Dog Friendly Hikes

What’s your favorite dog friendly hike?  I asked a few locals for some suggestions and here’s a list of 10 great options to take your four-legged friend on your next outdoor adventure around Nevada City & Grass Valley.  Please remember to bring along a bag and pick up after your dog.

Empire Mine State Historic Park: Located in historic Grass Valley, Empire Mine State Park includes 14 miles of trails, open year round for hiking, walking your dog, or enjoying a horse or bike ride.

Buttermilk Bend Trail: This trail allows dogs on leashes. Buttermilk Bend Trail begins near Penn Valley, winding a little over a mile up the South Yuba River. Be sure to come in the Springtime to see the spectacular Spring wildflowers!

Independence Trail: The first ever wheelchair accessible wilderness trail in the country! With easy terrain and extra wide paths, the Independence Trail is the perfect hiking experience for the whole family, including furry friends on leashes.

Point Defiance Trail: This 2.5mile loop located near Bridgeport with access to a lake is the perfect way to get some exercise and then take a refreshing swim with your pup.

Deer Creek Tribute Trail: If you’re looking for a quick trip into nature, check out the Deer Creek Tribute Trail. Located right in historic Nevada City, this trail features a suspension bridge which spans a portion of Deer Creek.

South Yuba Trail:  Head to Edwards Crossing and walk downstream along the South Yuba Trail.  In the winter months this trail is a great place to check out the lady bugs and if you’re lucky catch a glimpse of a kayaker running the Class 5 run.

Snow Mountain NID Trail: One mile up Highway 20 offers a level easy hike along the irrigation ditch.  So grab your bike, your kid, the dog and hit the trail!  Look for the turn out on the right hand side of Highway 20 heading east, the street Steep Hill Court is on the right, but the easier land mark is the power line in the middle of the turn out.

The Cascade Canal Trail: (or Banner Mountain/Gracie N.I.D. trail) is an easy 4.25 miles along the irrigation ditch.  If you’re looking for an extra challenge take the Orene Wetherall trail down .6 miles and then climb back up, brought to you by the Bear Yuba Land Trust.

Litton Trail: The centrally located trail by Sierra College and Briar Patch has a paved section is a great option in Grass Valley for someone looking for an easier walk.

Alpha Omega rest stop: Located 18 miles east of Nevada City up Highway 20, it’s a great option in the year round.  In the winter months it’s a great place to snowshoe or cross country ski with your dog in the winter months.

For more suggestions on dog friendly restaurants and activities, check out this page on our Things to Do section.  And a friendly reminder that both the Outside Inn & Inn Town Campground are dog friendly, for those who are traveling to Nevada City and need a place to stay with their dogs.

© 2019 InnSide Nevada City, Photos © by Erin Thiem, Lenkaland Photography and Sandra Boyd

4 replies
  1. Aurelia
    Aurelia says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource! We live next to the Snow Mountain NID trail and love taking our dog for daily walks there and meeting other people out enjoying nature. We are often surprised, however, at how many people don’t pick up their dog poop (or pick it up but leave the bag behind), perhaps not realizing that the NID water eventually becomes our drinking water in Nevada City! It’s a privilege to have these spaces available to us and our dogs, and we hope more people will do the right thing and pack those poo bags out with them after they’ve enjoyed their stroll.

  2. Stacy
    Stacy says:

    Thank you Outside Inn for sharing these wonderful pet friendly trails. I just wish that had promoted responsible dog ownership by including a photo of dogs on leashes. Thanks for the info.
    Keep up the great blog!

    • Sandra Boyd
      Sandra Boyd says:

      Hi Stacy! Really good point of keeping dogs on leashes on the trails! My Oliver is one of the “models” on this blog (little fluffy white dog!) as you noticed there isn’t a leash in some of the images….just to let you know, he was wearing a leash all the time except for a minute to take the picture. I have also volunteered (about 4 years) to work with 3 local dog rescue groups doing pup portraits to help them find their adoptive homes – at all times safety is #1 for all dogs & people which includes being on leashes;however, if you see some of my images, it is likely you will not see the leash as I photoshop them out as they distract from the beautiful image of the dog’s face which I hope will speak to folks looking for their forever fur baby….thanks for your concern & hope this helps elaborate on the pet photographer’s perspective

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