national hiking trails dog info

Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway

Located in Washington, D.C.

The Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, often known simply as the Rock Creek Parkway, is a parkway maintained by the National Park Service as part of Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. It runs next to the Potomac River and Rock Creek in a generally north–south direction, carrying four lanes of traffic from the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Memorial Bridge north to a junction with Beach Drive near Connecticut Avenue at Calvert Street, N.W., just south of the National Zoological Park. The Parkway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 4, 2005. Built from 1923 to 1936, it is "one of the best-preserved examples of the earliest stage of motor parkway development".

  • Pets are generally allowed on most trails and exterior areas that do not conflict with an adjoining area such as a National Park
  • Parking areas and along paved roads
  • Some campgrounds and picnic areas
  • Must be restrained or kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • Dogs must wear a collar with current tags at all times
  • Pick up after your dog at all times – Leave no trace

*Please see more details for leash info

  • Inside buildings (unless service animal)
  • pets are not permitted in historic homes, in visitor centers, or on ranger-led programs.
  • Never leave your pet unattended or alone inside a vehicle
  • Never off leash – unless inside a vehicle, tent, dog crate or other portable kennel
  • Untagged dogs or dogs with uncurrent tags
  • Excessive barking

*Please see more details for leash info

  • Extreme range of weather
  • Extreme heat
  • Poisonous Snakes
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Spiny and prickly plants
  • Predatory animals
  • Be aware of animal traps and hunting areas
  • Swim safely, extreme water areas
  • Ticks and biting insects
  • Do not drink from waterways
  • Bring plenty of drinking water

Leash Laws: Most parks require dogs to be on a leash in some or all areas, however, some parks allow dogs off leash in certain locations, please consult the parks website before going off leash, Thank you!

  • Consult the park website before traveling all information is to be used as a guide.
  • Respect local wildlife.
  • Leave no trace – What you bring in, you bring out.
  • If you are visiting during the hottest months of the year, a “palm test” is recommended before walking your dog – place your hand on the pavement for a minute and see if it is comfortable there. If the pavement feels hot to your palm, it will be hot to your dog’s paws.

(202) 895-6000

Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Website

Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Hiking

Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Volunteer

We do our best to keep all information current and accurate - If you see an error or think we have missed something please contact us directly.

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We do our best to keep all information current and accurate - If you see an error or think we have missed something please contact us directly.

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