The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In New Hampshire

Franconia Ridge Trail Loop
White Mountain National Forest • Franconia

When National Geographic published an article on the “World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails” there was only one day hike in the Lower 48 on the list and this was it. That’s a lot to promise your dog.

Sooner or later all trail dogs make their way to Franconia Notch. The destination is 5,260-foot Lafayette Mountain and it will take crossing two others, Haystack (4,840 feet) and Lincoln (5,089 feet), to complete the loop. Most canine hikers opt to begin this classic New England journey on the Falling Waters Trail, boulder-hopping along and across several waterfalls.The ascent to Franconia Ridge is accomplished on the grueling “45,” climbing 3,840 feet in only four miles. Some of the rock formations may make Seaman think for a second but there is nothing insurmountable for him on this spectacular hike.

Upon reaching the ridge Seaman meets the Appalachian Trail and the fabled Franconia Ridge knife-edge - ex-posed rock that dips and rolls for 1.7 thrilling miles. If you catch a clear day the views, including the entire Presidential Range, are the best in New En-gland.

The leg back down is on the Old Bridle Path that will give a new ap-preciation of the sturdiness of horses before the coming of the automobile. When the long, rocky descent across open slopes dips into stunted pines the nine-mile loop is coming to its re-warding end. Seaman will go to sleep dreaming about this one.

HIKING TIME: 6-7 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)

 

National Parks with Hiking

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Dogs are allowed on the grounds

 

Links to National Forests With Hiking

Hoosier National Forest

 

State Parks With Hiking

 

New Hampshire State Parks
Dogs are not universally allowed in New Hampshire state parks. The following parks do allow dogs:

 Bear Brook State Park
 Cardigan State Park
 Crawford Notch State Park
 Dixville Notch State Park
 Franconia Notch State Park
 Miller State Park
 Moose Brook State Park
 Mt. Washington State Park
 Northwood Meadows State Park Pillsbury State Park