Believe it or not, 624-acre Arlington National Cemetery is dog-friendly. The cemetery’s paved roads and gentle hills are ideal if the winter weather isn’t exactly motivating you to tackle the uneven terrain and mud of a traditional park hike.
Dogs can go anywhere on the outdoor grounds that people are allowed. Keep them on the sidewalk in places where there are fences or chains to protect the grass, such as around the Kennedy family gravesites. You can also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Memorial Amphitheater, and more than 30 other monuments and memorials. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and they aren’t allowed in the visitors’ center or other buildings.
Of course, remember to be respectful, and mindful of other visitors, particularly if you’re hiking with a human pal. Recently bereaved families may not appreciate a dog’s greeting or a loud debate over the latest nail-biter on Scandal. This is especially true if you go near Section 60 in the southeast part of the cemetery, where the casualties of the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan are buried.
You can download the ANC Explorer app on Apple or Google beforehand if you’d like to locate specific gravesites or other points of interest throughout the cemetery. Arlington Cemetery opens at 8 AM year-round. Parking is plentiful and costs $1.75 for the first three hours.
Gwyn Donohue is the author of the blog Two Dog Tales. Head there to read about more events, activities, and news for Washington dog owners.