Best Dog Friendly Hiking Trails i9 Portland

The 19 Best Dog Friendly Hiking Trails i9 Portland

Portland is a walking city. If you’ve been to Portland, you know that. But there are so many places you can and should explore around the city, and most of those spots are pretty dog friendly. There are a lot of public parks and trails within city limits that will accommodate dogs, although I wouldn’t count on them for dogs who don’t meet the proper leash protocol. I’m going to lay out some of my favorite places to get out with your pup, but do use your judgment when deciding where to go.

1. Thompson’s Landing

The Thompson’s Landing Scenic Trail is located on the Willamette River, south of the Smith Rock State Park Visitor Center. The trail starts just north of the park and runs for a way on the side of the Willamette River before hitting a section of flat trail, providing a great place to let your dog run and sniff. A great view of the Falls is accessible via the trail at the beginning, though I’ve never personally taken my dog for a visit there.

It’s a very scenic and friendly walk, and the Falls themselves are pretty cool. If you can only make it out there for a quick visit, try to limit the amount of time your dog spends around the Falls. A great hike for both dog and human, Thompson’s Landing is off the beaten path, making it an excellent spot to bring your dog and have a real bonding moment!

2. St. Johns

St. Johns is on the west side of the city and has a bunch of good parks and trails that will make your little beast very happy. Make a point to explore the area around St. Johns College, where the college is located, and you will probably spot several of the nicer colleges located nearby. The big open space to the north of the campus is a nice place to let your dog run off some energy.

Also, in the area, you will find many of the Japanese Gardens at David Douglas Park. One of the most beautiful parks I’ve visited, the Japanese Gardens are a real treat to explore. If your dog has a good sniffer, make sure you take your dog out there for a chance to take in the peace and get some of that good Pug air.

3. Stroudwater Canal

This trip on the Stroudwater Canal Trail is, hands down, the most beautiful place to take your dog on a hike. The trail itself runs along the southern shore of the Stroudwater River, providing a great view of the landscape and river. If you’re not a fan of the sun, a spot with some shade will be available. Be sure to bring a picnic, take the dog down to the water, and then have a nice leisurely walk back to your car. It’s a very peaceful trail and the surrounding area is usually quite peaceful and serene.

4. Peninsula Park

Peninsula Park is one of Portland’s largest parks, providing plenty of space for a walk and a lot of great amenities like the American Folk Art Museum and the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. The best dog-friendly part of Peninsula Park, however, is its pet waste stations. The trees provide some good shade, which means that even on a hot day, there is a ton of shade available. With a few of these stations, your dog can be good as new and ready for more adventures.

5. Glenwood Cemetery

Portland’s oldest public cemetery, Glenwood Cemetery is over 150 years old and is located on the South Park Blocks. As you walk through the many acres, it’s easy to imagine that the people interred here once walked amongst this ground. A great place to walk with your dog and enjoy some natural air, with lots of shade, Glenwood Cemetery is a great park to take your pup to.

6. The Courtyard

The courtyard at Portland State University is a great spot for you and your dog to grab a little bit of fresh air. By the time you get to PSU, you’ll be hot, so grab some shade and get some fresh air. Grab a drink at the Old Spaghetti Factory and have a bite while your dog takes a drink. There are also a bunch of great spots to take your dog to in the courtyard, like the frog pond, which is perfect for a game of fetch.

7. Hawthorne Park

If you’re near the University of Southern Maine campus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot to go on a walk. Over the years, the entire park has been improved by a lot of the students there, adding a huge open lawn area for dogs to have a runaround. There are a bunch of grassy areas that you can run in and cool off, and the lake in the middle of the park is a great spot to cool down with your dog after a long hike. With some shade, a handful of lakeside spots for swimming, and plenty of places for your dog to run off some steam, you and your dog can have a great time at Hawthorne Park.

8. The Shore

The lake at Churchill Downs is a very well-kept secret among dog-lovers. The lake is small but is great for a dog walk because it’s the perfect size for a quick break from walking and allows for you and your dog to swim or simply play. If your dog is energetic, make sure you bring plenty of water, because it’s going to be a hot walk! If you decide to walk the track around the lake, make sure to bring plenty of water for your dog. For those who aren’t as familiar with the area, the GPS coordinates for this place are 41° 43.969’ N, and 72° 12.750’ W.

9. Portsmouth New Hampshire

The park located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a great place for a nice dog walk. It’s not a huge park, but it does have a nice trail with a ton of trees, and the lawn area is always nice and shady. You can walk the park for about a mile or so, but when you start to run low on water and the dog is getting tired, it’s probably best to turn around and head back towards the parking lot. The GPS coordinates for Portsmouth New Hampshire are 39° 11.916’N and 74° 33.421’W.

