Resting in the very heart of the state of Vermont is the city of Rutland — a place where New England travelers like to stop to experience the brisk Northeastern outdoors and enjoy the warm company of friends new and old. Rutland is a small and unassuming community, but it welcomes visitors with open arms — and paws! There is a thriving community of dog-lovers, and those with four-legged friends won’t be at a loss for things to do. The six well-regarded veterinary clinics in town ensure that dogs and their humans can pursue their adventures without hesitation.
Anyone with a love for the outdoors will feel right at home in Rutland, as there are numerous state parks and woodlands that offer miles of hiking trails through valleys, forests and mountains. For those who want a more laid-back experience, the small-town streets and local restaurants serve as a quaint respite from the quotidian grind. And everyone can be sure to find a nice place to stay: there are numerous Fido-approved inns, bed & breakfasts, and hotels throughout Rutland and the surrounding area.
However you plan to visit Rutland, you are sure to be pleasantly surprised by your experience, and you and your dog will have a great stay that you won’t forget!
If you travel east of Rutland, you will find lots to do. You can hike Aiken State Forest, which is the home of Bald Mountain — a great vantage point to look down at the surrounding valleys. There are also woodland trails for those who want to explore the forest. If you go further east, you will encounter the town of Woodstock, where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy some delicious food outside with your pawesome pal! White Cottage Snack Bar has delicious burgers and sweet treats, and Soulfully Good Café serves breakfast and lunch staples that will brighten your day.
Central Rutland is a welcoming community that offers much to do for visitors from out of town. Experience the spirit of the Northeast as you stroll through the quaint, historical town blocks. Indulge your taste buds with gourmet cuisine at Baxter’s Restaurant inside Rutland Country Club. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner, and they have patio seating to accommodate you and your canine companion. While you’re in Central Rutland, you can also check out Pine Hill Park; this park is over 300 acres and contains 16 miles of trails, so you won’t run out of places to explore!
Wallingford is a charming, close-knit neighborhood resting about ten miles south of Rutland. It is worth a visit just to take a pleasant stroll through the small-town streets past mom-and-pop stores and the small woods and ponds that dot the area. There is even more to do there, however, including hiking White Rocks National Recreation Area. The area has a number of trails and welcomes four-legged friends if they are leashed. There are some nice local dining options in Wallingford as well: try Sal’s South in the center of town for some great homemade Italian food. They offer outdoor seating to accommodate dog owners!
West Rutland is another great neighborhood where you and your waggy companion can get a taste of nature. Bird Mountain Wildlife Management Area is the highlight of West Rutland: it spans nearly 800 acres, and the terrain includes former farmland and pastures, as well as the majestic Birdseye Mountain. If hiking the area’s trails works up your appetite, then you’re in luck. Blue Cat Bistro is close by; they serve delectable Italian food like pasta and brick oven pizza, and they have dog-friendly outdoor seating. Note that this is a family-run restaurant, and they are only open for dinner. Their hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 5 pm to 9 pm.
If you travel six short miles north of Rutland along beautiful Otter Creek, you will arrive in the neighborhood of Proctor. Proctor might be a relatively small neighborhood, but there are two great attractions there that you won’t want to miss. The first is Proctor Town Forest, which has superb hiking trails through the scenic wooded valleys that characterize this area. The second is Whipple Hollow Wildlife Management Area. This over 500-acre protected forest is also a fantastic place for hiking and exploring nature. The Castledon River runs through the area and contributes to the authentic Northeastern atmosphere. Both parks welcome dogs as long as they remain leashed.