Size Matters: The Great Leash Debate in the Hudson Valley
If you want to take your dog to a public park, you may need to break out the tape measure. Not only are dogs required to be on-leash when hiking in state and national parks, but the length of the leash plays an important role as well.
A recent post in the Hiking the Hudson Valley Facebook group has left hundred of local residents divided, with many hikers proudly declaring not only their distaste for the rules, but their active refusal to follow them. Here's what you need to know to keep your dog safe (and legal).
Dog Leash Laws in New York State Parks
"In Harriman State Park dogs must be on a leash not more than 6 feet at all times and there are places they are not allowed [at all]... please follow the rules and keep everyone safe", said the post from a local hiker. Surprisingly, hundreds of commenters pushed back.
"So this is a cop site now? Mind your own business", said one anti-establishment hiker. "Once again someone telling another person what is best for them in the name of safety. Perhaps we should leash the Bears too", added another. The outpouring of objections helped to spotlight the reason the rules were put in place to begin with.
"Rules are rules . Some people I guess weren’t taught that", observed a Hudson Valley woman. "It's safer for dogs and for wildlife. I keep my dog on leash mostly because I do not want her getting bitten by a snake, or a rabid skunk or whatever. Also, I do not want her stressing out indigenous wildlife. Why is that so hard to understand?", offered another. Here's how the actual rules break down.
When hiking or camping in New York state parks, there are a few requirements of dog owners. When dogs are allowed, it is required for them to be on-leash at all times, unless they are in a specific leash-free dog park enclosure. The length is specified as well:
- Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6ft and under control at all times.
- Do not leave pets unattended and always clean up after them.
- Pet owners/permit holders are liable for any damage, personal injury, or nuisance caused by the pet.
As one commenter said, "probably a reason for the rules. Follow or pick another park". A great place for off-leash play is of course a dog park. Check out some of the best options in the Hudson Valley here, and keep scrolling to check out some other awesome places to take your pup... just check on their leash rules!