Charlottesville is a fantastic place to share life with your dog. There is always something to do – dog-friendly activities, trails, and dog parks are around every corner! You and Fido can always find a new place. Whether you’re looking for a new city walk to take with your dachshund or hunting for the perfect trail run to enjoy with your outward bound hound, there is a Charlottesville trail for you.
For those who prefer to stay within the city limits, the Rivanna Trail begins in Riverview Park and follows the Rivanna River on a trail that winds through Charlottesville. Dogs can walk with you off-leash in designated parts of the trail on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If you walk with your dog off-leash, keep him under control at all times – do not allow him to approach other walkers or dogs without permission.
You can also hike near the river on the popular Pen Park trails. Go for a short walk with your dog on the paved fitness trail, or take a longer hike beside the river on the nature walk. The trail’s proximity to Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall makes it possible to take advantage of the mall’s pet-friendly outdoor seating to drink a smoothie or snack on a sandwich as part of the walk.
Greenbrier Park, located near downtown Charlottesville, is a beautiful park in the Greenbrier neighborhood that includes trails alongside Meadow Creek. The trails share a part of the Rivanna Trail, allowing you to visit nearby McIntire Park on your walk.
If you are looking for a little off-leash fun, visit Azalea Park, where you can take advantage of scenic trails, paved pathways, and a 1-acre dog park. Darden Towe Park is a large park near the downtown area with nearly 4 miles of trails and a 1-acre dog park. Chris Greene Park also includes a variety of hiking trails in addition to a lakeside dog park where you can let Fido off-leash and let your water dog get his feet wet.
When you’re ready for a longer hike or run in the wilderness, visit Preddy Creek Park in Northern Albemarle. This natural park includes ten miles of trails that wind through the forest along Preddy Creek. The natural setting is perfect for a long run through the woods and a splash in the creek. Less adventurous pups can enjoy the less challenging loop in the Meadows area.
Looking adventure and new horizons? Charlottesville is conveniently located near the Shenandoah National Park, a source of endless hiking opportunities. Explore part of the Appalachian Trail, or hike to a breathtaking mountain view or a charming waterfall. Always check before you hike to make sure that the trail you choose allows dogs, and be mindful of wildlife to protect you and your pet.
Charlottesville offers so many places to enjoy a walk with your dog! Get outside and enjoy our beautiful city with your best friend.