7 Dog Friendly Hikes Near South Padre Island

Sooooo, you’re in an exercise mood AND you’re in Texas, eh? Welp, you’ve come to the right place to find the best dog friendly hikes near South Padre Island.

After spending a month in the area and exploring the best dog friendly hikes on a daily basis, I have some great suggestions to offer to the puppy-mama/daddy-hiking-enthusiast.

In this blog post, I will guide you through the top dog friendly hikes near South Padre Island. Additionally, I will point you to each trail’s address, distance, hiking difficulty and best parking spot. I will also provide you with resources to my favorite hiking gear for both hoomans and their four-legged counterparts. 

Let’s explore.

*Disclosure: I only recommend travel products and/or services I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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    How do I find the best dog-friendly hikes while traveling?

    AllTrails mobile app or simple Google search.

    How long of a hike can my dog tolerate?

    Different breeds tolerate different levels of exercise. Your dog’s age, physical condition, among other factors, must be considered. It’s best to contact your veterinarian to help you determine your fur baby’s exercise-tolerance level. 

    What is the best hiking gear for my dog?
    What is the best hiking gear for me?
    Where can I find dog-friendly accommodation for my stay in South Padre Island, Texas?

    Below is a list of my hotel and Airbnb recommendations near South Padre Island.

    Hotel Recommendations Near South Padre Island, Texas

    Dog FriendlyLa Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Padre Island Beach

    Budget FriendlyRamada by Wyndham & Suites South Padre Island

    Family FriendlyHilton Garden Inn South Padre Island Beachfront

    LuxuryIsla Grand Beach Resort

    Airbnb Recommendations Near South Padre Island, Texas

    Dog FriendlySun Ray Condo 3B (from $119/night)

    Budget FriendlyLos Fresnos Entire Guesthouse Hosted by Jerry (from $41/night)

    Family FriendlyFantastic Beach Oasis (from $128/night)

    LuxuryLuxury Beachfront Condo With Great Ocean View (from $425/night).

    7 Dog Friendly Hikes Near South Padre Island

    Dog Friendly Hikes

    1. Arroyo Hike and Bike Trail

    The Arroyo Hike and Bike Trail was my favorite hike near South Padre Island. With an average completion time of 1 hour 20 minutes, the trail is popular for individuals wanting to hike and road bikers. Sitting along the Rio Grande Valley, Arroyo Trail is surrounded by 60 acres which includes softball and soccer fields, a playground, a multi-use court, a picnic area, a restroom facility, a backstop, and benches. 

    I believe the reason I loved this nature trail so much was because of the Harlingen Thicket, a 40-acre nature reserve and well-known birding spot on the trail. There is also a railroad track on a bridge that the trail underpasses at one point. I even ended up having a photoshoot on the railroad of my pup, McCoy, that you can see by following him on Instagram @therealmccoytravels. 

    Address: 400 W. Harding Ave, Harlingen, Texas

    Distance: 3.7 miles 

    Hiking Difficulty: Moderate

    Parking: There are three parking options to choose from at Arroyo:

    • West End at C.B. Wood Park – 400 West Harding Ave
    • Mid Trail parking and restrooms at Harlingen Thicket – 311 East Taft
    • East End at McKelvey Park – 1325 S. 77 Sunshine Strip. 

    Side note: The parking was, without a doubt, confusing. I drove around for 20 minutes trying to find it. If you enter the 400 West Harding Ave in your GPS, it probably won’t take you to the right place. Additionally, when I entered the 311 East Taft location in, my GPS ended up taking me to some neighborhood. Take my advice to save yourself some time and just go park at the 1325 S. 77 Sunshine Strip parking lot by the park.

    Dog Friendly Hikes:

    2. Los Fresnos Nature Park

    The Los Fresnos Nature Park was the closest trail to the Airbnb property I stayed at in Los Fresnos. My Airbnb host let me know the nature park was built within the past few years. Although it’s a short trail, you can without a doubt complete several laps and not get bored with the scenery. 

    After you park your car, you can find clean public restrooms as you first approach the park and trail from the parking lot. There are also a few park benches and a small play area for kids to play. 

    There were two puppy poop bag/trash stations that I saw throughout the trail. One was near the park restrooms at the start of the trail with poop bags you can grab to take if you don’t have any for your walk. The second station where you can throw away your puppy poop bags or grab more is the halfway point on the trail. 

