By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 11/20/2020, edited: 11/20/2020
Planning to take your pupper on a road trip through Pennsylvania? The Keystone State is a "pawsome" place for you to take a road trip with your dog. Whether you fancy taking in the history of Philly or checking out the Steel City's skyline, you and Bella will have a ball. If you're unsure what the best campgrounds and parks are to visit, check out these top dog-friendly road trip destinations in Pennsylvania.
Dog-friendly state parks and off-leash zones abound in Pennsylvania. Here are a few of our favorites!
Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park is considered by many to be the most beautiful park in PA, making it perfect for an adventure with your canine compadre. Situated about an hour outside Scranton, Ricketts Glen State Park boasts over 13,000 acres of serene lakes encircled by verdant forest and rugged cliffs.
Bring your mutt along for a leashed walk in Ricketts Glen, with 26 miles of trails that lead past some of the park's 22 waterfalls, including Ganoga Falls, the highest waterfall in the park at 94 feet. After wandering through nature with your woofer, swing by Lake Jean for a picnic, or top up your tan and take a dip in the refreshing water.
Presque Island State Park
Perched on a peninsula on Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park is an idyllic park to visit with your pupper in tow. The park consists of over 3,000 acres of pristine beaches, lush woodlands, and swamps for you and Fido to discover. Canines are allowed in the park as long as they stay on a six-foot leash at all times. They're also welcome on some of the beaches in case you fancy a walk with views across the serene Lake Erie. You'll find 11 miles of "puptastic" trails at Presque Isle State Park that your doggo will love.
Presque Island State Park offers lots of activities for people to enjoy and is one of the best surfing spots along Lake Erie. You can also try your hand at fishing, with common catches including perch, bass, and walleye. Boating is also popular — perfect if your pup is an avid seadog!
Schuylkill River Park Dog Run
Looking for somewhere to let Charlie blow off some steam in Philadelphia? Schuylkill River Park Dog Run is one of the best off-leash dog parks in Philly, with over an acre of space for your woofer to make some new furry friends and stretch their legs.
One of the best features of this dog park is the view of the Schuylkill River, which offers an escape in nature in the heart of the busy city. There are also separate areas for small and large dogs in case you're worried about your Yorkie getting picked on by larger pooches. Your dog must be fully vaccinated and be at least 4 months old to visit the Schuylkill River Park Dog Run.
Three River Heritage Trail
The 33-mile long Three Rivers Heritage Trail runs along the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers and is a "pawfect" place for a long stroll with your pooch in Pittsburgh. Pop your pup on their leash and take them to see the best sights in Pittsburgh, with great views of the city and some of Pittsburgh's best landmarks along the way.
While strolling down the Three River Heritage Trail, you'll pass by landmarks like the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center. Thanks to its city location and length, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is one of the best dog-friendly trails in Pennsylvania.
Beau's Dream Dog Park
This super modern dog park may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in personality. Located in Lancaster, this park features lots of "furrific" activities for doggos.
Your pup will have a ball cooling off at the splash pads after playing on the agility equipment or catching tennis balls from the ball launching tree. The park is split into areas for small and large dogs, with different activities for different sized doggos. Beau's Dream Dog Park is one of the best dog parks in Pennsylvania and is well worth a visit if you're near Lancaster.
Need to find a place to rest your paws after a long day exploring? Check out 3 of our favorite dog-friendly campgrounds in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia/West Chester KOA
The Philadelphia/West Chester KOA is one of the best dog-friendly campgrounds in PA. Sandwiched between the east and west branches of Brandywine Creek, this KOA is about an hour from Philly and provides a peaceful place to camp with your pup.
The campground features an off-leash park where your woofer can enjoy a game of fetch and meet some Pennsylvania pooches. Your mutt is welcome at all the tent and RV sites as long as they remain on a leash. There's also a swimming pool, mini-golf course, and fishing opportunities along Brandywine Creek.
Ohiopyle State Park Campground
One of Pennsylvania's most popular state parks, Ohiopyle State Park is a superb place to camp on your dog-friendly Pennsylvania road trip. The Kentuck Campground is Ohiopyle State Park's main campground, with around 200 campsites open from April to December. Your hound is welcome at many of these campsites, so you and your woofer can spend a night under the stars after exploring the Laurel Highlands.
Delaware Water Gap/Pocono Mountain KOA
The Poconos is a gorgeous region for a vacation with your woofer, so swing by the Delaware Water Gap/Pocono Mountain KOA if you're road-tripping with your dog through eastern Pennsylvania.
This KOA has one of the best Kamp K9 play areas around, with a spacious off-leash zone complete with agility equipment your pup will love. Fancy glamping with Gizmo? Check in at one of the Delaware Water Gap/Pocono Mountain KOA's Pet-Friendly Kabins. There's plenty of unique and fun activities for pet parents around camp too, like a bounce pad, a gaga ball pit, and a chocolate slip ‘n slide.
