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St Johnsbury, lovingly nicknamed “St Jay”, is the county seat of Caledonia, Vermont. This town is situated along the Passumpsic River, and here you can find an eclectic mix of victorian charm and contemporary art, all within close proximity to the Great Outdoors. There are three veterinary clinics here, making pet care a breeze in this town!
In St Johnsbury, you can find a whole mountain dedicated to dogs. Dog Mountain is a place to get closer to nature with your best pal, and to remember dogs loved and lost. Here you can even find the world’s only Dog Chapel, with walls covered in pictures and heartfelt notes. The surrounding 150 acre farm has hiking trails, swimming ponds, and an agility course. You may even be able to catch a concert! There are no leash rules here, so your dog can run to their heart’s content and make new furry friends.
If you want to sleep under the stars with your pooch, head over to the Moose River Campground. This campground is scenically situated along the Moose River, and welcomes dogs! Be sure to keep your doggo leashed and pick up after him or her.
With all of these pet-friendly places to explore, St Johnsbury just might be dog heaven!
The Old Center neighborhood of St Johnsbury brings you to a great place to take a hike with your pupper! It’s here that you can find the St Johnsbury Municipal Forest. Parking can be found on Alms House Road. This forest is 110 acres of land bordered by Moose River. A network of trails wind through the spruce, pine, cedar and hemlock. The pathways are good for people and pups of any fitness level, with a fairly flat terrain and some short hills. Leashed dogs are welcome, as long as they leave only paw prints! After working up an appetite, head over to Riley’s Fish Shack, in the same neighborhood. Here you can dig into some fresh seafood next to your pal at the outdoor dog-friendly seating. They even serve doggie ice cream!
Runners, bikers, and dog walkers love St Johnsbury for the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, accessible from the Passumpsic South neighborhood. This is the longest rail trail in New England, stretching from the Connecticut River to Lake Champlain. The 93 miles of trail span some of Northern Vermont’s most gorgeous landscapes. 33 miles of this trail are open year round, so you can enjoy the changing seasons and winter activities. Leashed dogs are welcome to join in on the fun, just don’t forget the waste bags and drinking water for your parched pup! When you both are tuckered out, you don’t need to far to find a pet friendly place to crash! The Fairbanks Inn welcomes two pets of any size for an additional fee.
Just north of St Johnsbury, you can find the small town of Lyndon. This town is proud home to the woofderful Lyndon State Forest, just a 15 minute drive from St Johnsbury. This parcel of land is a great example of forest management, because what was once sand dunes and grasses is now a thriving forest of pine and spruce. The network of multi-use trails attract all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, including snowshoers, berry pickers, and dog walkers of course. Parking can be found on New Boston Road. If you’d like to stick around in this area for a while, check into the Maplewood Lodge right nearby. They welcome dogs of all shapes and sizes for a small fee per pet, per night.
Within the town of Lyndonville, only 15 minutes from St Johnsbury, lies some more places to run and play with your pup! One of the popular neighborhood hangouts is Bandstand Park. At the center of this park stands a pretty fountain purchased in 1885. In the surrounding area, you can find large grassy spaces your pupper will love to dig their toes into. This park hosts many community events, like a farmers market, concerts, and craft fairs. All are welcome, including the family dog! Just be sure to keep Fido leashed and bring along some waste bags. When your stomach is growling, head over to the Freighthouse Market and Cafe, right down the street. This farm-to-table cafe has 10 outdoor, dog-friendly tables.
If you’d like to get a little deeper into Northern Vermont’s rugged wilderness, head over to the Victory State Forest. This expansive forest lies northeast of St Johnsbury, in the town of Victory. The state forest is only a 25 minute drive away from St Johnsbury, and the drive is worth it! This 16,272 acre forest offers many adventure opportunities. For daytime use, a network of trails wind throughout the forest that are great for hiking, horseback riding, and dog walking. These woods are not very developed and have few amenities, so be sure to bring your own supplies, including drinking water for your pooch! Portions of these woods are also open for primitive camping, so you and your adventure pal can kick back in nature a little longer.
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