Crooked Run Valley
For Your Pet's Safety
Pets in the Park
Sky Meadows State Park has long been known to area residents as a
"pet-friendly" park. The Park is a wonderful place to spend time exploring the natural world while exercising your pet:
Our trails offer a variety of landscapes for you and your pet to dis-
cover. From rolling meadows, dense forests, and mountaintop vistas, there are plenty of sights, sounds, and smells for you both.
Pets are welcome at all of our backcountry tent sites.
You can bring your pet to most of our programs and events. We
even have a very special event just for dogs and their human com-panions! (See "Dog Days of Summer: Bark in the Park" below).
Tips, Guidelines & Regulations
Hiking with Your Pet
Pets are allowed on most of the trails in Sky Meadows State Park.
The exceptions are trails that have been designated as equestrian
trails. These are: Rolling Meadows, Lost Mountain, Washington's
Ridge, Hayfield, and Old Pasture Trails. Pets are also prohibited
from entering any of the buildings in the Historic Area, including
the Visitor Center.
When selecting a trail to take with your pet, be sure to take your
pet's age and physical fitness into consideration. Plan your hike
using our Trail Guide, which provides trail lengths and degrees of difficulty. During the summer months, when heat and humidity levels are at their peak, hike early in the day, or in the evening to lessen the chance of heat-related illness for you and your pet.
Take plenty of water for yourself and for your pet. Your pet will dehy-
drate more quickly than you. Stop for rest and re-hydration often. If you
did not bring enough water for yourself and your pet, you may purchase
water bottles, as well as collapsible water bowls and leashes in the Gift
Shop! For a quick cool-down, your pet can get a drink from our watering
bowl next to the Log Cabin in the Historic Area.
Pets must be kept on a leash, no more than six feet in length, at all times.
Pets are not considered "leashed" unless you are holding the other end and maintaining control.
Disposing of Pet Waste
You never know when your pet will have to answer "nature's call." Please remember to carry plastic bags or other suitable materials with you to pick up your pet's solid waste. You may deposit contained waste in trash receptacles (Not recycling receptacles, please!).
Unattended pets are not allowed at any time in the Park. The includes
leaving your pet unattended in your vehicle. Virginia State Law prohibits
animals from being left alone in a parked vehicle. Violators will be ticketed.
Did you know . . . ? If the temperature outside is 75 degrees, the temper-
ature inside your vehicle will reach 95 degrees with 10 minutes. When the outside temperature is 90 degrees, the temperature inside will reach 105 degrees within 10 minutes. Cracking a window does not help. Leav-ing your pet alone in the car is not just a bad idea . . . it's also against the law!
Why do I have to LEASH my DOG? Dogs are a common sight at Sky Meadows. To prevent problems, the following information is provided:
1) A leash prevents your dog from running away and becoming lost;
2) Leashes restrain territorial and protective dogs from other dogs;
3) Unleashed dogs can harass, injure, and kill wildlife, which is protected in the Virginia State Parks;
4) A leash can prevent your dog from being attacked by diseased animals, bitten by cornered wildlife, and sprayed by defensive skunks;
5) A leashed dog's keen senses can draw your attention to nearby wildlife that you might not otherwise see;
6) Unleased dogs increase the chance that dogs will be banned entirely
from the park;
7) Failure to leash your dog can result in a substantial fine.
In addition, ticks are numerous in many parts of the park. An unleased
dog can easily wander into tick infested areas. A leased dog that stays
on the trails is far less likely to come into contact with ticks.