A lot of people travel with their pups these days. Little carriers make is easy to bring a dog with you on a plane or train. Things get a little tricky when you have 200 pounds of dog to transport. We decided to take a trip that was completely dog friendly and include our pups in all of our activities. We loaded up the car and drove north to New Hampshire to tackle some big peaks in the White Mountains.
First, let’s backtrack to preparing for a trip with your dogs. I got copies of their vet records in case we encountered any situations where we would need them. We got fresh new Soresto collars since we would be in the woods a lot. Everything else we found online with Ruffwear I can’t recommend the Palisades pack enough it comes with two 1 liter water bladders and little pockets for the water bags to help keep the saddle bag balanced on treks. We also got each dog their own sleeping pad, water/food bowls and lights for their collars all from Ruffwear
Our first stop was the White Mountains in Lincoln New Hampshire. This time of year the leaves were on fire and so beautiful. The temperature was perfect for two big dogs to take a long walk in the woods. Our first night was resting from the long 10 hour drive and preparing to hike the next morning. There were many dog friendly hotels but they were mostly booked due to the leaf peepers. We found a room at The Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain. The next morning we parked at the Lincoln Woods visitor center and started our journey up. We summited Mt. Flume and Mt Liberty and spent the night at the Liberty springs tent site. There were many dogs on these trails and all were super friendly as were the people. The 360 views at the peaks of these mountains are worth the hard work and the mountain dogs lived up to their name sake on this rigorous hike.
New Hampshire was so delightfully dog friendly. We next went farther north to Maine. Rain had put a little dampener on our hike so we ended up cutting it a little short and spending some time in Portland, Maine. Now finding a hotel can be a little stressful last minute but with 200 pounds of dog with you it adds another element of stress. We went right to Airbnb they have a setting to search by dog friendly places and have a setting for instant book if you are doing any last minute looking. Within minutes found and were accepted for a great apartment in South Portland. The apartment was super close to the Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park the park is very dog friendly all dogs must be on leash near the lighthouse and there are no trash receptacles you bag up and remove your doggy doo. There is a little section in the park exclusively for off leash dogs.
We then took the pups to explore downtown Portland which was awesomely dog friendly. We were able to take them into all of the stores to do some shopping. We ate outside at the Portland Lobster Company where they had tons of seafood and live music.
Next stop the Freeport outlets to get a head start on our Christmas shopping. The outlets were all very welcoming of our pups. The only place that didn’t allow dogs was the LLBean flagship store.
We explored a few more towns and lighthouses on the way to our final destination. Boothbay Maine was exceptionally dog friendly with a great pet boutique. The owner of Two Salty Dogs was there when we arrived and guided us to a great place to take the dogs swimming. Their website has a thorough guide to dog friendly tips in the town I recommend taking a look and visiting them if you are ever near there.
The next part of our journey takes us further north to Acadia National Park the self proclaimed “most dog friendly national park in US.” In most of the parks you are very restricted in what trails you bring your pups on. We started with Gorham Mountain to Ocean Path Loop. Most things will tell you that dogs are not allowed on Sand Beach EVER. They are allowed in October after the busy season has concluded. Kodiak witnessed the ocean waves crashing for the first time and was overjoyed and thrilled to bite at them each time they rolled in. We also did the Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail in the wee hours of the morning before the sun rose with our head lamps on. We didn’t do this just because we are crazy (although we are) we rushed up to see the breathtaking sunrise from the peak.
There are a lot of hikes in Acadia that are not dog friendly take a look at the national parks website when planning your trip and have a backup plan if there are some hikes you want to explore with your pup. We were lucky to have found a great dog friendly Airbnb a local doggy daycare is always an option. Read Facebook and Yelp reviews before deciding on a daycare.
There is on the other hand a dream dog park in Acadia. This was such a gem we found. I feel so envious of the locals who can enjoy this treasure. Little Long Pond off leash area is a dedicated space for dogs and their humans to enjoy nature together. As with any off leash situation ensure your dog has excellent recall and is friendly with other dogs and people.
We concluded our drive home with lots of light house tours. Bringfido was a great help in preparing for our trip. I googled “dog friendly ___ ” a lot to find each detail on the trip. Traveling with your dogs takes a little preparation but I would recommend it I’m not sure who enjoyed it more.
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