Raleigh Pawz understands the importance quality time with your pet. And one of Fido’s favorite things to do on a nice, sunny day is go on a trot with his favorite person — you.

Though Fido can always find something interesting to explore in your neighborhood, why not give him an extra-special hiking trip with plenty of new trails to explore? A cool, refreshing lake for a swim?

One of the best things about Raleigh is that many of these parks are free. Fun in the sun, and the entry fee is, well, none!

We’ve done our research on dog-friendly area hiking trails and these are our favorites.

Neuse River Greenway Trail

This incredible hiking area features a whopping 27.5 miles of paved trails with beautiful views. Water and restrooms are conveniently located throughout. The trails are mostly flat, but there are some that are more challenging, if you have a highly energetic dog. Dogs can cool off by taking a nice wade in the river. Views of bridges, the river, and the woodlands. Plenty of shade for Fido to enjoy!

Lake Johnson Park

This large, picturesque park features a 4.2-mile trail of moderate difficulty, which makes it a great place for energetic dogs looking for a good run. The trail offers shady areas for rest and relaxation, as well as benches for humans, too! Boat rentals are also available for an extra treat! If you’re hungry, you’ll find a concession stand and restroom facilities. Take a breather on one of the rocking chairs on the deck.

William B. Umstead State Park

This well-maintained lovely park features 22 miles of hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. Favorites include Sal’s Branch and Inspiration trails. Rowboats and canoes are available for rent for a glorious boat trip on Big Lake on a hot summer day! Fido will have a great time exploring the creeks, lakes, and rivers throughout the park. You’ll find shelters in the park for a comfortable picnic spot — some with fireplaces!

Shelley Lake Park

This 144.8-acre park features 2 miles of paved trails around a scenic lake. The trail is mostly flat, making it ideal for older or out-of-shape dogs who just want to take a leisurely stroll. And there are plenty of shady areas where your pooch can take a breather — or a nap! You’ll find plenty of restrooms along the trail, making it a good choice for those who have to use the facilities frequently.

Hiking is good for your health and it’s fun, too — but it’s even more fun when your good buddy comes along!