Gainesville was once a busy stagecoach interchange, as well as a point from which numerous natural resources were shipped, including cattle, grain and timber. It was also an important path for soldiers to travel to reach nearby Bull Run where 2 significant Civil War battles were fought. It was in the mid-1990s when the area began to evolve into a suburb of Washington, DC. But as urban as this town is, it also offers plenty of opportunity for you and Fido to do stuff together!
The Historic Manassas Battlefield National Park resides in Gainesville. Your canine companion is welcome to visit its 5,073 acres on leash and explore along with you the place where the Battles of Bull Run occurred. Rolling hills, wooden anti-cavalry fences and old cannons greet you and your fur-buddy as you hike through the fields and woodlands. Watch out for muddy spots! And don’t forget to bring water for yourself and Fido!
Don’t miss one of the most popular restaurants in Gainesville: The Bone. As the name implies, this is a dog-friendly eatery with lots of outdoor tables where your fur-baby can help you chow down on meat, meat and more meat, with an occasional side of cornbread or collards for variety. Bone a petit!
The Town Center is home to the Hillwood Camping Park, a 140-space RV park that is dog-friendly and offers all the comforts of home in the outdoors for a lot less than a hotel room. Each parking spot features water, electricity and wi-fi, along with many other amenities. Your pup must be leashed while in the park. If you want a delicious dinner, be sure to try one of these great restaurants that feature outdoor seating areas for your dog to join you! Nando’s PERI-PERI Chicken features a variety of Portuguese food. If you and your furry friend are pizza lovers, head over to Brooklyn Bros Pizza, an Italian eatery offering much more than just pizza. Mussels and other appetizers, along with sandwiches and salads will tempt your taste buds. Buon appetito!
This neighborhood boasts the Conway Robinson State Forest, 444 acres of near-wilderness that serves as a wildlife and wildflower sanctuary, as well as a recreational and educational site where your leashed pup is welcome. He can tag along as you hike or mountain bike along the easy trails that cover about 5 miles. The park also features a picnic shelter for nourishment and rest, and fishing in the designated streams that crisscross in every direction. Along with the flora come fauna and fowl in many forms. Fido will sniff or hear them before you see them, no doubt! Open daily year-round, it is a peaceful oasis in this highly populated area.
The Catharpin/ Groveton neighborhood of Gainesville is home to the dog-friendly James S. Long Municipal Park, which features a 4-mile long trail system, along with sports facilities, large picnic pavilions with grill pits, playground and restrooms. Securely on his leash, your fur-buddy can come along as you hike the trails through wooded parkland, hang out and play on the grass, or enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at one of the pavilions. The Catharpin Creek flows along the southern edge of the park, and 4 conveniently placed parking lots make for easy access to the trails. This is definitely a fun family-and-Fido place!
The town of Warrenton is 12 miles from Gainesville, and is home to dog-friendly parks and restaurants. Rady Park is a 7-acre community park that features a picnic area, playground, restrooms, sports fields, and a paved walking trail that loops around the entire park. Take a walk under the shade trees, or loll around on the grass. Another cool feature is the small creek for playing and cooling off, complete with a bridge and seating area in the shade. Several restaurants offer a variety of eats, and all offer fur-baby seating outside. The Black Bear Bistro offers burgers and sandwiches along with delectables like catfish to share. McMahon’s Irish Pub is an authentic Irish pub experience, from its brews and food to its waitstaff and cooks. And don’t miss the Hidden Julles Café with its organic, natural breakfast and lunch.
The Warrenton neighborhood of Greenville is home to the 1.25-acre Vint Hill Dog Park, a fully-fenced yard for Fido and his pals to socialize and run free. It features seating for the humans around the park as well as on a small covered gazebo, and shade trees for those hot days. Bring water for yourself, but there is a water station for your fur-baby, and you can use the bowls that are lying about. There are toys and kiddie pools, as well as a small fenced area for timid or teeny doggos. There are even a few pieces of agility equipment if your pup is up to the challenge. The park is stocked with clean-up bags at the waste stations for your convenience. Arf! Good times!