Laurel Ridge State Park encompasses 13,625 acres of pristine wilderness spread across four Pennsylvania counties. Spread along Laurel Mountain from Ohiopyle to the Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown, this huge park is a pawesome location for anyone planning a pet-friendly nature retreat.
The park's headline feature is the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, a popular 70-mile hiking and backpacking trail. The trail offers a wonderful wilderness escape for nature lovers, but the best part of all is that you can tackle it with your canine companion by your side.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail takes you through state parks, state forests, state game lands, other public lands, and private property. It forms a major part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and offers hikers a diverse range of experiences all year round.
Visit in spring and you'll come across beautiful wildflowers, while October hikers are greeted by a vibrant display of fall colors. It's just as spectacular in the depths of winter, when a thick covering of snow lends the area a completely different kind of beauty.
Expect to catch glimpses of a wide range of wild creatures along the way. From box turtles to bobcats and great horned owls to woodpeckers, there's plenty to excite wildlife watchers of all ages.
Eight shelter areas are located approximately every six to 12 miles along the trail, so you can split up your journey and set up camp for the night. Each shelter boasts 25 tent spaces, five Adirondack-type shelters, and two vault toilets.
Pets are welcome in the shelter areas and along the course of the trail. However, you'll need to make sure your dog is leashed and under your control at all times, and that you clean up after your pet whenever necessary.
Laurel Ridge State Park offers a unique and memorable hiking and camping experience for nature lovers. If you're looking for a wilderness escape you can enjoy with your pet, this beautiful park should be high on your must-visit list.