As autumn sets in and colors begin to change, what could be better than a hike with your dog to improve your mood and get some movement in? Sometimes it’s difficult to find a dog-friendly hiking trail that isn’t sharing the “road” with horses and their riders, or a lot of overly friendly wildlife. However, there are plenty of beautiful, dog-friendly hiking trails if you know where to look!
Here are five of the most highly rated dog-friendly hiking trails in Fort Mill, SC, according to local dog parents like yourself. There's something for every level of hiker, human or canine, so pick the one that sounds best for you and explore! Just be sure to grab a leash for your dog as all these trails require dogs to be on a leash.
Masons Bend Trail
Masons Bend Trail is a peaceful 3.5-mile trail for a nice hike with your dog. It starts at the trailhead at the end of Weir Court in the Masons Bend neighborhood. From there, the trail follows the Catawba River and winds behind the Masons bend neighborhood. It also shares a trailhead with the Founders Trail. Enjoy hiking through the hardwood and pine trees while keeping your eye out for local wildlife.
The Founders Trail is a 2.3-mile mostly natural surface trail that follows a stretch of the Catawba River that your dog is sure to enjoy. In addition to the beautiful views, there are benches provided to let both you and your canine companion take a break and watch the river. The trails are well-marked and maintained, but be sure to wear waterproof boots if you’re visiting during or following a rainstorm.
Carolina Thread Trail - Baxter Village
The Carolina Thread Trail is a 3.3-mile trail in the 9-mile Baxter Village Trail network and is great for a more intermediate-level hike with your dog. The Carolina Thread Trail is a bit hilly and boasts numerous streams along its length. The trail surface is sandy but compacted well enough for a safe, stable hike. The crowning jewel of this trail is the observation deck overlooking the Catawba River where you and your pet can watch all types of water birds (pack a strong leash!) as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Anne Springs Close Greenway Trail System – Haigler Loop
The Haigler Loop Trail is a 3.3-mile segment of the 40-mile Anne Springs Close Greenway Trail System. Due to small elevation gains, this trail is considered a very easy and popular route. Expect to see birdwatchers, fisherpersons, and others while enjoying this tranquil, undulating forest with great lake views. Amenities on this trail include paid parking and a canteen serving light snacks and beverages to trail-goers.
Anne Springs Close Greenway Trail System – Blue Star Trail
If you and your pup are looking for a more challenging trail, the 14.8-mile Blue Star Trail may be just right for you! The trail is mostly flat, well-marked, and weaves through the forest with several hanging bridge crossings. You'll see amenities like a restroom at mile 5 and a café around mile 6 to help keep you going. Do be careful of some muddy spots near the creek!
These are just five of many impressive trails available in dog-friendly Fort Mill. Both you and your pup need to exercise daily, at least 10,000 steps for you and 30 – 120 minutes for your dog. These Fort Mill trails are a great way to fulfill your daily exercise requirement and spend some time with your best furry friend. Happy hiking!