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Get your tails on the trails y'all!

Let me share my favorite trails with you dawgs, from my own perspective!

I am Junie B. I am 7 years old, but only 12 inches tall. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but running through pastures and fields only frustrates me. I have to jump to see over the tall grass, and then I am a tick magnet and I get burs in places I won't mention. This is why I prefer the trails at Virginia State Parks

Junie B plays scrabble with her family in a cabin at Westmoreland State Park

Here are a few of my favorite all terrain trails that are fun for dawgs and their families

Westmoreland State Park - Big Meadow Trail to Fossil Beach is a good tail waggin' trail (see the park's PDF of trails here)

Westmoreland State Park Big Meadow Trail ends up at Fossil Beach!

Westmoreland State Park Big Meadow Trail rewards you with Fossil Beach at the end!

Boardwalk and viewing platform near Fossil Beach at Westmoreland State Park

Boardwalk and viewing platform near Fossil Beach at Westmoreland State Park

One of my favorite times of the year to go walkies is in the fall when the leaves crunch and any squirrel that tries to sneak past makes a huge ruckus!

Staunton River State Park has leaves and rivers and lots to see!

Staunton River State Park has plenty of leaves, trees and rivers and lots to see!

The sunset over the Dan River was the reward from this walk at Staunton River State Park

The sunset over the Dan River was the reward from this walk at Staunton River State Park

Staunton River State Park is fun because there are nice paved areas to walk near the cabins and a big open lawn near the swimming pool area...but then you go to the end near cabin 1 and there is a short trail where both of the rivers meet (the Staunton River and the Dan River). There are more trails that go along the river and meander and loop through the swamp too (Click here for a PDF trail guide from this park).

What goes up must come down, er and the other way too

A fun hike to the bottom of the tunnel floor. If you are not fit, I recommend taking the chair lift at Natural Tunnel State Park

This strenuous trail that leads down to the tunnel floor has many many steps at Natural Tunnel State Park. It is not for the faint hearted. That is what Dad kept telling Mom!

Wildflowers along the trail at Natural Tunnel State Park

For a dog that is vertically challenged like me, this trail has many interesting things to sniff out

Carter House at Natural Tunnel State Park

Another cool thing we saw on the trail was the Carter House, believed to be the oldest house in Scott County! Just follow the Carter Log Cabin trail to find it.

Natural Tunnel State Park has such a variety of trails, from the big open meadow over near the Block house to the bottom of the tunnel floor. (See a PDF of the trails at this park here).

I love walking near a river; I can sniff raccoon droppings and see otters, fish jumping and more!

Mom lets me sniff along the scenic Cabell Trail at James River State Park

The Cabell Trail at James River State Park is a really fun trail with a grand reward at the end!

We stop for a rest at this bench on the Cabell Trail at James River State Park

A rest at this bench for Mom gives me a chance to survey the area at James River State Park

Tye River Overlook is the reward at James River State Park

Tye River Overlook is the reward at James River State Park

James River State Park has trails that weave in and out of the hills and even one that goes right along the river. There are some easier trails (accessible) that lead you right up to the Tye River Overlook. (Click here to view a PDF of James River State Park trails)

Read what Virginia State Parks says about their trails

It's no wonder hiking is among the most popular activities in our parks. It's inexpensive, keeps you fit, improves health, strengthens bones and keeps the pounds off. Also, hiking is typically low-impact so you needn't be in tip-top shape to take part. It works your entire body as well as your mind by reducing stress and improving sleep quality. Plus you escape the crowds, breathe fresh air, enjoy wildlife and take in the stunning scenery that only Virginia can offer. More than 130 miles of the park system's 450 miles of trails are reserved for hiking, and hiking is allowed on more than 150 miles of multi-use trails.

You can even earn rewards by taking part in Virginia State Parks' Trail Quest. Earn attractive hiking stick pins for visiting the parks you love anyway.

Park trails accommodate other activities including biking, mountain biking and horseback riding, and many parks have universally accessible trails. Learn about a particular park's trails by visiting the park page and finding "Trails" under the "Recreation" menu item at the left of the page, and each park's webpage links to its trail guide. Plus, you can use our amenity search tool to find a nearby trail that suits your needs. You can take virtual tours of each park's trails by visiting this website here.

My favorite granny and grandpa trails are handicap accessible trails that are made for easy walking

Parks with handicapped accessible trails include Belle Isle, Chippokes, Claytor Lake, Fairy Stone, First Landing, Hungry Mother, James River, Kiptopeke, Leesylvania, Mason Neck, Southwest Virginia Museum, Natural Tunnel, New River Trail, Pocahontas, Staunton River Battlefield and York River. 

Well y'all, are you ready to get your tails on the trails?

Remember, paws were meant to get muddy!


Published: 03/10/2014


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