Jul 13, 2022 - Things to Do

Editor's pick: My dog's favorite DMV walking trails

Kirby, a red merle Australian Shepherd, sits on a wooded forest trail.
Kirby the Australian Shepherd loves to spend time in nature. Where should we hike next? Photo: Kayla Sharpe/Axios

My Australian Shepherd Kirby recently got neutered, so after two weeks of bed rest (and the cone of shame), we're ready to make up for lost adventure time.

I'm a huge fan of dog-friendly local hikes that don't require a ton of skill or gear. Here are my favorite spots to visit with Kirby:

Seneca Regional Park in Great Falls is a great walking spot along the Potomac. Stick to the gravel road if you want the easiest route down to the river. If you want a more adventurous route, veer off onto one of the marked trails.

Pro tips: There are several benches by the river. Take some time to rest and reflect.

  • Be sure to download or print a copy of the trail map so you don't get lost.
  • The park's gravel parking lot can fill up pretty quickly so arrive early on weekends and consider carpooling if you visit with a friend.
  • Visit: 101 Seneca Road, Great Falls

Walker Nature Center in Reston is situated amid several wooded walking trails. During our hour-long adventure, Kirby and I saw foxes and deer and even stopped to read some signs about native Virginia plant species. This is a great spot to spend time in nature while knowing that you're only a mile or so from a main road or residential area if you get lost.

Pro tips: The nature center has water fountains out back so bring a water bottle and portable dog bowl to fill up.

  • Visit: 11450 Glade Drive, Reston

Where should Kirby and I venture next? I'm sure there are other fantastic walking spots in the Washington area. Reply to this email to tell us which nearby dog-friendly trails we should explore.

  • Bonus: Send us a photo of you and your dog (or cat, or horse, or bird…) out enjoying nature and we might share it in an upcoming newsletter.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more