Best Dog-Friendly Hikes in Sanford, FL

Best Dog-Friendly Hikes in Sanford, FL

If you and your dog need a little time out of the city, Sanford is surrounded by many beautiful nature preserves and wetlands. Pack some snacks and dog treats and head out for a hike. Whether you’re looking for a short nature walk or a more moderate excursion, Sanford has several dog-friendly trails.

Popular Sanford Trails for Dogs

Trails around Sanford offer plenty of exciting scents for your dog to explore while providing you views and wildlife sightings. Some of the best trails include:

  • The Riverwalk - Located right in downtown Sanford, this paved path travels along Lake Monroe and is the perfect spot for a morning jog or afternoon walk with your dog. This waterfront attraction offers plenty of sights and smells to keep your dog entertained, with plenty of people and bicyclists, gorgeous lake views, and shady places to stop for a rest. 
  • Lake Monroe Conservation Area - This wetland preservation area has several hiking options for you and your dog. The popular Brickyard Slough Trail is up to 10 miles and has views of marshes, while the shorter White Trail goes through scrub brush. While hiking, you and your dog might come across shorebirds, waterfowl, wood storks, bald eagles, deer, and alligators.
  • Lake Jesup Wilderness - In the Lake Jesup Conservation Area, you’ll find several trails through the floodplains around the lake and St. Johns River. Hikes range from half a mile to 2 miles, and are generally well shaded, making them good options for less active or older dogs.
  • Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail - For the more adventurous owners and pets, this 7 mile trail is a moderate loop that runs along the St. Johns River. Wildlife abounds with the potential to see turtles, hogs, pygmy snakes, and alligators, unless your four-legged friend scares them off. The trail can be muddy, so plan to give your dog a bath when you get home.

With all of these trails located less than a half hour drive from downtown Sanford, you and your four legged friend can be out in nature in no time.

Dog Safety When Hiking

Before you take your pet out on the trails, there are a few things to keep in mind. Trails in the Sanford area require dogs to be on leash at all times. Nature preserves are home to wildlife, so it is important to always have control of your dog for their safety and the safety of wildlife.

Be sure to always check the weather. Even on mild days, the Florida humidity can make it feel much hotter, tiring out your dog. If the weather is warm, consider shorter hikes or hiking in the morning, and always make sure to bring plenty of water, for both you and your dog.

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