Looking to take your furry best friend on an adventure in the Pittsburgh area? Read on for the best dog friendly hikes in Pittsburgh!
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.
Like every dog-obsessed millenial, I try to take my dog everywhere I can. My dog actually got me into hiking (read more in my About Me) so I love to take him on my outdoorsy adventures. One of the worst parts of living in California was how many trails don’t allow dogs. However, I’ve been surprised by how many parks and trails in Western Pennsylvania allow and even encourage dogs!
Keep reading for my list of favorite dog-friendly places hikes near Pittsburgh! (And at the bottom I have a list of trails that don’t allow dogs!)
Best Dog Friendly Hikes Near Pittsburgh
Frick is one of my all time favorite places to take my dog. I might be biased because I live super close to this park, but it’s got all sorts of options for hikers (and dogs) of all athletic abilities. Avoid the mountain bike trails
The only area dogs are allowed off leash in Frick is the Off Leash Exercise Area (OLEA) near Blue Slide Park. Rangers can fine park users whose dogs are off leash in areas that require dogs to be leashed.
North Park – Rachel Carson Trail
North Park is one of my favorite places near Pittsburgh to hike and a huge part of that is how great it is to hike with dogs there. I highly recommend taking your dog on the Rachel Carson Trail (RCT) sections there, as it’s easy to navigate due to being well maintained and well-marked.
Note: There are sections of the RCT that I would not bring your dog, depending on their athletic ability. My dog did the entire RCT with me last year, but he is able to handle stream crossings and extremely steep inclines and declines. Please be realistic with your dog’s abilities!
Settlers Cabin Park
South of Pittsburgh, Settler’s Cabin Park is a great place to take your dog for a hike. The trails are color coded loops and are relatively easy to navigate (especially if you’re using AllTrails!). Check out the park’s main attraction for hikers, the waterfall, by completing the almost six-mile full park loop or the 2.8 mile green loop hike. The park also offers an off-leash dog area, but dogs must be on leash in all other areas.
Hardie Valley Park
This trail system in Fox Chapel is great for hikers looking for somewhere close to Pittsburgh to exercise their dog. Park at Beechwood Farms and cross the street to access the trailhead. It’s about a three mile round trip to visit this awesome waterfall!
Note that dogs are allowed off leash on this trail. If your dog does not react well to off-leash dogs, I’d skip this one. For a trail map, visit the Fox Chapel website here.
Mingo Creek Park
Located in Washington County, Mingo Creek Park has miles of both paved and wooded trails that are great for those who like a variety of trail types. Bonus for dog owners – there’s a ton of garbage cans everywhere around the park to ditch poop bags!
Mingo Creek also has an off leash dog area if you want to let your dog run free, however dogs must be leashed in all other areas. If you’re thinking of exploring this park, check out my Guide to Mingo Creek Park!
Hiking Trails in Western PA that Don’t Allow Dogs
While Beachwood Farms is great for families with human kids, it does not allow furry family members. If you accidentally end up at the Farms with your dog, cross the street to the Hardie Valley Trail. As I noted above, this trail system is dog friendly and allows dogs to be off leash.
O’Hara Township Trails
Both the Salamander Trail + O’Hara Township Park Loops do not allow dogs. Keep an eye out if you’re hiking in Hardie Valley Park because the trails connect!
Raccoon Creek – Wildflower Reserve
While most of the other trails at Raccoon Creek State Park allow dogs, the Wildflower Reserve does not. So leave your dog at home during the last two weeks of April when the Wildflower Reserve is at its peak!
Updated March 26, 2023