    I always made sure my pup pooped in the beginning so that I didn’t have to carry his smelly poop bag for half the trail. Also, I feel it’s worth mentioning that I went to this trail numerous times throughout my month-long stay and there were always plenty of poop bags available.

    Throughout your walk you can expect to see some geckos and a beautiful butterfly crossing path.

    Address: 820 North Arroyo Blvd, Los Fresnos, Texas 78566

    Distance: 0.8 miles 

    Hiking Difficulty: Easy

    Parking: The parking lot is easy to find and located right when you pull in to the trail address, 820 North Arroyo Blvd in Los Fresnos. 

    Dog Friendly Hikes:

    3. Brownsville Historic Battlefield Trail

    The Brownsville Historic Battlefield Trail has various loops to take throughout its 10-mile trail. It is paved with asphalt throughout the entire trail and runs from the center of Brownsville all the way to the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park in Los Fresnos. The trail links together many community neighborhoods to amenities like the Brownsville Event Center, Brownsville Tennis Center, Northside Transfer Station, restaurants, and stores. 

    The trail all began when the City of Brownsville purchased part of an abandoned railroad corridor. The railroad originally opened in the early 1900s and fell into abandonment after a St Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway Company merger that failed. You can find the railroad’s history throughout, with the trail starting at an active rail line while crossing various retired railroad trestles. 

    Address: 1 Event Center, Brownsville, Texas 78526

    Distance: 10 miles 

    Hiking Difficulty: Easy

    Parking: I parked by the Brownsville Tennis Center. 

    Dog Friendly Hikes:

    4. Tram Loop at Resaca De La Palma State Park

    Description: Resaca De La Palma State Park is part of the World Birding Center, which offers eight miles of trails and four decks overlooking approximately four miles of Resaca, and Tram Loop.

    Tram Loop is a 2.76 mile trail that runs through the park. If you use the AllTrails app, it brings you to a trail access point near the park’s entrance, but I don’t believe it is correct because once I got out of the trail, there was a sign that said “private property”. 


    When in doubt, go ask the lovely workers at the Park’s visitor center where the trail access point is.

    Address: 1000 New Carmen Ave, Brownsville, Texas 78521

    Distance: 2.76 miles

    Hiking Difficulty: Easy

    Parking: You may park right at the front entrance when you pull into the Resaca. It would be hard to miss it. 

    Dog Friendly Hikes:

    5. Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park 

    Open from 8 AM to 5 PM, the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park takes you back in time to 1846. The half-mile walk has various historic markers along the way to get your history fix in on the Mexican-American War while simultaneously getting in your cardio for the day.

    Address: 7200 Paredes Line Rd, Brownsville, Texas 78526

    Distance: 0.5 miles   

    Hiking Difficulty: Easy

    Parking: There are signs that point you where to park at the Park’s address. Very hard to miss. 

    Dog Friendly Hikes:

    6. Monte Bella Trails Park 

    This was one of my favorite hikes in the South Padre area. You feel very immersed in nature even though you’re in the city. The trail runs counter-clockwise so just make sure to park near the par when starting your hike to follow that direction.

    Address: Brownsville, Texas 

    Distance: 6.2 miles

    Hiking Difficulty: Moderate

    Parking: Park your vehicle near the park playground area.

    Dog Friendly Hikes:

    7. Public Beaches at South Padre Island

    All of the public beaches in South Padre Island are pet-friendly! If you’re wanting to spend the day at the beach or even just take the pooch for a walk, I suggest going to Public Beach Access 3. It’s less busy than the other public beach access points.

    Side note: If you’re hoping to drive your vehicle on the beach and bring your dog with you then Public Beach Access 5 is your best bet. You can also camp overnight at this spot.

    Address: South Padre Island, Texas

    Hiking Difficulty: Easy

    Parking: Public Beach Access 3 is a good place to park your vehicle.

    7 Dog Friendly Hikes Near South Padre Island Summary:

    While exploring the best dog friendly hikes near South Padre Island, use apps like AllTrails and make sure to bring proper gear in case of emergencies while out hiking.  

    To recap, the best dog friendly hikes in the area include:

    • Arroyo Hike and Bike Trail
    • Los Fresnos Nature Park
    • Brownsville Historic Battlefield Trail
    • Tram Loop
    • Palo Alto Battlefield
    • Monte Bella Trails Park
    • Public Beaches

    What is your favorite dog friendly hike in the good ole USA? Share with me in the comments and then pin this article for reference later on when you visit South Padre!

    Click here to shop my favorite pet products!

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