National Parks Depot Blog » Maine
Did you know that there are a number of national parks in the United States that are dog-friendly? (We were surprised, too!) Generally, dogs are restricted from visiting national parks in an effort to protect them from wildlife as well as to preserve the park’s natural resources. When we looked into it though, we actually found out that some of our favorite parks allow leashed pets on specified trails, which is great news for those of us who don’t want to leave our furry friends back at home. Letting your dog tag along on your hiking adventures can be beneficial for both you and your pet. While it may sometimes feel like less of a hassle to travel solo, allowing your dog to join you on the trail will not only promote bonding time, but it will give your dog a chance to exercise, sniff around, and stimulate his or her brain.
Acadia National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park are a few of our favorite dog-friendly national parks that are worth checking out. Here is a helpful list of things to pack in both your backpack and your pet’s travel pack before you hit the trails:
- A canteen filled with plenty of drinkable water
- A collapsible water bowl to keep your pup hydrated
- Dog treats to reward good behavior
- Dry dog food if you plan on being out for a while (optional)
- Plastic waste bags
- Dog shoes or paw protectors (especially for hiking in hotter months)
- A first aid kit
As always, when you decide to bring your dog out on a hike, a certain amount of responsibility is required. Please remember to keep your pet leashed and properly identified, pick up waste, look out for wildlife, and only hike on permitted trails. Always keep your dog close, hydrated, and know his physical limits. And as the saying goes, “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.”
As an avid outdoors family, we love our National Parks. Anytime we can get our hike on, we do. One of our all-time favorite National Parks is Acadia National Park in Maine. For many summers, both with and without children, we'e spent time in Acadia's 48,000-acre terrain. In fact, my husband and I honeymooned in Acadia. It's a wonderful family-friendly park with hikes and activities for all ages along it‚Äôs rocky coasts and granite mountaintops.
3 Top Activities in Acadia National Park
We have hiked Cadillac Mountain, the focal point of the park with a summit of 1,530 feet. It's the highest point on the East Coast. Not able to hike? Not a problem because Cadillac Mountain also offers a scenic drive for those not able to hike it.
photo credit: AcadiaNationalPark.com
Junior Ranger Program
Photo credit: http://www.nps.gov/If you have kids, the Junior Ranger Program is a must-do activity in Acadia. From May through October, kids can take part in the program to lean about the park. They complete fun activities and ranger-led programs to earn their certificate and patch to become Junior Rangers.
Jana Seitzer blogs at http://merlotmommy.com