Article

6 Minnesota Hikes You and Your Dog Will Love

Scroll to Read
Image Caption
Hike to a scenic overlook of the St. Croix River at Interstate State Park / Paul Vincent
Pet-Friendly Travel // Hiking // Article

6 Minnesota Hikes You and Your Dog Will Love

By Sidewalk Dog

We can think of no better way to explore Minnesota than a hike along some of its fabulous trails with your four-legged BFF by your side. Not every hiking trail allows dogs, though, so we sniffed out six parks where you can have the ultimate dog-friendly Minnesota adventure.

Just remember the two cardinal rules of dog-friendly life: Keep your pets on a leash at all times, and always BYOPB (poop bag, that is).

  1. Lebanon Hills, Eagan
    Dog on leash at Lebanon Hills regional park

    Leashed pups can join their owners for a hike at Lebanon Hills / Sarah Mehle

    Lebanon Hills, Eagan

    With a diverse mixture of rugged and paved trails for seasoned hikers and novices alike, Eagan’s Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a favorite of many Twin Citizens. Lebanon Hills has over 20 miles of hiking trails where you and your pal can weave around lakes at every turn. The dense tree coverage and lush forest are perfect for keeping you cool on hot summer days, or surrounding you with bright fall colors in autumn. Moderate hills will keep your heart rate up as you hike through the park, and the many lakeside views offer plenty of opportunities to catch your breath while taking in the sights.

  2. Fort Snelling State Park, St. Paul
    Family hike at Fort Snelling State Park

    Wander the trails at Fort Snelling State Park / Minnesota DNR

    Fort Snelling State Park, St. Paul

    Smack dab in the middle of the Twin Cities, Fort Snelling State Park boasts 18 miles of hiking trails to give you and your buddy those middle-of-nowhere feels without leaving town. Be sure to make the trek to Pike Island: A mile and a half of gravel trails will take you to the eastern end, where Spot can dip his toes in the place where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers meet. If your pal wants another view of the park, he can even join you in a rented canoe from the park office.

  3. Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors
    Man and dog at Gooseberry Falls State Park

    Bring your pup on the dog-friendly hiking trails at Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North Shore / Micah Kvidt

    Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors

    With five waterfalls and 18 miles of hiking trails through aspen, cedar, spruce and pine forests, Gooseberry Falls State Park is a definite bow-wow. The rocky shoreline of Lake Superior is a can’t-miss, too. If you’d like to take more than one day to soak up this memorable area of our state, dogs are welcome at Gooseberry Falls’ campsites. (Fido will thank you for packing enough weenie-roast supplies for two.)

  4. Quarry Hill Nature Center, Rochester
    Quarry Hill Nature Center, Rochester

    Quarry Hill Nature Center features paved and natural trails through restored prairie, quarry, man-made caves and an oak savanna. And even though you’re only a few minutes away from downtown Rochester, you and your pup will feel miles away from everything within the 300 acres of peaceful park.

  5. Buffalo River State Park, Moorhead
    Prairie grasses Buffalo River State Park

    Prairie grasses at Buffalo River State Park

    Buffalo River State Park, Moorhead

    Go west, young pup! To Buffalo River State Park in Moorhead, that is. Your pooch will relish her romp through one of our state’s largest prairies, known for its variety of birds and other wildlife. Its 12 miles of hiking trails take you along the lovely Buffalo River, where water-loving pups can cool off on hot summer days.

  6. Northland Arboretum, Brainerd Lakes Area
    Two women on a bridge in Northland Arboretum

    Explore 540 acres of wilderness at Northland Arboretum in Brainerd

    Northland Arboretum, Brainerd Lakes Area

    Nestled within 540 acres of wilderness, Northland Arboretum in Brainerd features nearly 12 miles of jack-pine savannah, marsh and prairie terrain for all skill levels. Rover will love sniffing his way through the designated doggy trails of this peaceful park. Enjoy the arboretum for just $5 (human kids will cost you $1, and fur kids are free).

Sidewalk Dog

Sidewalk Dog is the #1 resource for Minnesota dog owners, bringing you everything you need to enjoy life with your pup: dog-friendly patios, off-leash parks, events and so much more. Learn more at SidewalkDog.com.