When it come to pet owners taking a camping trip, the big question is if you'll take your beloved dogs along or not -- they are a part of the family after all! Whether you're going on a trip and need to leave your puppy with a pet sitter (and thankfully, you'll be able to rest easy knowing they're in good hands if you find one on Rover) or your dream vacation involves bringing along your four-legged friends, these state parks make for a perfect camping getaway -- they're all incredibly scenic, and totally dog-friendly! Here's our guide to America's prettiest pet-friendly state parks:
Abilene State Park: Fishing and boating on the lake here (when the water levels are acceptable) are popular activities, plus humans will love the huge swimming pool and pooches will love exploring the wooded trails. While you can't stay with your pet in any of the cabins, you can camp out with them at their top-notch camping facilities! It gets pretty busy (not to mention hot!) in the summer, but spring and fall are perfect for escaping the crowds and soaking up some great weather!
Allegany State Park: This park is 65,000 acres of pure, natural bliss! Caves, lakes (with sand beaches, to boot!), and historic buildings are hidden among the hills and forests of Allegany, and since the park is so big (100 square miles, to be exact), it'll feel like you have the place to yourself. Well, to yourself and your dogs!
Huntington Beach State Park: What person (or puppy!) doesn't love a nice beach vacation? The South end of this coastal state park is pet-friendly -- perfect for playing fetch and letting your pooch run free! They also have some really nice campsites that are clean and well set-up in case you want to make a weekend out of your trip. Plus, the campground even has wifi in some areas... perfect if you left your pet at home with a sitter, and you want to check up on them!
Big Bone Lick State Park: Kids and pets alike will especially love visiting this park! Children will enjoy hunting for fossils and exploring the museum and discovery trail, which outlines the park's prehistoric past and pets will love roaming the hikes throughout the park. There's also a gift shop, a golf course, a lake for fishing and more-- something for everyone! Pitch a tent when night falls, so you and your family (pets included!) can hang out by the fire pit and gaze up at the stars!
Antelope Island State Park: The best way to explore Utah's Great Salt Lake is to camp out right on its shores! There's enough here to keep everyone, even the dogs, occupied, from checking out the crazy wildlife (they have herds of buffalo!) and immersing yourself in history at the old ranch, to hiking up the mountains for stunning scenery and relaxing on the lake's sandy beach, the whole family will have a great time exploring the island with your furry friends.
Oak Mountain State Park: The campsites at this park are luxuriously big and spaced far apart, which is perfect in case your pooch likes a little room to stretch his or her legs! Beyond the awesome camping, this park has miles upon miles of trails, two lakes, horseback riding, a golf course, and a working farm, among other things. It's basically the perfect weekend getaway, right in the heart of Alabama!
Lost Dutchman State Park: This park has it all-- hiking, campsites, it's RV- and pet-friendly, and it may or may not have buried treasure! Yep, that's right: treasure. There's a legend that the park contains the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine (hence the park's name)... and who better to help you look for the hidden trove of treasure than your dog? Even if you don't find the lost mine, you'll still have a good time hiking through the mountains all day and camping out at night.
Benicia State Recreation Area: California's Carquinez Strait is home to the peaceful Benicia State Recreation Area, which boasts paved paths for hiking with your dog, RV campsites, excellent fishing, and, most importantly, stunning scenery-- the rolling hills and calm shoreline make this a relaxing getaway, all less than an hour from the bustling city of San Francisco!
Tuttle Creek State Park: This Kansas hidden gem is an outdoorsman's dream! Hunting and fishing are popular activities here, but you can also swim in and boat on the huge reservoir, play disc golf, picnic with your pet, discovering the hiking trails, and camp out. Plus, you're close to some of the state's quaintest and coziest towns, which are also fun to explore!
Header via Flickr/Katie Brady