New River Gorge Dog Policy
New River Gorge National Park is Dog Friendly
New River Gorge is a deep, whitewhater river that flows through the canyons here. New River Gorge National Park is quite large at over 70,000 acres along New River. The park offers abundant wilderness, water activities such as white water rafting, and is also steeped in cultural history.
New River Gorge National Park is a dog friendly park, and dogs are allowed throughout the park while on a leash no longer than 6'. There are only primitive campsites within the park, but dogs are allowed at the campsites. Please ensure your dog is well hydrated, respect wildlife, and bag & remove any dog waste.
New River Gorge National Park also runs the BARK Ranger Program, where you can earn a special dog tag by learning and following responsible practices (see the BARK Ranger section below).
Dogs are allowed on all trails at New River Gorge National Park while on a leash no longer than 6'. Bring extra water for your dog, and note that streams may contain parasites such as Giardia that can affect you and your dog.
New River Goarge National Park only has primitive camping, but dogs are allowed at campsites if they're on a leash. There are other campgrounds nearby. Please see the NPS site on camping at New River Gorge National Park if you want more information.
|Burnwood Group Campsite||Yes|
|Glade Creek Campground||Yes|
|Meadow Creek Campground||Yes|
|War Ridge/Backus Mountain Campground||Yes|
|Campground details from Recreation.gov|
Bark Ranger is a really great program that some National Park Service destinations run. The Bark Ranger program teaches dog owners responsible behaviors with their dogs, and in return you get a special dog tag that’s different for each park (note: some parks require you to purchase the tag at the end). You start the program by going to a park office and picking up a checklist. When you complete the checklist (see the link below for more details), you can get your special dog tag.
B.A.R.K. is an acronym for:
- B: Bag your poop
- Help keep the park clean by bagging and picking up your dog poop, and properly disposing of it. Don’t leave your bagged poop on the side of the trail, hanging from branches, or throw it into the woods. Please note dog poop is not a natural fertilizer — it can carry disease that can spread to wildlife or other dogs.
- A: Always wear a leash
- Dogs must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6'. Retractable leashes that extend beyond 6' are not allowed. Not everyone appreciates a dog running up to them, and many people are scared or allergic to dogs — a leash prevents uncomfortable situations between your dog and others. Leashes also help protect your dog from running off if anything spooks them.
- R: Respect wildlife
- Dogs can chase or scare wildlife such as birds and turtles. They can also damage nesting areas. Some parks have wildlife, such as bears, coyotes, or wolves, that can threaten your dog. Please be respectful of wildlife with your dog, and if you do encounter wildlife, keep dog at distance to protect both your dog and the wildlife.
- K: Know where to go
- Know which trails allow dogs, and which don’t. Don’t leave dogs unattended in vehicles while you go off to hike. See the link below for more details.
For more information on the Bark Ranger program, please see: https://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/bark-ranger.htm
We also have a list of all parks that run the BARK Ranger program.