Is there anything better than a summertime camping trip? The sights, the sounds, the activities, the solitude, and the s’mores are all enough to win over even the coldest of hearts. Being forced to leave your dog at home is just about the only possible deal-breaker. Not all campgrounds are dog-friendly and some even have a no dogs allowed policy. We’ve compiled a list of the best dog-friendly spots around Austin, Texas that will allow you to enjoy the fun of camping without the heartbreak of experiencing it without your four-legged best friend.
Before we dive into all the wonderful camping destinations, we need to take a moment to consider safety. Camping is not necessarily a “high-risk” endeavor for your dog, but it is very important that you take into account potential dangers. Check out our recent post detailing everything you can do to prepare yourself before enjoying the great outdoors with your dog.
In short, be sure to have a fully stocked pet first aid kit and plenty of water. Your pet will encounter plenty of strange-to-them creatures and they may mistake them for potential playmates. It is a good idea to consider snake-training before your trip so that your pet knows to avoid dangerous animals. It only takes a few moments thought before a camping trip to be sure you are prepared, and it can make all the difference later. Now onto the fun part.
McKinney Falls State Park
This park is located right here in Austin. If you haven’t yet visited the park, you should certainly make the time because it is just beautiful. The site features over 80 campgrounds, all of which are dog-friendly. There are hiking trails, places to swim, fishing spots, and even free wifi. The campground’s dog policy has no restrictions on breed or size but does require your pup to stay leashed the entire time. It’s important to note that there is not an off-leash area on site.
This location is an RV park complete with a swimming pool, a fitness center, and multiple off-leash parks – all within the Austin city limits! There are breed restrictions, and all pets must be registered with the office. It is also required that all pets are up-to-date with shots and tags, and there is a limit of 2 pets per “household”. When your pup isn’t enjoying one of the off-leash parks they are required to stay leashed.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park
This is another gem located right here in Austin. They offer both “primitive” and “premium” camping options. The biggest perk of this location is the beach. They also offer kayaking, hiking, and swimming. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. Please note that dogs are not allowed in swimming areas.
Pedernales Falls State Park
This state park is about an hour’s drive from downtown Austin, but it is well worth the trip. The park offers hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, swimming, and horse-back riding. Pets are welcome at this Texas state park (at all Texas state parks, for that matter). They are required to remain leashed, and the leash must not be longer than 6 ft long.
KOA in Leander, Texas
You will only have to drive about 30 minutes to get to this popular camping destination. It offers several camping choices including cabins, tents and RV options. The entire location is pet-friendly. Pets must stay leashed most of the time, but there are off-leash parks available to help them run off some energy.
Of course, this list only begins to scratch the surface of the countless dog-friendly camping destinations around Austin, Texas. All that stands between you and a few peaceful days in the great outdoors with your favorite dog is deciding where to go first! Whenever you decide to go, it is always a good idea to double-check the pet policies before leaving. Policies can change, and it is in everyone’s best interest to do their due diligence. Since most places will require your pet to be on a leash most of (if not all of) the time, it’s a good idea to bring along a spare leash.
Camping is one of the best summertime activities. Get out there and enjoy what it feels like to not check your emails and binge watch some nature.