4 local Dog Hikes in Syracuse

Clarks reservation state park view from the top

One of the things I love about Syracuse is all of the places to enjoy the outdoors. Situated between the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks there are a numerous number of hiking trails you can take your dog too. But you don’t have to travel far from Syracuse to enjoy wonderful hikes. There are plenty of places right in Syracuse that will fit the bill. I decided to concentrate on 4 local dog hikes that are right in the heart of the Syracuse area for you and your dog to enjoy.

Hiking Onondaga Lake Park

Onondaga Lake now has 7.5 miles of trails which encircle the Lake. At one time the Eastern shore was the only place to enjoy a walk, run or bike ride, while the western shore was unusable. Now the western shore has been restored adding 4.5 miles of trails around the Lake. There have been many initiatives to fully encircle the lake with trails. there is only a small section left. The eastern shoe has two trails, one that is paved and meant for bikes, runners and in-line skates. Dogs are not allowed on this trail during peak season, but are welcome on the walking trail which runs in close proximity. The western shore also contains two trails, but has no restrictions on dog access. Dogs are required to be leashed.

enjoying the lake together
enjoying the lake together

Erie Canal Park is a Great Hiking Space for your best Friend

While in fact this is one park, there are many entrances and “sections” you can enjoy of this park. The Erie canal trail goes along the Erie Canal that was built from 1817-1825, this trail runs 360 miles between Albany and Buffalo. Again, this trail is in the process of being restored, and although some parts are still on-road access (versus trails) there are many miles of trails right in the Syracuse area. The best places to access the trail in Syracuse are:

  • Camillus- Erie Canal Park
  • Warners- Hinsdale Rd
  • Western shore of Onondaga Lake
  • Dewitt- Butternut Drive
  • Manlius- Burdick St
  • East Syracuse- bridge Street
  • Kirkville- Kirkville Rd ( Near Green Lakes)

Black dog ready for adventure
Declan is ready for adventure

Clarks Reservation State Park has Many Hiking Trails

Harks back to the ice- age. This little gem is literally minutes from the City and has cliffs and a lake carved from the glaciers. Besides the lake and cliff, it houses a variety of flora and fauna and 13 trails to choose from. While dogs are welcome, they are required to be on leash while on the cliff trail as their are large slabs of rock and deep crevices.

Clarks reservation state park view from the top
Clarks reservation state park

Green Lakes State Park Provides a fun Hike

This park contains 2 glacial Lakes. Both Green Lake and Round Lake which have an unusual blue-green color. These lakes are both meromictic lakes. This indicates that the surface waters and bottom water layers do not ever mix. This preserves things well at the bottom of the lake causes that unusual hue on the top layer that is nearly crystal clear. The Lake is 195′ deep. You can find many a dog walking the trails here and while leashes are required for dogs, many dogs have managed to find ways to swim in these crystalline waters. I just may have had two dogs that learned to swim here. 😊

While these parks are close to Syracuse and very popular, there are many more that I can include. Jamesville Beach Dog Area as well as Elmwood Park contain dog friendly trails and swim areas as we have recently reviewed. Pet Portrait sessions can take place at any of these venues. What better way to celebrate your love for your pet, than to have a portrait session that captures your journey together. If you would like to schedule a session, Contact me:


This post is part of circular blog with other Professional Pet Photographers. Our goal is to focus on a particular topic/assignment each week and put our own spin on it. There are photographers from all over the world participating.  Follow the next link to view how the next amazing photographer tackles this weeks challenge.  Follow each link at the end of each blog until you return to me. Then you have successfully completed our blog circle. Enjoy!

owner and dog walking the trails
walking the trails

+++++ NOW head over to:

Angela and Bella of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, WA, hiking with dogs in North Idaho


Come and find your Best Friend!
Second Chance has a unique program near Syracuse N.Y. where inmates train the rescued dogs. This program gives both the dogs and the inmates a second chance in life.  Appointments currently required related to Covid-19 protocols.

Sparky the black dog

Sparky is waiting for his forever home.

Please contact Friends of Second Chance.

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078
315-435-5584
http://jamesvillesecondchance.com


Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a pet and nature photographer serving  Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch. Travel assignments welcomed.

4 Comments

  1. Nicole on June 25, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Wow, you live in a beautiful area!



    • N Kieffer on June 30, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      Yes, it really is a beautiful place.



  2. Angela Schneider on June 25, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Looks like I have to put dog hikes in Syracuse on my list of things to do. It must be time for a road trip soon.



    • N Kieffer on June 30, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      You will have to…and make time to get to the Adirondacks as well.