Leesburg, Virginia is only about 30 miles from Washington, DC and this town is known for the communities deep love of their history. They must also be dog lovers because there are more than 10,000 dogs living there. In most cases, when you have that many dogs in one city, there is usually lots of dog-friendly activities, and Leesburg does not disappoint in that sense. If you like to hike check out Red Rock Park, a gorgeous 67-acre park along the Potomac River. It is a great place for exploring, and there are six trails with plenty of wildlife, Dogwoods, wildflowers, and even some historic buildings to see.
Afterward, you and Fido can check out Spanky’s Pub on East Market Street. They have an amazing sandwich known around Leesburg as “The Raider” which has turkey, bacon, cheese, onions, and jalapeno raspberry jam on jalapeno cornbread! Your pup is welcome to join you and if he doesn’t like the Raider they have seafood and burgers too.
Ready to relax? Head on over to one of the dog-friendly hotels in Leesburg. On East Market Street, you can find the Days Inn, Clarion Inn, and Best Western. There is also Homewood Suites on Fort Evans Road NE and the Lansdowne Resort on Woodridge Parkway if you do not want to stay on the main strip.
In this neighborhood just south of Leesburg’s Historic District are 2 parks your dog will love. The Leesburg Dog Park at the Olde Isaak Walton Park is a large, fenced free-run area with grass and wood mulch ground cover where your furry bestie can romp with you and the other dogs to her heart’s content. The park provides water for the dogs, there are benches both inside and outside the fence, and it is open from dawn to dusk. A bit to the northwest of the dog park is Brandon Park, which boasts 3 acres of open space for frisbee, catch or just plain running at full speed while the humans lounge at the picnic tables. There is even a small, fenced-in playground for the little humans in the family. Be sure to bring water for everyone to Brandon Park on those hot days, as this is an open park with little shade from the sun!
Kincaid Forest is a lovely community that is bordered by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and a wooded green space, also called the Kincaid Forest. The forest features walking paths, landscaped open areas, playgrounds, a community pool and tennis courts. Dogs are welcome, as long as they remain on leash and under control. The 29-acre Tuscarora Creek Park in the north part of the neighborhood also boasts a playground, sheltered picnic area, open spaces, and access to the W&OD Trail. The trail itself is a converted rail line that stretches for 45 miles throughout the state of Virginia, from Purcellville to Shirlington. Choose a short walk, or a long hike along this scenic and historic path, as either will be sure to tire out your pup!
This neighborhood provides access to Foxridge Park, a dog-friendly 5 acres with sports fields, a playground, open grassy areas for practicing catch and fetch skills, and another access point to the W&OD Trail. Walking trails that wind through the park are also open to leashed pups, as are the shady picnic pavilion for lunch and a bottle (or bowl) of water. Restrooms provide relief for the humans, but dogs must be cleaned up after. This is a great spot for all members of the family whether they are seeking a walk, want to shoot a few hoops, or just lie around in the grass and relax.
The NW Leesburg neighborhood abuts the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center and Morven Park, 2 large and diverse recreation areas for families and dogs alike. Ida Lee Park is open every day except Christmas, and features many indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities, but it’s the grounds that gets the pooches and pooches’ humans among us excited. There is a picnic area with a shelter and tables, a gazebo for shade and shelter from the wind, and walking trails that crisscross the park, leading from the parking lot. Morven Park, just north of Ida Lee Park, offers equestrian events, three museums, picnicking, hiking, athletic fields, woodlands, a mountain ridge, historic buildings, and formal gardens. Dogs are welcome at Morven Park, but leash laws are strictly enforced: dogs are not allowed to run free on the 1000-acre property, and they must remain leashed and attached to a human at all times.