If you are not taking the risk to go for backcountry skiing with your dog, make sure you go skijoring on a dog-friendly cross-country ski trail. If you haven’t tried it already, XC skiing is a great way to start skiing with your furry friend because the cross country skiing pace is much slower than many other skiing styles.
Where to Go Cross-Country Skiing with Your Dog?
Not all parks and ski trails are dog-friendly, so you need to find a dog-friendly groomed trail to go skijoring. Generally, ungroomed areas that allow dogs are good places for these activities. Many groomed trails also allow you to enjoy skijoring with your dog.
Wherever there is a cross-country skiing area that encourages skiers to come and ski, chances are that you can find skijoring trails there. Here are some of the dog-friendly Nordic ski trails in New England and New York State:
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont
1. Dashney Nordic Center
The Dashney Nordic Center on the Burke Mountain lets you enjoy 13 km of the trail with your dog. There are only two trails that do not allow dogs, the rest are all completely dog friendly.
2. Memphremagog Ski Touring Trails
Dogs are allowed on the entire 25 km long trails, they only ask to have the dog leashed at all times.
However, there are specific hours when dogs are not allowed on the trails: Monday-Friday 3-5pm and Saturday 2-4pm
3. Mountain Top Resort
You can enjoy 15 km long dog trails as well as dog-friendly accommodations for your overnight stay.
4. Blueberry Lakes Cross Country Ski Center
Your dog is allowed on its entire 35km long trail.
5. Craftsbury Outdoor Center
The two trails on Great and Little Hosmer lakes welcome leashed dogs.
6. Jay Peak Resort Nordic Center
Dogs are only allowed on the designated skijoring trails of the Nordic Center when using a skijoring harness.
However pets are not allowed in buildings, and they must be leashed on resort roads at all times.
7. Landgrove Inn
Dogs are allowed but you need to make sure they are off the trails and on a leash.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in New Hampshire
1. Bear Notch Ski Touring Center
They offer 65 km long groomed trails, all of which is also available to well behaved dogs. Bear Notch was also included in the 365 best places to stay and play with your dog by BringFido.
2. Eastman Cross Country Center
You can take your dog on the 3.5 km Lake Loop trail, and also the snowshoe-only Bright Slope trail.
3. Purity Spring XC & Snowshoe Reserve
Dogs are welcome during non-holiday midweek periods. Owners are asked to have a leash ready when passing others. Weekends and holidays are off-limits for your dogs.
4. Jackson Ski Touring
Dogs are allowed on designated pet-friendly trails. These are the following:
Easy trails: Boggy Brook Trail 3.4 km, Gray’s Inn Cut-Off 0.3 km, Kissing Bridge Trail 0.9 km, Covered Bridge Trail 1.1 km, Quail Trail 2.8 km;
Advanced trails: Dana Place Trail 3.6 km, Beaver Bog Trail 1.3 km;
Dog sleds are forbidden.
5. Ski Hearth Farm
You can enjoy skiing with your four-legged friend on their dog friendly trails (Joe’s Loop).
6. Pine Hill Ski Club
Dogs are allowed on the Sundown trail (north of Mountain Road) and on the Sutton trail on the western edge of the trail network.
7. Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring
You can only take your dog on the Whittaker Woods trail.
8. Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford
The entire trail network allows dog, but they must be leashed. Skijoring is also allowed. You can also rent skijoring equipment.
9. Waterville Valley Resort
There are a handful of trails allowing dogs on leash, such as the Village trail and the first half kilometer of the Livermore trail.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Maine
1. Carter’s XC Ski Centers – Bethel and Oxford
Dogs are allowed on all their trail network, but they charge you $15 as a trail fee for your dog. If you have small dogs, they also make the exception of charging you the same amount for two dogs.
2. Quarry Road Recreation Area
They have a short multiuse trail for skiers with dogs, that is separate from their main trail system. However, dogs must be leashed at all times and they are not allowed on groomed cross country ski trails.
3. Inland Woods+Trails
There is only one cross-country ski trail for dogs, called ’Dog Days’. Dogs are also allowed on all snowshoe and fat tire bike trails.
4. Harris Farm XC Ski Center
As long as the snow is not too soft, they allow dogs on all their trails, provided it is not a weekend or a holiday. Your dog can enjoy a total of 40 km long trail here.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Massachusetts
Notchview Nordic Skiing Center
They have an entirely separate trail network for skijoring, groomed for both classic and skate skiing. Skiing with dogs is only allowed south of Route 9.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in New York
Winona Forest Recreation Area in Lacona
They offer 40 miles of skijoring spanning across 25 multiuse trails.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Michigan
Michigan has dozens of great places for cross-country skiing with your dog. Beside the ungroomed backcountry, here are our favorite groomed nordic ski areas for skijoring:
1. ABR Trails
ABR has several skijoring/multiuse trails available for dogs and owners.
2. Keweenaw Trail System
Specific trails of Michigan Tech and Swedetown trail networks allow skijoring and dogs on leash.
Michigan Tech allows dogs on the following trails: Tolkien, Nara, Isle Royale & Superior trails – No dogs allowed at the main trailhead!
At the Swedetown trails, there is one couple of km long multiuse trail available for dogs, accessible from the Woodland Trailhead.
