Hiking and dogs often go hand and hand. And when it comes to jaunting around in the wilderness with my pups, there are a few things that I look for in a trail before we go. The first is whether or not dogs are allowed. It’s important to look this up and be respectful of the landowner and/or caretaker’s requests. The second is access to water. If it’s a trickling stream along the edge or swimming pools to cool off, having easy access to fresh water for my pooches is not only helpful, but they love it. Here are the top three hikes on my list to explore with my three labs this summer.
1. Long Mountain Trail
Long Mountain is my husband’s favorite trail. He loves it so much, he didn’t want me to write about it! Sharing the same trailhead as Bacon Hill bike trails off Vernon Street, Long Mountain Trail hikes through the valley of Bacon Hill before summiting Long Mountain. On the way up, cascading falls and pools of Mills Brook create perfect retreats into cool water for you and your pup. At the top, there are several different outlooks to take in sweeping views of the Mahoosucs and Presidential Range in the distance.
2. Mud Brook & Caribou Loop
This 6.6-mile loop will be a first for me this summer. With just shy of 2,000′ of elevation, it’s a day hike worth the pockets of waterfalls all along Mud Brook and Morrison Brook. And the views aren’t all the bad either. (Joking. They’re apparently incredible).
3. Sanborn River Trail to Overset Pond
Located in Greenwood, this 4.9 mile hike starts along the Sanborn River before taking a turn towards Overset Pond. Only a short distance between the two waterways makes it easy for my dogs to drink up and never go thirsty. Once at Overset Pond, you can loop up and around to the summit of Overset Mountain for spectacular views of the pond below and the mountains in the distance. Sanborn River Trail does give you the option to continue to where the river meets back to the main road, cross, and loop back on the other side. Just be careful of traffic with your pups as it’s required to use the road to complete the loop.
For more information on hiking in the Sunday River and Bethel area, visit sundayriver.com/summer-activities/hiking.