Activities For Dogs In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Introduction

Locate in the state of North Dakota, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a massive nature reserve that's home to a wide number of animals and plants and is comprised of three distinct badlands areas. The park takes its name from the 26th President of the United States who was known as the "Conservationist President" due to his many efforts to preserve areas that were deemed vital to the survival of the native wildlife of certain areas. Dogs are permitted at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but they're prohibited from venturing into certain parts of the park. If you're a pet parent who was hoping to visit the park, don't get disheartened just yet - you and your dog can still have fun, provided you know which areas the two of you can visit.

The Medora Path

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 20 min
Items needed
Leash
Water Bottles
waste bags
Activity description
The Medora path is something of an unofficial trail that permits visitors to walk along its length with their dogs by their sides. It's comprised of a carved out path that leads from the park's entrance all the way to another, larger-dog friendly trail - the Maah Daah Hey Trail. The Medora path is only 1 mile long, so you and your dog can complete this trip in an incredibly short amount of time if both of you are travelling at a brisk pace. You don't need to spend much money to prep for this path - bringing a leash and quality water bottles for yourself and your dog should do the trick. Due to the brevity, location and ease of this trail, you can complete it during any kind of weather that you'd like.
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A short walk
It takes the average person about 20 minutes to walk a mile if they're moving at a slow and casual pace. You can half that time, however, if you and your dog are moving quickly. It's really up to you; would you like to get a workout with your dog by trying to complete this trail via walking as quickly as the both of you can (without running) or would you prefer to take your time and complete this trail with your pet at your own pace?
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2
A scenic route
Though not one of the trail's that will allow you and your pet to get too close to some of the park's many rolling hills, the Medora path has plenty of great views; you and your dog will still be able to see the hill and mountain tops from a distance while the both of you will be surrounded by vast patches of grass that stretch on for miles. You'll both also be able to see flocks of birds soaring through the air from time to time as well. Don't allow your companion to try and chase after the birds, though - keep your dog close and well mannered while on the trail. Pick up after your dog when necessary and respect the flora and fauna discovered along your trek.
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The Maah Daah Hey Trail

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
12 - 72 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Water Bottles
waste bags
Tent
Food and Water
First Aid Kit
Activity description
The Maah Daah Hey Trail is the longest dog-friendly trail near the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This trail is insanely long, spanning about 150 miles in length. You and your dog are free to travel across all 150 miles of this trail for as long as you'd like, as the wild animals the two of you will encounter exclude creatures like bison and coyotes and include the squirrels, and birds. Save up around $100 to $200  for hiking supplies though, as you'll need quality equipment to traverse this winding trail. Try to visit the Maah Daah Hey Trail on a sunny day, where the trail won't be slick with rain or snow.
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1
Taking on the trail
Despite having the option to walk across all 150 miles of the Maah Daah Hey Trail with your dog, it's not really a good idea to try walking a great distance in one sitting (especially if you and your dog aren't all that experienced at hiking.) The way most visitors take on this massive is trail is by segmenting their hikes and only walking a certain distance before calling it a day. Using a map or some kind of GPS, look at an image of the map and plot out how much ground you intend to cover with your pet for one particular trip.
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Crossing the trail
If you're visiting North Dakota as part of a trip, and you're absolutely dead set on crossing the entire Maah Daah Hey Trail with your dog before you leave the state, then you'll want to set aside a few days to that end as you're basically going to have to camp near the trail; you and your dog will have to cross a certain amount of miles for the day before camping out for the night. Travelling this way, you and your dog should be able to finish traversing the entire length of the trail within about a week's time. Set up camp each evening well before nightfall. Keep your pup with you at all times and be sure to leave the folks back home your intended trekking and return plans. While exploring the region, respect the animals that make the trail their home and leave each area in pristine condition.
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The Long X Trail

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Leash
Water Bottles
Waste Bags
Activity description
Despite its name, the Long X Trail isn't the longest path that you and your dog can walk across while visiting the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (that distinction belongs to the illustrious the Maah Daah Hey Trail). It's worth mentioning the fact that dogs and horses are permitted on this moderate sized, 6 mile trail as well as the fact that there are no predatory animals that live close to the Long X Trail. Moving at a brisk pace, you and your dog should be able to complete the trail in about 30 minutes. Set aside some cash to buy a couple of water bottles for yourself and your dog and you're basically all set. You can visit this trail during any time of year that you prefer, as the weather won't really affect the terrain.
Step
1
A rhythmic pace
Though the Long X Trail isn't the longest trail on this guide, you and your dog will still need to pace yourself if you plan on finishing the entire trail without being winded or out of breath. Try this trick to keep your stamina up throughout the walk; breath in when you take your first step and don't breath out until you've taken four steps. Walk four more steps before breathing in before walking four steps and breathing out. Find your rhythm and stick to it throughout the walk.
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Sticking together
While there aren't really any dangerous animals that inhabit the Long X Trail per se, there are a number of smaller woodland creatures that may trigger your dog's chase instinct. It's for this reason, primarily, that you'll want to keep a firm grip on your dog's leash and ensure that they're walking by your side throughout the entire trip. If you know your dog really struggles with chasing small animals, consider completing a few obedience training courses with them long before hitting the road.
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More Fun Ideas...

Time Lapse Videography

You know those cool videos in which it seems like time is moving at an accelerated rate making the sky blur between morning, noon, and night while the landscape below it stays the same? Those are called time lapse videos and you can make a few short ones provided you have DSLR and a tripod. You'll have to wait as your camera takes thousands of pictures at a time, so this activity is good for pet parents with patient dogs.

Camping

Dogs are permitted on all of the campgrounds at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, provided they remain leashed and looked after at all times. The campgrounds are far away from the bison and predatory animals that call certain parts of the park their home, so you and your dog will be able to camp without worry of running into any wild animals - save possibly for a few squirrels or the like.

Conclusion

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park has become fairly famous for a number of its landmarks and trails, so we understand that it can be a bit disappointing to learn that you and your dog wouldn't be able to visit some of the park's more famous attractions together. Though this news may be a bit disheartening at first, take solace in the facts that the rules of the park have been established to ensure the safety of visitors as well as the native inhabitants of the area you and your dog can still have a great deal of fun together while also following the park's rules.