Best 7 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

Best 7 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

When it comes to New Hampshire, people often believe in the slogan, "Hike or Live Free.” And New Hampshire is such a state that is very well known for its incredible views of national parks and is one of the most significant hotspots that attracts adventure or outdoor enthusiasts. After all, there is a reason why people call it a hiker’s paradise.

Imagine how it would be to go on a hike with your furry family in the White Mountains and beyond! Sounds very exciting, right? Yes, New Hampshire is such a state that allows people to go hiking with their dogs by their side. Also, talking of hiking in New Hampshire, did you know that NH’s finest White Mountain National Forest allows dogs too?

In such cases, you might follow a lead of at least 6 feet as there could be a situation where your canine companion might need to be restrained. You can take your furry friend to most community parks, but certainly not to beaches or picnic spots.

Want to know more? Why not give this article a read? Read on, and find out the hiking options for your canine friend.

The Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

The Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

#1 Franconia Falls, Lincoln, New Hampshire [White Mountains National Forest]

Franconia Falls, Lincoln, New Hampshire [White Mountains National Forest]

When it comes to the best hiking trails for a dog-friendly hike, how can someone forget about Franconia Falls? Yes, if you pick this place, do not forget to pack a picnic basket because when you reach up there, you will find a humongous flat rock surface suitable for snacks.

With just an elevation of 300 feet, you will have some spectacular views of the Franconia falls. This is one of the popular hike choices you make as it is a 6.8-mile trail suitable for families, senior citizens, and furry companions.

While packing, do not leave out your bathing suit. If you are hiking on a hot day, you will need to cool yourself off by coasting down through the natural rock water slide. Again, furry companions are allowed to!

Furthermore, they also allow mountain biking.

#2 Lake Massabesic Trail, Auburn, Southern New Hampshire, Manchester

Lake Massabesic Trail, Auburn, Southern New Hampshire, Manchester

waterfall in beautiful nature with crystal clear water on wild river una in bosnia and herzegovina at sunny summer day

Want to spend your leisurely Saturday afternoon hiking, or are you looking for a perfect place for an easy dog jog? Head to this place, as you will enjoy an easy 4-mile hike, and you will get to experience the beautiful views of Lake Massabesic, along with the wildlife and geological features.

Pack some snacks and coffee for you to enjoy, and look for sailboats. Dogs are allowed only if they are on a leash, and make sure you do not take your dog to the lake or on the beaches. Pack food and water bowls for your dogs as the hiking gets tiring.

#3 Arethusa Falls Trails and Frankenstein Cliffs, Bartlett, New Hampshire [White Mountain National Forest]

What would be a perfect outing for you? A hike, some swimming, and again falling back to hiking? If you like something like this, then head to this place.

Here, you will get to experience something more of a hike. A hike at this location is 5 miles roundtrip, and you will have a 1,400-foot elevation gain with spectacular views throughout the journey.

The thing that makes the Arethusa falls a friendly waterfall hike is that they allow your dog to drink and cool off at the base.

However, you should leash your furry buddy as this place is pretty popular, and you can take a lot of people hiking with you.

Looking for something more exciting? Check out these beautiful trails –

#5 Mount Washington via Lion Head Trail and Tuckerman Ravine near Gorham, New Hampshire

Mount Washington via Lion Head Trail and Tuckerman Ravine near Gorham, New Hampshire

Moderate to hard hiking trails give you that satisfaction that hikers long for. The Champney Brook Trail loop is an out and back, 7.40 miles of a hiking trail that you can complete in roughly 4 hours. This is quite a challenging terrain, even for experienced hikers and climbers.

If you like camping and hiking, this is the best place. The best hiking season is between April to October. You can bring your family pet with you as well. They allow pets with leashes or off-leash in certain places.

If you wish to park your ride, you will have to pay a fee. This place has spectacular pools, swimming holes, and flowing waterfalls. These miles of trails go through hardwoods and follow along small, abundant streams. It is not an excellent walking area as you are going to encounter some steep rocks and sections throughout the journey. But if you are nice and steady, you can easily complete the route!

If you have been looking for a dog- and family-friendly hike, this is the one! If you plan a hike during the early spring, you will get to witness the gorgeous views of the waterfall, as this is the period when the water looks clear and flows the best. The waterfall dries up during the late summer and fall seasons. You can plan a hike during the winters as well.

#6 Champney Falls Trail, Albany, New Hampshire

Champney Falls Trail, Albany, New Hampshire

The Champney Falls Trail is an out-and-back trail and is a moderate-grade hiking trail that makes it quite challenging for one to complete. This is a 3.4-mile-long hike, and you can complete it within an hour and a half.

