If you’re looking for a pawesome hike to do with your dog, the Walt Whitman Trail is perfect for you! This unpaved trail is 8.2 miles in total, and it welcomes dogs on-leash.
The trail begins at the Walt Whitman Birthplace Historic Site, which, as you might have guessed, was the birthplace of celebrated American poet Walt Whitman. Restrooms are available at the historic site. At the start of the trail, you’ll pass a sign featuring one of Walt Whitman’s famous poems -- "paws" to reflect and pay your respects to this literary giant.
Once you walk onto the trail, you’ll find yourself in a forest filled with native trees and flowers, including mountain laurel and moccasin flowers. There’s also tons of wildlife in this forest, including chipmunks, turtles, red foxes, and salamanders.
While most of the trail is flat, there is one section with a steep incline. This portion of the trail takes you to the top of Jaynes Hill. This hill has an elevation of 401 feet, making it the highest peak in Long Island. From the summit, you’ll get great views of the surrounding area. After you descend, you’ll be back in a beautiful forest, where you’ll walk for the remainder of the hike.
Some locals note that the trail isn't well-marked, but that most visitors will have no trouble finding their way. When you’re hiking on the Walt Whitman Trail, you’ll want to look out for ticks. Since the trail is also horse-friendly, be prepared to make some larger four-legged friends along your trek! Just make sure Fido doesn't mind sharing the path. It goes without saying that you'll also need to bring water and waste bags to keep the trail clean.
The Walt Whitman Trail is a furtastic forest trail with tons of beautiful sights that you and your dog are sure to love.
There are sometimes ticks in the grass around the trail during the warmer months of the year. Because of that, it’s important to check your dog thoroughly after you finish your trek. Make sure your pooch is up-to-date on flea and tick medication. Also, since the trail is a popular place for horseback riding, make sure to look out for horses while you’re hiking.