Vermont is a great getaway destination with beautiful mountain vistas, wilderness areas, and plenty of snow for some winter fun. Best of all, you can enjoy many of these activities side by side with your canine pal!
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
Vermont is home to a number of pet-friendly state parks with hiking and cross-country trails. Park amenities are not available in the winter but are still open to visitors. Wherever you are in Vermont, a dog-friendly park is not far:
Located in northern Vermont along the Waterbury Reservoir, Little River State Park features many miles of pet-friendly trails, nature trails, and historical sites, and scenic water vistas.
Located in central Vermont near New Hampshire, the park is completely pet-friendly, and has an excellent ski and snowshoe trail in the winter.
A high elevation park located in southwestern Vermont, featuring scenic ponds and lakes with dog-friendly hiking trails.
Also in southern Vermont, Jamaica State Park is bisected by the West River, and is home to the remains of an old railroad. The park has five miles of hiking trails open to canine companions and offers scenic mountain and waterfall views.
Dogsledding and Skijoring
If you are looking for something a little more advanced than cross-country skiing, consider skijoring. It's a winter sport where dogs are harnessed to the cross-country skier and assist in pulling them along. If your dog is medium to large and loves to run ahead, skijoring may be for you.
If your dog isn't so inclined, you can enjoy the rush without them by riding with a trained team of sled dogs. October Siberians will take you an a friend on a scenic tour of Little River State Park, and even give you the opportunity to "mush" (drive) the dogs. Or, for a moonlit adventure, try HuskyWorks Mushing Co.
Dogsledding companies may offer mushing and skijor lessons. Check the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association's website for a list of companies at voga.org.
Ski Resorts and Lodging
If you've planned a downhill skiing adventure, make sure you have accommodations for your dog when you're on the slopes. Many pet-friendly hotels ask that you do not leave your dog alone in your room, so look for lodging that can assist with dog sitting or dog walking. If that's not an option, you might consider renting a pet-friendly cabin or cottage where you can more comfortably leave your dog without concern about annoying neighboring rooms with noise. Here are some standout options:
The Lodge at Spruce Peak, located beside Mount Mansfield, offers easy access to a variety of winter activities, and according to reviews, is quite the canine hangout. The Lodge allows dogs in lobby areas, and the concierge will assist in finding a dog-sitter. Upon arrival, you will find some goodies for your pup, including a dog bed and free toy. Topnotch Resort is another option in Stowe popular with dog owners, and it offers some unique dog amenities including spa treatments and dog-bed turndown service.
South of Stowe in Ripton, VT you will find Robert Frost Mountain Cabins, which offers dog-friendly lodging. Stay in a private log cabin in the Green Mountain National Forest and explore the surrounding area by ski or snowshoe.
Kimpton Taconic Hotel in southern Vermont is a short drive from the slopes on Bromley and Stratton Mountain. As a Kimpton Hotel, the Taconic has no restrictions on the number and size of pets and offers amenities including a dog bed, food, and bowls, and a dog-friendly wine reception.
Get in Gear
Make sure your pup is equipped for winter adventures! If you’re going to be outside for a while and your dog is not bred for a cold climate, you should consider getting a jacket for them. Orvis sells an All-Weather Dog Parka which will keep your dog warm and dry all year round.
It may be cold, but don’t forget your sunglasses! The sun reflecting off white snow and can burn your eyes, causing painful symptoms that can take days to resolve. Consider getting Rex Specs for your dog, which offers UV 400 protection and will also protect them from ice and debris.
For skijoring adventures, Ruffwear sells the Omnijore system, which comes with an adjustable harness, shock-absorbing line, and hipbelt. Ruffwear also offers a variety of dog boots to keep your best friend’s paws warm and protected from ice and snow.
Don’t let the cold keep you cooped up! With a little preparation and the right gear, you and your pup can enjoy new and exciting adventures this winter.