It is popular, mostly known because of hiking, birding, and snowshoeing, and you can expect to meet numerous people here. If you wish to plan a visit here, plan it anytime between March and October. Dogs are allowed with the leash, and in some areas, you can also take the leash off.

Following this trail, you will get 208 meters of the inclined hike; call reception is pretty tricky around here, so I suggest you download an offline version of the trail map to complete your hike.

If you wish to drive, you will also get a parking area for your ride at the northern end of the trail of Kancamagus Highway. In this trial, you will find a huge cascade about 70 feet in length. You will enjoy its gorgeous views when the water is high. But if you visit the falls during the dry season, you find it to appear a bit meager.

Champney Falls is named after Benjamin Champney, a White Mountain artist. And on your way back, it will take approximately two hours and a half, but if you wish to opt for a longer hike, move further south to Mount Chocorua.

#7 Diana’s Baths, Intervale, New Hampshire

Diana’s Baths, Intervale, New Hampshire

If you wish to experience a short hike with incredible views, just head to this place and experience this 1.30 mile out and back hiking trail. It is a pretty easy route you can complete in just 31 minutes. This place is very popular as the trail is a family-friendly and dog-friendly option.

If you want to experience nature’s breathtaking views, head to Diana’s Baths, situated in the North Conway area; it is fun to explore North Conway Village. Diana’s Baths go along with Lucy Brook in Bartlett.

You should visit the place anytime from March to October. Try to visit this place if you wish to take your children with you. During the summers, you will see some incredibly scenic views of nature, and you can explore humongous flat rocks, falls, ledges, and deep pools.

The hiking of Diana’s baths is relatively flat. However, you need to pay an entrance fee of $5. This National Forest site also welcomes canine guests to come along and enjoy the hike. However, if you bring your dog here, you must clean them afterward.

#8 Franconia Notch State Park, White Mountains, Northern New Hampshire

Franconia Notch State Park, White Mountains, Northern New Hampshire

If you want an excellent hiking experience, head to Franconia Notch State Park! Franconia Notch State Park is known for its famous hiking and biking trails. Both easy and strenuous hiking options are available in this state park.

Located within the finest White Mountain National Forest and its boundaries, you can find the great Franconia Notch mountain pass, Echo Lake, and Flume Gorge.

Head to this place when you plan your next hike and experience nature’s scenic views and lakes. This is one of the reasons that makes it a great place for hiking. Not just hiking, you can also plan camping, biking, rock climbing, swimming, and skiing during the winters.

Unlike most state parks, the Franconia Ridge trail loop allows dogs, except the Cannon Mount, Flume Gorge, and Lafayette Place Campground.

Visiting this place requires a fee of $4 for adults and $2 for ages 6 to 11. 

People Also Ask

Can dogs hike Mt Monadnock?

No, dogs are not allowed in the park. Not just dogs; no pets are allowed to enter the park. And this particular law applies to every trail and area under Monadnock State Park boundaries.

And it would be best if you did not take your furry family for a hike in this park as it lacks green spaces and is full of hard-rocky surfaces that can hurt their paws. 

Can dogs hike in the White Mountains?

Yes, if you wish to take your dog for an enjoyable hike in the White Mountains, you can do that. But, you have to keep some factors in check, such as –

  • In the White Mountains, your dogs must be under physical or verbal restraint

  • Always a carry a leash

  • Leash your dog when in parking lots, camping sites, or any other developing sites

Is Flume Gorge dog friendly?

If you wish to take your canine friend to Flume Gorge, you must know that dogs or pets are not allowed there.

Dogs are only allowed in places with a designated dog walk area and other dense forest hiking trails of the White Mountain National Forest. 

Are dogs allowed at Echo Lake, NH?

North Conway’s Echo Lake State Park allows your four-footed guests to join you. This state park allows leashed dogs to enter the back trails in the White Horse Ledge and Cathedral Ledge areas. These two areas are dog-friendly, and you can get amazing views of the White Mountains and Saco River Valley.

However, pets cannot enter Echo Lake between 1st May and 31st October.


Now that you have read this blog post, what do you think? Which location are you picking to go for a hike?

All the locations have pet-friendly trails and support dog-friendly recreational activities. We have mentioned all hiking options here; pick as you like! If you can, plan a hike with your canine companion to Mount Washington or Champney Falls. Of course, it will be a difficult hike, but it will be worth it when you reach the summit.

Some other hiking locations you and your furry friends will enjoy are our Cotton Valley Rail Trail, Halibut Point State Park, Camden Hills State Park, Appalachian Trail, and Mount Osceola. Ripley Falls and Crawford Notch State Park only allow leashed pets. Some of these hiking spots even have pet-friendly hotels and Italian restaurants with doggy daycare options and a fenced-in yard.  

Visit any of these places, and you will see why New Hampshire is termed the Hikers’ Paradise!

Kevin Macey
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