10. Memorial Park

Memorial Park is a great park to check out. It has a paved path that has trees along with it. With a good size park, it’s easy to get a long walk in, but it also has an off-leash dog area that is great for just running around. It also has a playground for your dog, but make sure that you bring water for yourself because it’s going to be a hot walk. GPS coordinates for Portsmouth New Hampshire are 39° 11.957’N and 74° 34.832’W.

11. Mt Tabor

Want some hiking with your dog? Check out, Mt Tabor! Located in northeast Portland, the Mt Tabor Loop Trail winds through the Oak Grove neighborhoods and ends on the south side of the reservoir. There are several overlooks to check out, and you’ll probably spot plenty of people and dogs walking the trail. Once you’ve completed your hike, don’t forget to stop at The Old Port for some tasty Asian food. The food truck had a good patio, so bring your dog along if you can!

12. Boones Ferry Park

Boones Ferry Park is a small park located in the Sellwood neighborhood of southeast Portland. There is a small but good dog park, but the real draw here is the Rock Creek, one of the few pools in Portland where you can walk your dog. Don’t worry, the pool is only a few inches deep and super clean.

There are a lot of pools here that your dog can take swimming lessons in, so take advantage of this opportunity. There are some sidewalks and paths to walk your dog around, but if you have to give your dog some freedom, this is the best place for it. Just be sure to keep your eyes on your pooch!

13. Forest Park

Forest Park is a true gem, and one of my favorite places to take my dog. The off-leash area is almost a mile around, and there are some pretty awesome hiking trails. Also, the views are fantastic, and if you get lost, there are plenty of trees to hang out under. If you want to get out of the city, Forest Park is a great place to do it.

14. Miami University of Ohio

If you have a big dog, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spend with your dog. Take them to the park and let them play in the open areas for a while. The grassy areas at Miami University of Ohio are great for any dog that likes to run and have fun. It doesn’t take much to run in circles around and try to find the biggest sticks in the area. If you don’t have time to go for a long walk, this is a great way to get some exercise for your dog and some play time for you. GPS coordinates for Miami University of Ohio are 40° 49.957’N and 74° 10.257’W.

15. Riverfront Park

Located on the Ohio River, Riverfront Park is a great place to let your dog walk off some energy. The riverfront park has walking trails that go around the park and go to the Lincoln Park area. The park has a great section that has a large lawn area with a playground. There is also a small playground that is great for small dogs that love to play around. If you’re really lucky, you can see a showboat in the river while you walk in the park. GPS coordinates for Columbus Ohio: 39° 54.649’N, 74° 16.941’W.

16. Cincinnati Zoo

If you have a big dog, taking them to the Cincinnati Zoo is a great way to get some exercise for yourself while also having some fun with your dog. The zoo has a great area for your dog to run around and run into all of the other big dogs. The park also has two playgrounds, one for little kids and one for big dogs. With the playgrounds and the picnic areas, the Cincinnati Zoo is a great way to spend some time with your dog. GPS coordinates for Cincinnati, Ohio are 38° 59.047’N, and 74° 21.979’W.

17. Steenbock Park

Located in Westerville, Ohio, Steenbock Park is a great place to take your dog. It’s not as big as some of the other parks listed, but it’s a great spot for taking your dog for a walk. There is a lot of open space to walk around and a great area for off-leash dogs to play. GPS coordinates for Westerville, Ohio: 38° 58.515’N, 74° 21.907’W.

18. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a great way to take your dog for a walk. If you’re a beginner at hiking, this is a great place to start with. The trees are big and have plenty of room for your dog to run around. There are benches all along the tracks for your dog to stop at and rest. There is a café along the way, and if you are really lucky, there might even be a train ride going through. GPS coordinates for Cleveland, Ohio are 39° 50.957’N, and 74° 24.239’W.

19. Davey Tree

If you have a little dog that loves to play around and be on the go, Davey Tree is a great place for you to take your dog. It’s a perfect place for your dog to play around and run off some of their energy. There are plenty of rocks for your dog to play with and other things to find in the wooded area. The area around Davey Tree is a great spot for off-leash dogs. There are picnic tables as well if you’re just looking for a good place to sit and enjoy the day. GPS coordinates for Lorain, Ohio: 38° 56.913’N, 74° 21.722’W.

What About?

Do you live in a non-Portland city? Do you know of other, similar places to take your dog, other than the ones listed here? Let us know about them in the comments!

Happy hiking!

Leave a Reply