Haymarket called Leopold’s Preserve which is very animal friendly, and has lots of nature for you to take in as well. The Billy Goat trail at Great Falls Park is another fun hike with beautiful views of the Potomac River. These are some of our favorites. I’d love to hear where you like to hike with your dog.
Go apple or pumpkin picking
There are pumpkin patches in most every town and if you head out west a bit on Route 66, there are apple orchards galore. Most all are dog friendly. Why not take them with you while you gather your fall goodies? And, both apples and pumpkins make great treats for dogs – just make sure they don’t eat the seeds. These places make for awesome photo ops.
Dogs love to be outside. Camping is a lot of fun with them because they are in their element and you can go for hikes, take them on a rowboat or canoe, and explore places they haven’t yet been. Our pups love to sit and people watch, take naps under the awning of the camper or snuggle with me by the fire pit when we take them camping with us. I truly believe nature can help recharge your life and refresh your mind, body and spirit. One of our favorite places to take them is to Gettysburg. We love to hike the battlefields. We stay in a park surrounded by horses that you can take for guided trail rides through the park. We really feel at home mixed within all the livestock. We also love camping near the national parks, where there are always plenty of hiking opportunities. Parker’s last RV trip was to the Kinzua Bridge State Park in Pennsylvania. Kinzua Bridge was a railroad trestle that spanned Kinzua Creek. The bridge was 301 feet tall and 2,052 feet long. Most of its structure collapsed during a tornado in 2003. But, you can walk the tracks right up to the collapse. It was amazing and beautiful. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.
Wineries and Breweries
Virginia wineries have been a tourist (and local) staple for years now, and most all of them are dog friendly. But the new crop of breweries that keep popping up are also becoming dog hangouts. Many have outdoor spaces that are great for your pets to enjoy the weather and you on a beautiful fall day. Just be careful not to let your pup lick anything that might spill!
I hope you’re as excited as I am for fall. Who knows, maybe we’ll see each other out with our pups soon!