dog in a park

Pet Friendly National Parks, Part V: South Dakota – Wyoming

This is the fifth installment in our series on pet friendly parks around the United States. We previously covered parks from Alabama through GeorgiaHawaii through MarylandMassachusetts through New Jersey, and New Mexico through South Carolina as well as parks recommended by the Onpets community.  This installment covers parks from South Dakota through Wyoming and all states in between.  Get out there and explore and let us know which parks YOU most enjoy visiting with your four-legged companions.  Note that if you have leash-trained your feline baby, you can take her along as well!

South Dakota

Wind Cave National Park

Covered in prairie and forests and home to elk and bison, Wind Cave is one of the oldest national parks in the US. You and your pup can explore if your pup – or feline baby –  is on a leash no longer than 6 feet.  Pets are allowed in the visitor center area, campground, and on the Elk Mountain and Prairie Vista Nature Trails. Pets are not permitted in the back-country which includes areas near roadways and most trails.


Stones River National Battlefield

Stones River National Battlefield is a beautiful 570-acre park located along the Stones River southeast of Nashville. The Park memorializes the 1862 Battle of Stones River, a major event in the Civil War. Dogs are allowed to visit the battlefield so long as they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet.


Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve was established to protect the incredible diversity of life found in the habitats of southeast Texas. Hiking trails and waterways meander through nine distinct ecosystems, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. Dogs on a 6′ leash are allowed on all trails within the Preserve.


Hovenweep National Monument

Located in southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado, Hovenweep National Monument is a group of five well-preserved village ruins covering 20-miles of mesa tops and canyons. Pets have to be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet on trails and in the campground.


Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park

A great park to take a stroll through, MBR includes some of Vermont’s most beautiful landscapes. The park is covered in sugar maples and 400-year-old hemlocks, covered bridges, and old stone walls. Pets are welcome until the winter season. During the rest of the year, pets must be on a leash at all times.


Appalachian National Trail

Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, the trail traverses some of the most diverse landscape the Eastern US has to offer. Dogs are allowed everywhere on the Trail within Virginia. Dogs must be leashed on the forty percent of the Trail that uses National Park Service-administered lands.


Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve

Located on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound, Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve offers spectacular hiking trails and pristine beaches to explore, and your pet is always welcome! However, dogs must be on-leash on all Reserve trails. Bonus: There is an off-leash dog area called the Patmore Pit Off-Leash area covering 10 acres for your dog to romp in!

West Virginia

New River Gorge National River

New River Gorge National River protects and preserves 53 miles of the New River as well as over 70,000 acres of the Gorge. Pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet are allowed on trails at New River Gorge National River.


Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The 21 islands and 12 miles of Apostle include beaches, cliffs, lighthouses, and wilderness areas. Pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet are allowed in the Park, but are not allowed in public buildings or cruise trips.


Fossil Butte National Monument

Fossil Butte boasts some of the world’s best preserved fossils. The Park encompasses the flat-topped ridges of southwestern Wyoming’s sagebrush desert. You can find fossilized fish, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet are welcome in Fossil Butte National Monument parking areas and on trails.



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