Top 10 NH Trails for Dog Owners – Our Favorites

Taking your dog along with you on a hike can be a great bonding experience. It can also be great exercise for you and your pup. As a dog lover myself, I have always looked for new places to go with my pup. Here is a list of 10 trails that you may or may not be familiar with that are perfect for dog owners who want to go on an adventure with their pets.

Prior to hiking, it’s imperative to review trail-specific regulations and guidelines, as seasonal restrictions may apply. Additionally, adhere to Leave No Trace principles and ensure you remove all dog waste to maintain trail integrity for fellow hikers. Keep your dog on a leash where required, and anytime there is any question about safety.

Top 10 NH Trails for Dog Owners
  1. Farm View Hilltop Trail (Ramblin’ Vewe Farm)
    • Location: Gilford, NH
    • Details: This trail is located within Ramblin’ Vewe Farm and offers stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee. It’s a peaceful hike and your dog is sure to love the open spaces.
  2. Pine Mountain
    • Location: Gorham, NH
    • Details: A moderate hike with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. It’s not very long, making it suitable for all levels of hikers and dogs.
  3. Mt. Major
    • Location: Alton Bay, NH
    • Details: Mt. Major is a popular hike with panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee. The trails are well-marked and offer a moderate challenge.
  4. Lake Massabesic Trail
    • Location: Auburn, NH
    • Details: This is a scenic trail that skirts the beautiful Lake Massabesic. It’s relatively flat and offers plenty of opportunities for your dog to play by the water.
  5. Mt. Chocorua
    • Location: Albany, NH
    • Details: Mt. Chocorua is one of the most iconic peaks in the White Mountains. The trails leading up to the summit can be challenging, but the views from the top are worth every step. Make sure your dog is up for the challenge.
  6. Mount Osceola
    • Location: Lincoln, NH
    • Details: Part of the White Mountains, Mount Osceola, offers two main peaks with fantastic views. The trail can be challenging, but dogs with hiking experience should do well.
  7. Cotton Valley Rail Trail
    • Location: Wolfeboro, NH
    • Details: This is a multi-use trail that used to be a railroad track. It’s relatively flat and perfect for a more relaxed hike with your dog.
  8. West Rattlesnake Mountain
    • Location: Holderness / Center Sandwich, NH
    • Details: This is a family and dog-friendly hike with a gentle ascent and outstanding views of Squam Lake.
  9. Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Trail
    • Location: Hart’s Location, NH
    • Details: A more challenging hike, but it rewards hikers with the view of the magnificent Arethusa Falls and the vistas from Frankenstein Cliff. Dogs should be leashed because of the steep sections.
  10. Welch and Dickey Loop Trail
  • Location: Thornton, NH
  • Details: A moderate loop trail that offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains. The granite slabs can be slippery when wet, so ensure you and your dog have good footing.

Our Top 3 NH Trails That Allow Dogs

Of the 10 trails we handpicked out of hundreds of choices, we have curated 3 trails that are a cut above the rest. If you have limited time to spend in the Granite State and want to hit some dog-friendly trails. Here are our top 3 picks.

These all tend to be extremely dog-friendly, not overly challenging for you and your pup, and generally less crowded than some of the other trails on our top 10 list.

Mt. Chocorua

Mt. Chocorua stands out not just for its unique profile but also for its bare summit, which offers unobstructed 360-degree views. One of the most recognizable mountains in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, its summit provides unparalleled views of the Sandwich Range, making the climb immediately rewarding for both you and your canine companion.

The Liberty Trail provides a steady ascent with moderate terrain, which can be manageable for dogs that are used to hiking. The Champney Falls Trail is another popular approach, offering the added bonus of picturesque waterfalls—ideal spots for a break and water refill for your dog.

Despite being less busy than many NH trials, hiking during off-peak times if you’re bringing a dog to avoid congestion is still a best practice. The exposed rock face near the summit can be tricky, so ensure your dog is comfortable with such terrains or consider protective footwear for them. Always check recent trail reports, as conditions can vary, especially after rain when rocks may become slick.

Mt. Major

Mt. Major, situated by the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, is renowned for its expansive lakeside views. While not as high as some of the White Mountains, its elevation and proximity to the lake offer stunning panoramas of both water and surrounding peaks.

The Mt. Major Trail, a popular route, offers a steady ascent with well-defined paths suitable for dogs accustomed to hiking. The Brook Trail provides a slightly longer but more gradual climb, weaving through hardwood forests – a treat for dogs who thrive in woodland settings.

Due to Mt. Major’s reputation as a family-friendly hike, it can get busy, especially during weekends. Thus, if you’re hiking with a dog, consider early morning treks or weekdays to avoid crowds.

Mt. Major NH

Mt. Osceola

Mount Osceola, situated in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is renowned for its distinct summit, which offers expansive views of the surrounding region, including the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

One of the standout features of this hike is the East Osceola summit, which, while slightly lower, offers a unique perspective and an exciting ridge walk between the two peaks. The Mt. Osceola Trail from Tripoli Road is a popular approach, providing a balanced mix of wooded sections and open ledges, making the ascent engaging for dogs that enjoy varied terrains.

An alternative approach via the Greeley Ponds Trail offers a longer but scenic route, with serene ponds that serve as perfect spots for dogs to cool off. As with many peaks in the White Mountains, the granite slabs near the summit can be slippery when wet, so ensuring your dog is steady on such terrains, or considering dog-specific hiking booties, can be beneficial.

Best Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in NH

With its diverse landscapes and scenic vistas, New Hampshire is a haven for hikers and their four-legged friends. The top 10 NH trails for dog owners really depends on what you are looking for in a trail. Many of these trails are located in communities with many other dog-friendly activities as well.

From the serene ambiance of Farm View Hilltop Trail to the panoramic views from Mt. Chocorua, these trails promise unforgettable adventures for both you and your canine companion. While numerous trails in NH are tailored for dog owners, our top 3 recommendations – Mt. Chocorua, Mt. Major, and Mt. Osceola – truly stand out, offering a balanced mix of beauty, challenge, and accessibility.

As you embark on these NH trails with your dog, remember to prioritize safety, respect trail regulations, and always leave no trace behind. Exploring the great outdoors with your pet makes for cherished memories, and New Hampshire’s trails provide the perfect backdrop for these shared moments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *