|Milford Duck Pond Park|
Spring in New England always spawns a desire to head outside and explore local and National parks. And of course, my collies are the perfect hiking companions, they are always ready for an adventure. I have shared pictures from many of our past hikes, but I thought it might be nice to revisit some of them, in case anyone was looking for a fun and pretty hiking spot with their best friend. Many of these parks allow dogs all year long, but some do not allow pets from Memorial day through Labor day, so it's best to check ahead of time.
Hiking is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together, and our canine family members especially love to hike. Our collies really enjoy hitting our local hiking trails, they love exploring new places. In fact, they love it so much, that we began traveling to parks all over our state. Each Spring we manage to visit new parks, as well as some of our local favorites, for some beautiful and scenic hikes. We have discovered waterfalls, covered bridges, light houses, wild flowers, lakes, rivers and peaceful woods. The hot Summer weather will often shorten our hikes, but the milder Spring weather is the perfect time to get outside and explore. During the Winter months in New England, we can get a lot of snow accumulation and ice, so for safety reasons we stick to our local parks, with their familiar trails. But as soon as Spring or Autumn arrives, we set out to discover as many new parks as possible.
|Gillette Castle State Park|
Did you know that hiking can be one of the best ways to bond with your dogs? And sharing the adventure of hiking a new trail is beneficial to you both! So much of the destructive behavior a dog exhibits is due to a lack of exercise. Even excessive barking can be the result of boredom and too much pent up energy. You can leave your home whenever you choose, your dogs are stuck in the house or yard until you decide to take them for a walk or car ride. By hiking with your dogs, you give them a chance to experience new smells and terrain, getting them off concrete sidewalks and giving them the opportunity to feel some dirt and grass beneath their paws. This is exciting for them, and it tires them out. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog!
We spend so much of our lives working and rushing around. Our schedules are packed full of events, and jobs to do. We lead very stressful lives, and spending a few quiet hours outside, enjoying the peace and tranquility found in nature, can lower our blood pressure and improve our moods. And a good hike will help to keep you fit and healthy. But you aren't the only one who needs exercise to remain strong and healthy, your dogs need it too! Hiking with your dogs on a regular basis will keep them healthy, which can help to extend their lives!
|Wadsworth Falls State Park, 2013|
But there is more than just the health benefits to be considered. Completing a challenging hike can fill you with pride, and it's fun. There are no demands on your time on the trail, you can wander and explore to your heart's content. Many times we let our dogs choose which trail we will follow, we let them have the freedom to explore, and they have led us to some amazing places. And we always bring along a camera, as you never know when the next curve in the trail will lead you to a peaceful spot, that will stun you with it's beauty or touch your heart.
|Devil's Hopyard State Park|
We also wanted to remind everyone that Saturday, June 3rd, is National Trails Day. What is that? It's a day to celebrate all our wonderful National Park Trailways. We have some beautiful hiking trails here in New England, and all across this country. There is something so relaxing about exploring a trail, you could almost forget that you are also exercising! So we would like to encourage everyone to get outside on June 3rd and take a hike or walk. You do not have to live in the United States to participate, all you have to do is step outside, and put one foot in front of the other! We realize that June 3rd is a couple weeks away, but we want to encourage people not to wait, and to start hiking now, there is no better time than the present!
|Gillette State Park|
|Fort Hale Park, a fort from the Revolutionary war.|