Great Local Places to Walk Your Dog
Tired of walking your dog through the neighborhood seeing the same places day after day? Me too! Guess what? There are some really nice and beautiful places to walk your dog in the area. Sure it's a bit of an effort but worth it. You will get a change of scenery and so will your dog. They will enjoy it as much as you. First up is Manassas National Battlefield Park. There are many trails to explore there. You can do the First Manassas and Second Manassas Trail. Just be careful crossing roadways. I always do part of those trails so I don't have to cross the road. If you aren't up for a long walk you can do the short loops such as Henry Hill, Brawner Farm and Stuart's Hill Loop. Currently entry is still free. Here is a link for more information: https://www.nps.gov/mana/planyourvisit/hiking.htm. The general website for Manassas Battlefield is, https://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm. Next up is Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. It's one of my favorite places to go. The trails are not difficult. They can be a bit muddy after a rain so be prepared. This is their website with a link to a trail map, https://www.pwcva.gov/department/historic-preservation/bristoe-station-battlefield. Signal Hill Park has a nice walking trail past the ballfields. The pond looks lovely in the fall reflecting the autumn leaves. It's not a difficult trail to walk and there are a couple of benches where you can sit and rest. This is their website, https://www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com/parks/signal_hill_park.php. We just recently explored James S. Long Regional Park in Haymarket. There are few trails there. It is hard to find a good map of the trails but you contact Prince William County Parks and Recreation to see if they have maps available unless you are the adventuresome type and want to figure it out for yourself. I do recommend contacting Parks and Recreation. Websites for James S. Long Regional Park: https://www.visitpwc.com/listing/james-s-long-regional-park/1698/, https://www.pwcva.gov/department/parks-recreation-tourism. Another favorite is Silver Lake Regional Park, https://www.pwcva.gov/silverlake. Bull Run Regional Park is another nice park to walk your dog. It is in Fairfax County and they charge an entrance fee on the weekends. Last year they did not charge a fee during the week but please contact them to find out, https://www.novaparks.com/parks/bull-run-regional-park. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous place, https://www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens, https://www.novaparks.com/parks/meadowlark-botanical-gardens/events/pup-days-at-meadowlark-botanical-gardens-0 . Dogs are only allowed on the perimeter trail. There is an entry fee but it's not expensive. I haven't done this yet but would like to go on their "Pup" days. That's when dogs are allowed in the gardens. They do charge extra for the dog. If you are over 55 years old the entry fee is $3.00 as of this writing. So, it's not too expensive. Yes, it's a bit of a travel but the gardens are amazing. Please contact them ahead of time to check their rules, entry fees and days when dogs are allowed in the gardens.
Some things to keep in mind is to check ahead to see if dogs are still allowed and if entry is still free or if entry fees have changed. Be respectful of their rules. All the places require that dogs be kept on leash at all times. You will need to pick up your dog's waste and properly dispose of it. Make sure you bring water for you and your dog. Be mindful of ticks. Wear appropriate clothing especially good walking shoes or shoes you don't mind getting muddy. Enjoy the many places to walk your dog and have fun!
Photo Tip of the Day:
Try to avoid midday sun when taking photos of your dog. Early in the day and late in the day provide the best light. If you need to take pics of your dog midday put them in shade and have them face open sky so as to get nice catchlights in their eyes.