Great hikes with your dog don’t always have to take place on grass and dirt...
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April 2012. In this issue:
- Doggin' America's Carriage Roads
- Beach of the Month: Watch Hill Beach (RI)
- On The Trail At...At The Darkest Place In The East (Spruce Knob, WV)
- Quick Tip - Reading Topographic Maps
- Join the Hiking With Dogs group on Facebook
On The Whispering Spruce Trail on Spruce Knob
Doggin' America's Carriage Roads Not all your best hikes with your dog will take place on sinewy footpaths picking their way through remote forests and fields. Sometimes you will be seeking a hike a mite more civilized and nothing fits the bill better than a carriage road. Set the Wayback Machine for 125 years ago to a slower time when industrialists of unlimited means constructed wide, graded roads to accommodate leisurely horse-and-carriage trips around their vast estates. Today many of these estates have been saved as public parks and the old paths maintained. These roomy arteries attract all types of enthusiastic users so expect a very communal dog walk but most of these trail systems encompass many miles of carriage roads so it is possible to find a secluded canine hike if that is your wont. Here are some places you can find these seductive carriage roads... Continue>>
Beach of the Month
Watch Hill Beach (RI) In the westernmost part of the westernmost town of Rhode Island is a small beach that is always worth a stop. Parking at the beach is for Watch Hill residents only so you may need to park out by the main road and walk down the hill to the sand. As long as you have your dog in walking mode head out for a coastal walk to Napatree Point where you can enjoy a private beach feel much of the year.
On The Trail At...
At The Darkest Place In The East (Spruce Knob, WV) West Virginia's lack of light pollution in the Potomac Highlands makes possible what is most likely the darkest sky site east of the Mississippi River. The highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains and the highpoint of the Mountain State, Spruce Knob, is here. Eventually most star-gazers seeking tar-black skies will make the journey to the Monongahela National Forest and its 4,863-foot summit. At peak times there is enough traffic after midnight on the mountain that car headlights can spoil... Continue>>
Reading Topographic Maps Topographic maps - those maps covered with serpentine lines - can be intimidating to beginning canine hikers but are supremely useful in planning a day's outing in an unfamiliar woods if you have access to one. Topographic maps seek to represent the terrain with contour lines that represent the same elevation throughout their length. When picking out trails to follow the first thing to look for are the spaces between the lines. If a trail passes through closely spaced lines you can expect steep climbs while broadly spaced lines are indicative of gentler terrain. Closer inspection of the contour numbers can tell you... Continue>>
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