Activities For Dogs In Vermont On Nice Days

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Introduction

Judging by average temperatures and precipitation alone, nearly half the year in Vermont is temperate and easy-going, which means plenty of opportunities for nice days to arrive. Because of it, both residents and visitors alike have more than enough time to get out and freely enjoy The Evergreen State. Their motto is "Freedom and Unity", after all, and what better calling card do you need to convince you and your dog to take advantage? The state is loaded head to toe with beautiful natural scenery, bustling communities, and plenty of locations, events, and activities to experience. So if it's nice out, check out our list below and enjoy Vermont!

Rock of Ages

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog bags
Activity description
Just about everywhere you go, dogs are denied the ability to go on tours, mostly because plenty of places are either too refined (museums, theaters, for example) or handle food and can't work around health and safety regulations. But at Rock of Ages, a gorgeous granite quarry less than 10 miles outside of Montpelier, they face far fewer restrictions. And get this: as long as the dogs are leashed and well-behaved, they can go in the Visitors Center and Gift Shop, as well as join the self-guided factory tour and the guided quarry tour. The latter is the only one with any cost, which is currently only $5 (!!!), they're all great for sunny days (and rainy ones as well, as the tours run rain or shine), and they can take up a good chunk of time with exercise and entertainment.
Step
1
Plan your trip
There's not really much you need to bring with you for this one. You really just need a leash, dog bags, and some water. The most important preparatory step, however, is testing your dog's ability to handle noise. While the quarry tour itself isn't particularly loud (especially on Saturdays when there are no active workers), both the self-guided factory tour and sometimes bustling gift shop can be a bit noisy, so you'll want to make sure they are both well-adjusted and well-behaved before you venture out. Most owners have a pretty good idea of what their dogs can handle, but if you need an extreme test, try walking them safely past an active construction site to gauge their reaction.
Step
2
Rock on
Once you arrive, a stop in the Visitor's Center will provide some preliminary information such as the quarrying process through a short video, as well as an opportunity to view historic exhibits and photos (along with the gift shop, should you feel so inclined). After that, you can sign up for a guided quarry tour, which launches every 45-60 minutes and last for just about as long, or you can take a self-guided tour of the factory, all of which is dog-accessible as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. If all that isn't enough, you can even try out their outdoor granite bowling lane!
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Shrine of Dog Mountain

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog bags
Water
Photo of past pet
Activity description
If you are in love with your dog enough to find this site and list, chances are you'll definitely be interested in one of the most dog-centric places in all of the United States: The Dog Chapel at Dog Mountain. Perched on a 150-acre chunk of gorgeous rolling hills in bucolic St. Johnsbury, this plot of land and its buildings were the vision of Stephen Huneck, a writer and sculptor ultimately devoted to his dog Sally (and all dogs for that matter). It holds lakes, trails, woods, and meadows, all of which are leash-optional, and best of all, a beautiful chapel lined with pictures and memories of dogs who have passed on - and it is encouraged that you bring a leave a photo or memory of your own. Visitors come from all over the world to romp with and cherish their pets. And best of all, it's free and perfect for those gorgeous days we never wish to end.
Step
1
Prepare for the excursion
Outside of some gas in your car, a leash just in case, dog bags, and some water for the road, you really won't need much, as Dog Mountain is nestled about an hour northwest of Montpelier (although long-distance travelers may want food as well, but remember how many sniffs you'll get when you show up smelling like it).
Step
2
Schedule your visit
The only regret that visitors to the sanctuary often have is that they forgot to bring a photo of their own deceased friend, as it is encouraged to leave something in honor of their life, whether it's a photo or a memory. And don't forget to check the hours. While the land itself is always open, the chapel and gallery are only open during certain times, so try to schedule accordingly. Finally, make sure to check the event schedule, as there are often dog parties, parades, and other celebrations.
Step
3
Mount the mountain
When you arrive, you're free to explore whatever facet of the open buildings and land you like, so take your pick. Check out the chapel and leave a piece of your beloved friend. Romp on the hills, through the woods and in the water nearby. Make some new human and canine friends. Oh, and don't forget to inquire! There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers who live nearby, ways to donate, and other ways to get involved with events outside of just attendance. If you really love it, find a way to participate and give back, as there are few places on earth like Dog Mountain.
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Frost-y Hike

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Water
Dog bags
Hiking shoes/boots
Activity description
If you're looking to do something a bit more inspired than your average hike, head on over to the Robert Frost Wayside Trail in Ripton, which is only about 45 miles southwest of Burlington. Outside of being a nice, easy one-mile hike through some beautiful areas, it is also littered with some of Frost's most famous poems, giving you something to stop and read. The trail itself is pretty easy and unlike the obsessive grooming of some other trails, this one remains natural, keeping you closer to nature as it winds through the woods and around a nearby stream. It's perfect for a nice day so you can enjoy it without too many layers, easy enough for all levels of hikers, and has plenty of things to stop and look at. If poetry isn't your thing, there are plenty of other trails in Green Mountain and nearby, so you can just grab a park map online or in person and go somewhere else, or better yet, hike multiple!
Step
1
Hike at your own pace
This activity is easy to partake in; grab your stuff and go - it's as simple as that. All you'll need is a leash, as all dogs must be on one, good shoes, dog bags, and possibly some water. The trail is looped so you won't need a map and once you arrive, you're welcome to take it as fast or slow as you want, so stop and enjoy nature, read some poems and soak up some tree-shaded sunlight while you're at it!
Step
2
Respect the space
A site as special as this deserves respect and care to be taken by dogs and owners alike. Don't allow your dog to encroach on other trailgoer's enjoyment of the space; respect people on the trek who may not be comfortable around canines. Always take great care to pick up after your dog in order to leave the trail as beautiful as you found it.
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More Fun Ideas...

Get Disc-y

Check out 802 Disc Dogs, a club for dogs and discs that offers workshops, practices, and events, which is perfect for those who just want to give it a try, or tenured athletes.

Happy Hour at Harpoon

Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden is exactly what it sounds like. Certain days in summer they have Yappy Hour from 3-6 pm where you and your dog can come lounge in the beer garden, socialize, and play dog-friendly games while helping donate to a great cause for paws!

Go for a Paddle

There are plenty of places (especially around Burlington and the water-lined northwest) that rent canoes and other boats that are dog-friendly. You can pack some food and water and make a day of it or just paddle around for a while to get some exercise, get a new perspective, or just float.

Conclusion

Nice days should never be wasted, so whether you're a resident or a visitor, take advantage of your opportunities in Vermont by taking a look at our list and seeing if you can get inspired. Because while it may be considered The Evergreen State, nice days are never evergreen, as they always tend to disappear before we're ready! So grab your pooch, get outside, and go explore while they last!