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When I was a little girl, I lived in a rural area, far away from my classmates, so my dog was literally my best friend. I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with animals. I have volunteered with two animal rescue organizations so I have experience with a variety of dogs. I’m “MOM” to my dog Callie. My dog is my baby with my two other kids and I spoil them rotten. I can assure you that I will treat your babies like they were my own, not only because I’m an animal lover, but because it’s how I want my babies treated while I’m away.
Nestled along Casselman River in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, sits the community of Markleton. Although Markleton is home to less than 1,000 people, there are plenty of amenities in town that make it a wonderful place to live. Somerset County is in southwestern Pennsylvania, and the population of this area is greater than 75,000 people. Markleton, and the rest of Somerset County, is one of the snowiest areas in the United States due to its high elevation. If you and your dog enjoy snowy activities, Markleton will be a paradise for the two of you!
The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150-mile trail that stretches across Maryland and Pennsylvania, and part of it runs through Markleton. The trail's surface is a mix of asphalt and crushed stone, which makes it an ideal spot for dog walking. Your dog must be on a leash while you walk this trail, and you'll likely come across other happy pups and their humans along the way. This trail is one of 1,600 trails across America that were created from formerly abandoned railway lines and then converted into trails for public use. Markleton's proximity to the mountains makes it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to live, and in addition to the Great Allegheny Passage, there are more trails and off-leash parks just a short drive away.
The Somerset Dog Park, also known as Jager and Friends Dog Park, is 15 miles northeast of Markelton in south central Somerset, Pennsylvania. This off-leash dog park is bigger than five acres, and as Somerset's first dog park, it opened in 2012 thanks to generous donations. There is a section just for small dogs, as well as an area for big dogs in the park, and it also has a walking trail. Jager and Friends is run by volunteers, and visitors note it is consistently clean and well-maintained. Within the park, you'll find doggy water fountains, waste disposal supplies, and seating for pet parents.
If you drive 30 miles south of Markelton across the border into Maryland, you'll find yourself in southern Accident, Maryland. This is where the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club Park is found, and it includes a 40,000 square foot off-leash dog park! This dog park has sections for big and small dogs, and it's constantly being improved with more amenities added. There are plans to add agility equipment and a dog walking path to the park, but the park already includes water stations, dog wash stations, a double-gated entry system, and waste disposal supplies. If you visit in the summer, you'll find plastic pools set up where dogs can splash around and cool off!
The Ohiopyle State Park is just a 15-minute drive from Markleton in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. This state park encompasses nearly 20,000 acres, and within this space, there's a variety of activities and facilities you can enjoy with your family -- including some dog-friendly activities! While one of the main draws of this state park is the white-water rafting, there are also several trails your dog can join you on if they're on a leash. Your hike will take you and your dog to lookouts that offer magical scenery, including 14 miles of the Youghiogheny River. Other activities in the Ohiopyle State Park include horseback riding, rock climbing, sledding, and fishing.
Grantsville, Maryland is about 20 miles south of Markleton, and like Markleton, less than 1,000 people call it home. Western Granstville is home to the expansive Savage River State Forest, a 54,000-acre nature oasis filled with pawportunities for you to spend time with your dog. This tranquil forest includes more than 11,000 acres of wildlands, and when you visit this forest, you're sure to see a variety of plants and wildlife species. There are more than 10 miles of cross-country skiing trails in the park, and while your dog might not ski, they can happily run alongside you. There are several hiking trails varying from easy to challenging and ranging from 4.5 to 24 miles.
Mount Pleasant is a borough in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and a little more than 4,000 people call it home. It's only about 30 miles from Markleton, and Mount Pleasant is home to one of the most special dog- and family-friendly activities in the area. The Evergreen Drive-In Theater in southern Mount Pleasant was opened in 1947, and it remains a staple in the community and a nostalgia-inducing activity you won't forget. Pets are allowed to join you at the drive-in theater, provided they are well-behaved and don't bark during the show. There's even a pet walking area at the drive-in theater where your pooch can do their business, but you must clean up after them.
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