Have you ever considered how far you walk with your dog? If you walk just 15 minutes a day you will have walked far enough in your dog's lifetime to cross the United States. With all that walking ahead of you, aren't you ready for a new place to take a hike with your dog? 

Delaware can be a great place to hike with your dog. Inside the First State you can hike with your dog on sand trails, climb hills that leave you and your dog panting, walk on some of the most historic grounds in America, explore the estates of America's wealthiest families or circle lakes for seven miles and never lose sight of the water.... 

What makes a great place to take your dog hiking? Well, how about a paw-friendly surface to trot on? Grass and sandy soil are a lot more appealing than asphalt and rocks. A variety of hikes is always good - long ones for athletic dogs and short ones for the less adventurous canine. Dogs always enjoy a refreshing place to swim as well. For dog-friendly parks our guides describe the trail options for your dog, evaluate park traffic from other users, tell you whether you will need a guide dog to find your way around and, of course, tell you how to get to the park.

While walking the dog around Delaware, we bring along generous helpings of local history, botany, geology, architecture and more. So what are you waiting for? Your dog will want to hike past World War II lookout towers (page 15), hike past a replica of James Madison’s Montpelier (page 75), hike past quarries of the original Blue Rocks (page 39), hike to the highest concentration of bald eagles on the East Coast (page 27), visit a native butterfly garden (page 61)...

THE BEST OF THE BEST

BEST PLACE FOR YOUR DOG TO SWIM
James Farm Ecological Preserve (Ocean View). 
A sandy beach and the gentle waters of Indian River Bay will entice any dog into the water.

BEST ONE-HOUR WORKOUT FOR YOUR DOG
Killens Pond State Park (Dover) 
There are plenty of ups and downs to give the 2.75-mile Pondside Trail a nice, sporty feel. Your dog will also approve of the wide, roomy paths and the packed sand and pine straw under paw.  

PRETTIEST HIKE FOR YOUR DOG
Trap Pond State Park (Laurel)
The atmospheric swamp of the Cypress Point Trail will make your dog feel more like she is in the Louisiana bayous than southern Delaware.

BEST HIKE TO VIEWS WITH YOUR DOG
Woodlawn Trustees (Wilmington)
Breaking out of the woods at this canine hikers’ paradise, you will be greeted by the best views of Brandywine’s Chateau Country anywhere.

BEST BEACH TO HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Cape Henlopen State Park (Lewes)
If hiking on the sands around the cape on the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay aren’t enough for your dog, climb up the 80-foot Great Dune that is the highest pile of sand on the Atlantic coast between Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras. 

BEST HALF-HOUR HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Milton).
The Pine Grove Trail follows a serpentine path between Turkle and Fleetwood ponds on lovely, paw-friendly pine straw beneath a phalanx of loblolly pines. 

MOST HISTORIC HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Brandywine Springs Park (Wilmington)
Your dog will hike through the ruins of one of America’s first amusement parks, along the histric Wilmington and Western Railroad. Before that, Brandywine Springs along Red Clay Creek was a pioneering resort. George Washington even came here to plan the defense of Philadelphia during the Revolution.

BEST OPEN-FIELD HIKING WITH YOUR DOG
Brandywine Creek State Park (Wilmington)
The former duPont estate highlights the rolling hills of northern Delaware to its best effect with long views and native grasses.

BEST PLACE TO CIRCLE A LAKE WITH YOUR DOG
Lums Pond State Park (Kirkwood)
The Swamp Forest Trail circumnavigates the water and covers over seven miles and 26 bridges in its trip around Lums Pond. In for a penny, in for a pound - once you set out on this three-hour tour you are in for the whole trip.  

BEST PLACE TO LOSE YOURSELF IN THE WOODS WITH YOUR DOG
Middle Run Valley Natural Area (Newark)
More than 14 miles of interesting and sometimes challenging trails with plenty of switches in terrain; at seven miles the purple-blazed Lenape Trail is one of the longest loop trails in Delaware.