by Kate Vinnedge
Photo by Ron Cogswell
Is your dog always ready for their next w-a-l-k? Well, here’s five walking spots that are perfect for you and your canine companion!
Accessible from either the North Bank Trail (which is a great trail for an adventurous dog), or the Randolph neighborhood, Texas Beach is a haven for human and canine alike. There’s a little (extremely little) bit of a hike before you can access the river, but the parking lot is surrounded by trees, so your car won’t heat up in the Richmond summer sun.
Cross a bridge over the train tracks, go down the steps adorned with beautiful murals painted by local artists, and head down the path. Before you know it, you’ll be at the river - enjoy secluded beaches, or continue hiking down the continuation of the North Bank Trail with your four legged friend.
Another great hike that’s just one foot bridge away, Belle Isle is probably what dogs think of as an amusement park. The main trail is always a great walk, and if your dog is a people-kind-of-pup, they’ll be head over heels for all the other walkers (and other dogs too).
If your four legged friend is ready for some adventure, however, take the upper trails - they’re usually a lot less crowded, and you’ll feel like you and your dog have been transported to a completely different island.
Keeping up the trend of staying on the banks of the James, we’re on to Pony Pasture. West from Belle Isle, Pony Pasture is a city park offering trails, fields, and river rocks for you and your dog to walk through.
There’s over a mile of trails that will lead you and your dog through the wetland-like habitat of the James’ river bank - and it’s guaranteed to make your canine companion happy as can be.
I was actually just here this past weekend, and I can safely say this is one of the best places to take a dog for a walk, if you can make a day trip out of it.
There’s over 50 miles of trails in the park, natural bodies of water, and absolutely gorgeous vistas of Mid-Atlantic forest. The park is only 20 minutes away from downtown Richmond, so while you can easily spend a day (or a weekend) here, you can easily fit it into a single afternoon.
Speaking of downtown Richmond, the canal walk is the perfect walking spot for more city-minded homo sapiens and canis familiaris. Leading straight from Brown’s Isle (which you can access from 5th or 7th street), the canal walk takes you straight to the outskirts of Shockoe Bottom.
There’s great art, great eats, and great smells (for that sensitive nose) along the canal walk as well, so be ready for what could be a five minute walk turning into an afternoon.
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