Top 10 Dog Friendly Hikes in the New Hampshire Lakes Region

The gorgeous Lakes Region boasts a ton of scenic dog friendly hiking and walking trails. In this post you can find, in no particular order, Top of the Ridge Farm Bed & Breakfast’s top 10 favorites.

Although warmer temperatures and longer days in spring, summer and fall make these outings more popular, don’t discount winter! In many instances, crampons or snow shoes are all you need to enjoy the stunning views all year long. Just remember to protect your pup’s paws (Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax is a favorite) and to pick up after yourself and your pup!

And you are in luck! Even if you decide that mud season is just the best thing ever to have a fun and stress-free time bonding with your dog, we are ready for you. We have an outdoor dog shower, hypoallergenic and organic shampoos, and a dryer plus fluffy towels here at the B&B.

A big thank you to Jess of the incredible The Barn Doggie Daycare (aka “The Best Place For Your Pup To Spend The Day… Every Day”), who helped put together this curated list with the assistance of local dog owners who have hiked miles of scenic area trails with their best friends. And a special thank you to the models’ moms: Noella (Mack and Indy) enjoying many of these hikes and Gina of Gina’s Creative Outlet (Stout).

  1. Straightback Mountain (Alton)
    Usually lightly trafficked and more difficult than others, accessible year-round and featuring lots of birds and wild flowers. Off Route 11 W from Alton Bay, take a left onto Jesus Valley Road.
  2. Locke’s Hill (Gilford)
    Another gorgeous walk that is lightly trafficked. Your pup must be kept on leash. You can enjoy stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee year-round. The Quarry Trail boasts lots of picture-perfect spots. On Route 11 E.
  3. Knights Pond (Alton)
    The dogs can enjoy a refreshing swim on this gorgeous pond. From the traffic circle (Route 28 & Route 11) in Alton, go 7.5 miles north on Route 28 and turn right onto Rines Road.
  4. Blue Job (Strafford)
    This easy hike has the best 360-degree views, from Mt. Washington to the north, Mt. Monadnock to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. On First Crown Point Rd in Strafford.
  5. Moose Mountain Loop (Middleton)
    Lightly trafficked wood roads, snowmobile trails, and foot paths make this the perfect hike. Best from April to November. Dogs must be kept on leash. On New Portsmouth Road.
  6. Cooper Cedar Woods (New Durham)
    This is a short, relatively flat 15 minute loop. Not recommended in the spring due to bugs by the swamp. On Route 11 between Depot Road and Tash Road.
  7. Cotton Valley Rail Trail (Wolfeboro)
    This beautiful trail mostly follows the old railroad tracks and can be quite busy during the summer, particularly in the first mile or so. For the most relaxing experience, try it off-season. Dogs need to be on leash. Starts at the old Wolfeboro Train Station on Railroad Avenue.
  8. Pine Mountain (Alton)
    This easy and lightly trafficked loop trail will take you through fields and forests to spectacular views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Mount Major and the entire Belknap Range at the top of the mountain. Bonus: lots of blueberries when in season! Best used from April to November. Dogs must be kept on leash. On Avery Hill Road.
  9. Mt. Major (Alton)
    At the top you are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee. It gets quite busy during the summer. Best used from April to November. On Route 11, 4 miles north of Alton Bay.
  10. Mt. Rowe/Gunstock (Gilford)
    This is a lightly trafficked loop trail within a great forest setting. Best used from April to November. Dogs must be kept on leash. On Route 11A at Gunstock ski area entrance.

As featured in Explore Moose Mountain.