If you think you love hiking Acadia, wait til you see how your dogs react when you take them to the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. Our doodles, Copley and Abigail (and Carbon when he's in town!), always surprise us with their ability to problem solve their way up the mountain and their limitless energy. Before you set out with your canine explorers, here are a few quick tips:
- Find the Right Trails
Before you get started, figure out the right level for your dogs. If they haven’t done much hiking before, keep it simple the first time out with a stroll around Jordan Pond. If they’ve done some hiking in the past, we recommend Gorham Mountain for its great views and just enough tough sections to let your furry friends do some scrambling while you work up a sweat.
Certain trails are not made for dogs unfortunately. Stay away from trails like Beehive, Precipice and South Bubble. They're wonderful hikes, but they are just too unsafe to hike with dogs. We like to check AllTrails for tips on finding the right adventure.
- Go Early
Meeting fellow hikers can be one of the coolest parts of your trip to Acadia, but if you’re hitting the trails with dogs, a bit of space will be welcome. We usually set out around 7 am and have the trails mostly to ourselves, giving the doodles plenty of room to charge ahead (on a leash) without feeling held back.
- Pack Plenty of Water
This one goes for everyone, especially the human hikers who might be panting even more than the dogs. Pack a good sized, reusable water bottle (sustainable hydration!) that seals tight and can go in your backpack, along with a lightweight pop-out bowl. And for an extra human treat, don't forget your Bulfinch MiiR Traveller, where you’ve stashed 16 oz of fresh Bulfinch Coffee to enjoy at the summit!
We hope this gets you moving in the right direction. As always, make sure your dogs are up to date on vaccinations and check them for ticks post-hike. If you want a real deep dive on bringing your dogs to Acadia, we highly recommend Eric R. Schenk’s Canine Hiking In Acadia National Park.