Take your next beach trip to the next level by taking along your canine companion. From the serene waterways of the most scenic state parks in Pennsylvania to dog parks with fantastic water attractions, you have plenty of options for a memorable pet-friendly getaway. Book a Pennsylvania vacation rental near one of these top dog-friendly beaches.
1. Misty Pines Dog Park
Take your dog on a fabulous vacation with a trip to Sewickley and Misty Pines Dog Park. This extensive park includes a beautiful pond with a dock completely within the fenced-in area for your dog’s protection. Dangle your feet in the water while your dog enjoys a swim, or practice retrieving from the comfort of the grassy shore. This facility also includes an oversize doggy playground for everyone to use plus a separately fenced small-dog playground for your little buddy. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the onsite pavilion, then take your dog on an off-leash hike along the wooded trails. This park is open year-round, but the pond is frozen during the winter months. While in town, be sure to spend some time hiking with your pet at Fern Hollow Nature Center. Well-behaved, voice-controlled dogs may hike off-leash at the Nature Center but must be put back on-leash near parking lots and buildings.
2. Lloyd Park
For fun water play with your pet, Lloyd Park is hard to beat. A babbling brook, perfect for romping in the water, winds through picturesque woods in this beautiful 30-acre park. This public park is mostly fenced in, but larger breeds may be able to jump the fence, so use your own judgment about letting your non-voice-controlled dog off-leash. Pet-waste stations make it easy to clean up after your best buddy, and restrooms help you stay comfortable. There are also water fountains and benches, making it easy to spend plenty of time letting your pet enjoy the water. There’s also a playground for your kids, so your whole family is sure to enjoy your stay. Book a vacation rental in Downingtown, Fisherville, or Eagle for easy access to the park and a fun vacation for your family, including its doggy members. Harmony Hill Nature Area is another great place in the area to hike with your dog. The park’s East Branch Brandywine Trail winds through the forest with branch-off points to take in the scenic views of the Brandywine Creek. Although there are places for pet-waste disposal, Harmony Hill doesn’t have restrooms, so plan your visit accordingly. These parks are open for your use year-round, but cold winter weather and snow may leave some amenities and trails unusable during the winter season.
3. Raccoon Creek State Park
If you’re looking for a pet-friendly vacation that combines time in the city with lakeshore fun, consider pairing a vacation rental in Pittsburgh with lots of time at the beach in nearby Raccoon Creek State Park. In the park, Raccoon Lake has several dog-friendly access points for swimming or games of fetch, and with nearly 8,000 acres, there is always somewhere new to explore. Both sand and turf beaches are available, and people are welcome to splash in alongside their pets. Raccoon Creek State Park also offers picnic areas with grills, drinking water, and restrooms to help you all stay comfortable. The beach trail provides an easy walking path along the lake, while the heritage trail challenges you and your pet with nearly 10 miles of rough terrain. Dogs must be on-leash while hiking the trails at Raccoon Creek. Be sure to plan your vacation for the warmer months of the year to take advantage of the many dog-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh. Simply stroll along the sidewalk, and take your pick from the many pet-friendly establishments with outdoor eating and drinking areas. Nine on Nine, downtown, is a favorite of locals, offering upscale cuisine on the dog-friendly patio.
4. Mauch Chunk Lake Park
Plan a weekend escape to Jim Thorpe, and bring your pet to Mauch Chunk Lake Park for hiking, swimming, and simply enjoying the beautiful countryside. Please keep your pet on his leash while in the picnic area or if you sight wildlife. Otherwise, well-behaved pets may enjoy some off-leash time hiking or swimming away from the designated people-beach area. Pack a picnic lunch at your vacation rental, and enjoy a full day at this gorgeous lake. Restrooms, water, shady benches, and sheltered picnic areas with grills provide plenty to keep everyone in your party comfortable and entertained. In Jim Thorpe, head to Molly McGuire’s Pub & Steakhouse for pet-friendly dining at sidewalk tables, or opt for Broadway Grille for casual fare and drinks at the bar patio.
5. Peters Lake Park
Peters Lake Park is known for its beautiful lakeside trail. Perfect for hiking with your pet, this wooded trail offers many lake access sites for impromptu sessions of retrieving or simply cooling off. With a wood-chip surface, the trail is comfortable even for older dogs or those with sensitive feet, and there are restroom facilities available along the trail for your convenience. If you love to hike with your pet, book a vacation rental in Canonsburg, and try a different trail each day. The Great Allegheny Passage lets you see a variety of scenic terrain from a mostly paved path. Check out the Montour Trail portion for interesting bridges along the way, and hike the Arrowhead Trail to enjoy lovely restored fauna including native trees and wildflowers.
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