Imagine you and your dog crunching through autumn’s quilt that blankets our nation’s trees this fall.Though the calendar says August, pumpkins and cornstalks will be here in two shakes of a tail. Maybe you’d like to plan a weekend warrior getaway or a week-long exploration with your pooch. Dog friendly destinations are ripe on the vine!
Not sure if you’re a leaf peeper? Do you love the gorgeous fall foliage and rich hues turning green leaves to goldens, oranges and reds? Then grab the camera, pack some apple cider and a few doggie biscuits and head for less-than-greener pastures. Here are ten of the coolest places to see the leaves change with your canine BFF:
- Washington County, Maine : This area is generally the first place the sun rises each morning on U.S. soil. Washington County is comprised of 85 percent woodlands, eight percent lakes and four percent bogs, so one can imagine the bountiful beauty gracing the landscape in the autumn months. Take home a bushel of blueberries to mark your tracks.
- Acadia National Park: Considered to be one of the best views in the state of Maine, the top of Cadillac Mountain at 1,532 feet is the highest point along the north Atlantic seaboard. The “peak” season is generally considered to be mid-October but this varies. Certain lakes and trails prohibit Fido but the majority of Acadia welcomes the canine variety. Dexter and I traveled here several times and glorious would be an understatement.
- Lake Champlain, Vermont: Instead of walking or riding through fall foliage, the waters of the lake invite a boat ride amidst historic lighthouses and forests of fall foliage. The Fido-friendly resort of Basin Harbor Club and Resort is located right on the lake. While in Vermont, check out Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury. Situated on this glorious land is 400 acres of nature, leaves and the famous Dog Chapel.
- Catskill Mountains, New York: Located in New York’s Hudson Valley and within 100 miles north of the city, nestled away is this beautiful mountainous region harboring vibrancy and golds galore. Harvest festivals, farmers markets, orchard picking and craft fairs line the charming towns that surround the Catskills. Often called “America’s First Wilderness,” there’s enough here to do to make a complete week’s vacation out of it.
- Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania: Known to many as the “honeymoon capital of the world,” Pennsylvania is home to 127 tree varieties, so early fall reveals a glorious blanket of ambers, purples, oranges and more. Pack a picnic and take Fido to the Delaware River area where eagles soar, a rural countryside graces the landscape and sightseeing is at its most spectacular finest.
- Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina:Spanning 469 miles and connecting the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, this scenic drive is riddled with nature areas, trails and plenty of overlooks to pit-stop and take in nature’s beauty. Explore your inner hiker and take Fido to Grandfather Mountain along the parkway in Linville, North Carolina.
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas: Yee haw meets dog paw and Fido’s ready to hit the fall trail. Nature’s spectacle displays her glory at McKittrick Canyon, one of the most prized locations in the entire state. Enchanting in this region are the leaves plus the cacti. Rock enthusiasts rejoice at Permian Reef. Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in all of Texas at 8,749 feet.
- Aspen, Colorado: Though images of ski slopes and powder hounds, Aspen is not only king of snow. Rich yellow-gold leaves glisten on the aspen trees at their peak every fall. Behold the quaking aspen tree of North America while visiting Denver. Backpack through San Isabel National Forest where over a million acres of mountains are sure to take both yours and Fido’s breath away.
- Great River Road, Wisconsin: Located in the western region of the state, this area winds 250 miles along the shores of the Mississippi river. Quaint towns pepper themselves along the route for plenty of sightseeing, leaf peeping and Fido pit stops. Steamboats including the Delta Queen may pass by, as visitors are welcome to 50 local parks and beaches.
- Shenandoah Valley, Washington DC: Spend some time exploring Washington DC with Fido (including hiking Arlington National Cemetery together), and then head over to the nearby Virginian Shenandoah Valley. Located 90 miles west of the Capital Beltway, Shenandoah National Park features over 500 miles of trails and close to 200,000 acres of land. Take the scenic route and let Fido sniff the grounds along Skyline Drive. This 100+ mile road meanders throughout the length of Shenandoah National Park.
Do you like traveling with your dog?