The Path Less Traveled

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Thinking of taking your dog for a walk in a park? Not your local green space, but somewhere much larger and wilder? If you simply put your pet in the car and go, you might be disappointed, but with a little planning, you and your dog can have an excellent adventure.

One of the biggest reasons I like to hike with my dogs is that it gives them the chance to just be dogs, says Kate Carter, a wildflower expert who frequently takes her two Border Collies, Lil and Brewster, into various state parks and forests throughout Vermont. My dogs are such great athletes. The way they run, leaping over streams and fallen trees, I get a lot of pleasure out of watching them in their element.

Carter has also spent time with her dogs on stretches of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont and New Hampshire, considered the longest, skinniest national park in the United States. But not all national parks allow pets. In fact, many publicly owned backcountry areas are not dog-friendly. If a park exists to protect a fragile ecosystem or an endangered species, or if it is extremely crowded, its unlikely that your dog will be welcomed.

Pick up this month's issue of Dog Fancy for the full story.

- Return to the June issue of Dog Fancy -


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