One of the most reliable destinations for off-leash hiking are hunting lands. You will have to learn the local nomenclature to find some near you - hunting lands can be called "game lands" or "conservation areas" or "wildlife management areas" or even "refuges."
What can you expect when you take your dog to game lands? Hunters, for one. Check your local fish and game website for the dates of hunting season. Many states do not allow hunting on Sundays; hunters are most active on Fridays and Saturdays and at the beginning of individual game seasons. Always wear bright colors and if you become a regular visitor pick up a hunting vest for your dog.
If no one is around to tell you to put your dog on a leash you can can assume no one is going to be around to do trail maintenance so don't be surprised to find downed trees and overgrown pathways in the summer. There won't be a lot of trail marking and mapping going on either. For that reason it is not usually a good idea to seek out game lands when traveling - it often takes two or three exploratory expeditions to uncover the best trails and doggie swimming holes.
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