Resting in western Florida’s beautiful and sunny Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties is Withlacoochee State Trail, a former rail line converted into a state trail for public use. The trail spans 46 miles, and it is composed at various segments of asphalt and concrete, making it accessible for hikers and walkers of all skill levels — including those with furry paws! You will definitely want to explore Withlacoochee State Trail with your dog; its wonderful setting has scenic natural features and great weather, and the trail itself is well-maintained and has access to the amenities you might need for both short walks and long hikes.
The southernmost and northernmost trailheads are both good places to begin your hike; Gulf Junction Trailhead in the north rests on the picturesque Withlacoochee River, and Owensboro Junction Trailhead in the south connects to a small picnic area. There are ten trailheads in total, six of which offer public restrooms. The trail also connects to three parks: Wallace Brooks Park, Lake Townsend Park, and Fort Cooper State Park. If that isn’t enough, you’ll find numerous rest stops, picnic areas, and small towns and villages that connect to the trail at various points. Parking is offered at all of the trailheads, so you can hike the trail’s segments in any order, or just stop by for a quick stroll with your canine companion.
When you’re hiking at Withlacoochee State Trail with your dog, make sure you follow the trail’s guidelines. Dogs are required to remain on a leash no longer than six feet, and you’ll have to bring your own bags to clean up after your pooch. This trail is pawpular with dog walkers, so come prepared to sniff out new furry friends!
Withlacoochee State Trail is truly one of the most pleasant trails in the country, and you are sure to enjoy the time you spend there with your dog!