3. Noquemanon Trail Network
20k of specific Forestville Trails allow dogs on leash – ask the trail host on duty for recommendations.
4. Kent County Parks and Trails
Dogs are allowed on leashes, except for Pickerel Lake Park.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Wisconsin
There are plenty of well-groomed cross-country ski trails in Wisconsin too. These below are our favorites for also allowing dogs on their trails.
1. Minocqua Winter Park
3.7 miles of Skijoring route available.
2. Justin Trails B&B Resort
The resort is completely dog-friendly, as is their trail network. They have designated dog skijor trails.
3. Kettle Moraine State Forest
Leashed dogs allowed at the Pike Lake Unit’s multi-use area
4. Eagle River Area
Specific trails allow dogs on trails.
5. Blue Hills Trail
Dogs are permitted only on the west side of the trail system, and not allowed on the east side trails.
6. Palmquist Farm
Well behaved dogs are welcome for overnight guests.
Skijoring Races in Wisconsin
- Barkie Birkie (Haward) – a 4-day event that invites thousands of skiers from around the globe.
- Skijoring on the (Madison) Square – in the Madison Winter Festival.
- Merrill Winterfest Sled Dog Race (Merril) – has special skijoring tracks along with many other winter activities including sled dog racing, skating, etc.
- Three Bear Sled Dog Race (Land O’ Lakes) – premier spectator races in northern Midwest – favorite among dog-owners as well as dogs!
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Minnesota
The North Star State has plenty of great places to cross-country ski, but not all of those allow dogs. To make your day easier, we have gathered the best dog-friendly trails in Minnesota.
1. Theodore Wirth Regional Park
There are designated skijoring trails available.
2. Gooseberry Falls State Park
This spectacular park welcomes dogs on leash.
3. Glendalough State Park
Dogs are allowed on all trails.
4. Gunflint Trails
There are specific dog trails available.
5. Three Rivers Park District
Multiuse trails allow skiing with your dog, however there are a couple of designated cross-country ski trails at Cleary Lake and Eagle Lake regional parks allowing skijoring.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Wyoming
1. Jackson Hole
The Jackson Hole Nordic Center has dozens of groomed cross-country ski trails, as well as multiuse trails allowing dogs.
2. Tie City and Happy Jack Trail System
This unique trail system has over 30 miles of trails, most of which is groomed in winter. They also happily welcome dogs on all their trails.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Montana
1. Moulton Nordic Ski Trails
Great place for skiing with your dog. Dogs are welcome on all 17 km of groomed trails.
2. Blacktail Mountain Nordic Trails
All 25 km of trails is groomed and dog-friendly.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Colorado
1. Devil’s Thumb Ranch
It has been voted by USA Today as 2019’s best cross country ski resort in the US. It has 75 miles of Nordic trails which are ideal for skijoring.
2. Granby Trails
They have several dog-friendly trails and even a ‘Bark Park’.
3. Grand Lake Nordic Center
They have 4km of specific dog-friendly ski & snowshoe loop available. If your dog is friendly, and he is under your voice command you can let him go off leash at the loop.
4. Gold Run Nordic Center
Located in Breckenridge, Colorado, this is one of the truly dog-friendly nordic centers. They have two relatively long nordic ski trails for you and your furry friends, as well as three dog friendly snowshoe trails. These are the Peabody Placer (3.3k) and the Preston Loop (3.9k) groomed trails, intermediate and intermediate/difficult respectively.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Utah
1. North Fork Park
They offer 20 miles of groomed cross country trails also available for skijoring.
2. Round Valley, Park City
The Park is open to cross-country skiers with dogs, however some of the trails are for skiers only.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in California
They have eight dog friendly ski trails.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Washington
1. Mount Spokane Nordic Center
There are specific skijoring trails that are available on specific days of the week. There is also one warming hut available to dogs too.
2. Lake Wenatchee State Park
The Chiwawa Sno-Park allows dogs after 10AM.
3. Methow Trails
Having one of the largest cross-country ski trail network in Northern America, Methow trails boasts with about 40 km of groomed dog friendly trails.
4. Highlands Nordic Sno-Park
This Sno-Park allows dog on several miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, but only on the East Side.
Dog-Friendly Cross-Country Skiing in Alaska
1. Kachemak Nordic Ski Club
They allow dogs on the Baycrest trail network except for the Sunset Loop, Far Side, and Serpentine to Midway areas.
2. Eveline State Recreation Site
They allow dogs but they need to be on a leash (not more than 9 feet long).
3. Nome Creek Valley
Located in the White Mountains National Recreational Area in Fairbanks, Alaska, Nome Creek Valley boasts 250 miles of groomed skijoring trails.
No matter where you are, you can always find a skijoring terrain near you in winter or travel to one with your canine buddy. Before heading out to a proper skijoring trail, it is better to train your dog so you do not have communication issues with your dog. In skijoring trails, your dog will also come across other skijoring dogs and people, so it is important that your dog does not get distracted on trails.
In most cases, it’s not the dog who are problematic, but the inconsiderate dog owners who cannot accomodate to other cross-country skiers on the trails. For this reason, make sure you read up on the trail’s dog policy and the general rules of skiing with your dog.
Whatever ski area you plan to head to, check the dog policies from their website. It goes without saying, but make sure you act as a responsible dog owner when you are out with your dog.