Dog Friendly Vermont

Vermont is a Pet Friendly Playground

With wide-open spaces, lots to do outside, welcoming state and local parks and even a monument dedicated to our canine companions, Vermont is a great place to explore with dogs.

They’ll love exploring the forests, enjoying mowed paths, heading to Dog Mountain for a long walk and even stopping for pup-sized creemees around the state.

Vermont’s 251 Club aims to visit all 251 towns and cities in the state. That gives them a leg up on many of us when it comes to finding great places around the state to visit – and many 251 Club members travel with four-legged companions, from big dogs to cats. Here are a few of their suggestions for happy trails and wagging tails.

Michael Leonard of Montpelier remembers taking his dog to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock.

“For being a National Park, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock is surprisingly dog friendly. It’s where I always brought my dog for walks when she was still alive – they just have to stay leashed,” he said. “And as a new resident of Montpelier, I would say the same about Hubbard Park or the eponymous Dog River, of course!”

Sally Botala and Susan West live in Derby and take their dogs, Lily and Cooper, on frequent exploratory missions around the state.

“Lily and Cooper know the words ‘road trip’. Our adventures usually include a few historic sites, lunch at a local restaurant and a hike/walk. We only do a couple of towns each ‘road trip’ so we can experience each town. It might be a covered bridge, historic markers, roadside attractions, quirky unusual places, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, town greens, war monuments, historic cemetery, historic churches, country stores, trails, restaurants, ice cream stands, state parks, … and in past years, free music concerts and festivals,” said Botala and West.

They try to look for easier hikes so the dogs don’t get too tired.

“One of the places that comes to mind is the ‘Martin Bridge Park’ in Marshfield. The bridge is historic, the walking trail hilltop is scenic and has a surprise feature of a circle of rocks. Plus, (there’s) the Winooski River to wade in. The Grand Lookout in the Millstone Hill network of trails in Barre walks you through granite quarry sites and carvings and ends with beautiful views.  Wrights Mountain road trail to the cabin and lookout has beautiful views. An extra plus for Wrights Mountain is creating a loop by detouring onto the Appreciation Way trail with a fantastic scenic view spot,” they said.

“(We) think the favorite for Lily and Cooper is Duck Pond in Sutton. We found this trail exploring the Willoughby State Forest. The pups love to ‘fish for minnows’ in the crystal clear mountain pond,” said Botala and West.

It’s not just dogs that enjoy a Vermont vacation, according to 251 Club member Darlene Levy of Hartford, who travels with her two cats, SamIAm and Seuss.

She’s brought them to Quechee Gorge and the surrounding area, always on a leash, she said. Levy is on her third year of the 251 project, with just under 100 towns to go.

Traveling to Vermont with pets? Many Vermont lodging properties are pet-friendly.