So, you want to go cross-country skiing . . .So does your pooch (sans skis, of course). Dogs simply love running on cross-country ski trails, especially the groomed ones. But not all cross country ski areas welcome Fido. In fact, most don’t. So the questions becomes where to go cross country skiing with dogs.
Cross-Country Skiing With Dogs: Basic Dog Owner Etiquette
It’s sometimes hard to remember, but not everyone loves your dog as much as you do.
Some cross country ski areas post their dog policy prominently on their website. We felt that the policy posted at Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation captured the essence of what most of these policies say, and are reprinting with permission:
MSTF DOG POLICY:
Dogs are allowed on MSTF trails but inconsiderate dog owners are not .
Your “always friendly” pooch may not be seen as such by the 5 year-old they bound up to; unless your dog never gets rambunctious or hostile to other dogs, they should be on a leash.
Also, PLEASE take the time to kick any dog mess OFF the trails.
There it is in a nutshell. If you want you and your dog welcome in the future, make sure he’s a good citizen on the trails. Remember, you and your dog can be asked to leave at any time, even if you paid for a full day ticket, so obey any rules and use common courtesy.
Cross Country Skiing With Dogs: MAINE Cross Country Ski Areas That Welcome Dogs
Bethel Village Trails: 1km dog trail
Carter’s XC Ski Centers (Bethel and Oxford): “We do allow dogs on the entire trail system, but we charge a trail fee ($15) for the dogs. We sometimes make exceptions with small dogs: 2 for $15.00. Later in the season: $10.00. Most people love the idea of taking their dog out on all the trails and don’t mind paying.” Editor’s note: Dogs can do a lot of damage to groomed trails by leaving punching holes with each step, so it absolutely makes sense for XC areas to charge a fee to cover the extra work associated with allowing them.
Five Fields Farm: 20km dog trails
Harris Farm XC Ski Center: 40km of dog trails. Allows dogs on any trails midweek, non-holiday only (“as long as the snow is not too soft”).
Rangeley Lakes Trails Center: allows dogs only on ungroomed snowshoe trails.
Quarry Road Recreation Area: One short dog trail separate from main trail network.
Cross-Country Skiing With Dogs: NEW HAMPSHIRE Cross Country Ski Areas That Welcome Dogs
Bear Notch Ski Touring: allows dogs on its entire 65 km of groomed trails.
Bretton Woods Nordic: has 11km of dog-friendly trails.
Eastman Cross Country Center: Dogs only allowed on 2.5 km Lake Loop trail.
Jackson Ski Touring: Pet-friendly trails are identified on the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation Trail Map and website. “We have 12.8 kilometers of trails in our 154+ kilometer network that allow skiing with your dogs, located on both the lower elevation Kissing Bridge and Covered Bridge trails in the Village Trail network, and the upper elevation Boggy Brook, Dana Place, Quail and UST trails on the Prospect Farm trail network.”
Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring: Whittaker Woods trail network only.
Pine Hill Ski Club: allows dogs on 3 of its ski and snowshoe trails.
Purity Spring Resort: “During non-holiday midweek periods, Purity Spring allows well-behaved dogs to join the winter fun. We just ask that owners have dogs on an available leash when encountering others on the trail.”
Ski Hearth Farm: Has “dog friendly trails.”
Cross Country Skiing With Dogs: VERMONT Cross Country Ski Areas That Welcome Dogs
Blueberry Lakes: allows dogs on all 33km of trails.
Burke Mountain Nordic: “In the Dashney Center all but two of our trails are dog-friendly. The rest of the 13km of trail network welcomes furry friends.”
Craftsbury Outdoor Center: 10km dog trails. “We allow skiers to bring their dogs only on 2 groomed trails on Big and Little Hosmer lakes. Snowshoers can bring their leashed dogs on the snowshoe trails.”
Jay Peak Resort Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center: allows dogs on the “back 9” trails.
Kingdom Trails/Burke XC: “We allow dogs on our fatbike/snowshoe trails on the east side of our network depending on conditions. If the conditions are too soft we ask doggies to stay home due to post holing.”
Landgrove Inn: “We do allow dogs on our trail system. We just ask the owners to do their best to keep the dogs off the tracks and under control at all times.”
Memphremagog Ski Touring: 25km dog trails. “Yes, we allow dogs on all 25km. That does not mean I don’t get annoyed at the majority of dog owners who do not leash when they should, and do not scoop.”
Mountain Meadows at Base Camp: Dogs allowed on 36km of trails. Starting in 2017/18, dogs will only be allowed on groomed trails after 1:00pm.
Mountain Top Inn Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center: 15km of dog trails and pet-friendly overnight accommodations.
Okemo Valley Nordic Center: “Dogs are welcome on all trails as long as they are kept on-leash and owners clean up after them.”
So, the takeaway is…there are a lot of options for you to get your pooch out on the trails! And, the other takeaway is that some dog owners are unfortunately NOT good citizens when it comes to controlling and cleaning up after their dogs. If you do your part, it will help make sure that these areas continue to let dogs out on the trails. You might even want to think about thanking whoever you deal with at the areas for allowing dogs; it’ll point out to them that they’re getting paying customers by being nice, and help give them more reasons to maintain and open up more access in the future!