While road-tripping with your dog, you'll undoubtedly want to visit some of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Pennsylvania. Many of the Keystone State's big cities, like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie, feature dozens of restaurants where you can chow down with your doggo by your side. From decadent burgers to fresh Lake Erie fish dishes, you won't be short of dining options while traveling with your dog in PA.
Most dog-friendly restaurants in PA provide pet parents with patio seating and plenty of shade for your mutt to take a nap in. Some of the best restaurants, especially those in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, even offer doggy menus so your pup doesn't have to miss out. These menus include everything from homemade doggy biscuits to plain salmon snacks Princess will love.
You’ll make some of your most precious memories with Tucker on the journey to your destination. So buckle up and get ready to crank up the tunes on these stunning scenic drives through Pennsylvania!
Allentown to Scranton
One of the top dog-friendly road trips in Pennsylvania is the drive from Allentown to Scranton via the Poconos. You and your pupper will have a ball on this drive, with tons of great parks to visit and stunning scenery to admire along the way. This road trip is fairly short at around 80 miles and will take roughly 2 hours.
After leaving Allentown, head to Easton and north past Stroudsburg. The perfect place to stop along this road trip is at Big Pocono State Park. Take your pooch for an on-leash stroll on the slopes of Camelback Mountain, and take in the panoramas of the lush Pocono Mountains. These trails are steep, so make sure your pupper is well-prepared. If you'd prefer a less strenuous hiking adventure, head 20 miles further to Tobyhanna State Park for a relaxing amble around Tobyhanna Lake.
From Tobyhanna State Park, you'll be around 20 miles from Scranton. After a long day hiking through the scenic Poconos, you'll probably want to find somewhere to camp with your dog for the night. Just outside Scranton near Wyoming is Frances Slocum State Park, where you can camp overnight at one of the 100 campsites. 15 of these campsites are walk-in, just in case you didn't book ahead.
Pittsburgh to Erie
A road trip from the Steel City to Lake Erie is sure to put a spring in your pup's step. Along the way to your lakeside destination, you'll pass by several serene state parks where you can take your dog for walkies. The drive from Pittsburgh to Erie is roughly 130 miles and takes 2 or 3 hours depending on traffic.
Traveling up Interstate 79, after about 40 miles, you'll pass through Portersville, where you'll find two state parks: Moraine State Park and McConnell Mill State Park. Moraine State Park features verdant rolling hills along the edge of Lake Arthur, with 29 miles of trails to explore. Meanwhile, McConnell Mill State Park features the sublime Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, with overlooks of the park's stunning waterfalls. Hiking at McConnell Mill State Park is more difficult, so bring sturdy footwear and make sure your canine's up for a challenge. When visiting any state park in PA, keep your mutt on a leash at all times and bring proof of up-to-date vaccinations.
If you'd prefer to stop further on, you'll pass directly through Maurice K Goddard State Park. There are 16 miles of trails to explore along Lake Wilhelm, and the area is excellent for birdwatching, with bald eagles, osprey, and nighthawk nesting in the park. From Maurice K Goddard State Park, you'll be about an hour from Erie.
You and your fur-baby will no doubt be all tuckered out when you reach Erie, so find somewhere to camp for the night. The Erie KOA is ideal for pet parents, with pet-friendly campsites and plenty of fun on-site activities including a petting zoo, a swimming pool, and classic campground games.
One of the best things to do on any road trip is to explore local cultural attractions. Pennsylvania is full of historic monuments, world-class museums, and family-friendly excursions. But what if Tucker can't tag along on to these attractions? Wag!'s got you covered with dog walkers across Pennsylvania who can take your pup for walkies while you enjoy the best of the Keystone State. Download the Wag! app today and check out local dog walkers near you. Then get ready to soak up some culture!
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the best art museums in the country. The museum holds around 240,000 objects, including some of the most famous paintings in the world. While touring the museum, you'll come across paintings by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. Before leaving the museum, head out to the Sculpture Garden and admire some of the amazing abstract statues.
Created by the Hershey Chocolate Company, Hersheypark is one of the best family days out in PA. Hersheypark contains over 70 rides, including 14 rollercoasters and 20 attractions for kids. Hersheypark also has a water park in case you fancy cooling off during the summer. If you get peckish, you'll find roughly 60 concessions and restaurants dotted around the park.
Carnegie Science Center
Looking for something educational to do in Pittsburgh? Swing by the Carnegie Science Center. There are dozens of exciting exhibits spread across 4 floors, including a giant cinema dubbed the biggest screen in the city and the Buhl Planetarium. One highlight from the Carnegie Science Center is the USS Requin, a World War II submarine docked on the Ohio River, which is open to tourists to explore.
That wraps up our list of dog-friendly road trip destinations in Pennsylvania! You and Fifi will have tons of fun together exploring the natural and cultural wonders of the Keystone State. What are you waiting “fur”? Start planning your adventure today!
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