Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-02-2017
    Location
    Wilson, NC
    Age
    22
    Posts
    9

    Default Doggies through the White Mountains

    Hello fellow hikers! My husband and I are going to thru hike sobo this year, and we're doing all the planning right now.

    For Katahdin, we can board.
    For GSMNP, we can board.
    For the zoo in New York, we can blue blaze.

    But... I read somewhere that dogs cannot stay in certain places in the White Mountains. Does anyone have any experience and can tell me whether or not dogs can stay at the campsites in the Whites? Or any other advice on going through the Whites with their dog. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-16-2004
    Location
    Purgatory, Maine
    Age
    79
    Posts
    936
    Images
    18

    Default

    The only place they can not stay for sure is in any of the AMC Huts. Some hostels may not allow them, but I don't know which. Be aware that the Northern White Mountains have a Granite Schist surface which is akin to razor blades on a dogs feet. I hiked for years with my Yellow Labs in the Whites, and learned to avoid the White Mountains from about Gorham to Franconia Notch when hiking with my furry friends.
    Everyone has a photographic memory. Not everyone has film.

  3. #3

    Default

    I have not been thru the whites and knowing my own dogs personal foot/ rock issues I would not personally take my dog thru the whites. He has walked over 1700 miles with me but that is a place I would not take him. Not telling you not to take yours, that's just my personal choice due to my experience hiking with my dog. Having said that, I have not heard of dogs not being allowed to stay at campsites in the whites, however I could see due to food and allergy concerns that dogs would not be allowed to stay in the huts. A note on the Zoo at Bear Mtn...It is about a .25 walk thru the zoo, the blue blaze is about .1 mile, and if you both wanted to see the zoo to check it off the list, you could take turns walking thru it however I will give the fare warning, it is a quite depressing place. My friend nor I enjoyed seeing the poor bears moping around and the ol coyotes in a pen. If I was a local, out hiking, I would skip it after 1 visit.
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    3,906

    Default

    The prior posters are right on, no dogs at the AMC huts (unless legal service animals). No need to stay at the huts but it does make for longer days and a bit more planning as someone with a dog will need to hike down off the ridgeline to find a legal camping spot. NH has a fake service dog law on the books.

    The issue with abrasive rocks is an issue even for dogs who have successfully hiked the entire AT from Springer to NH. Thru hiker dogs and many other non thru hiking dogs wear out their pads on the rocks. It isnt the whites in general as much as the presidential ridge starting at Mt Clinton to treeline heading down the Osgood trail from Madison and then it skips awhile before coming back around Mt Success in the Mahoosucs to just past Mt Speck. On normal trails dogs usually can stay on the ground most of the time while working their way around smaller rocks and boulders. On the presidential ridgeline the actual ground is several feet under the pile of rocks on top of it for the majority of this stretch. The rocks are usually stable but rarely are they flat. A typical hiker can walk from high point to high point but a typical dog has to have friction contact between the bottom of its pads and the surface of the rock assisted by their claws. This causes a lot of abrasion to the pads as the rock is not smooth or weathered, its similar to very low grit sandpaper. Intermixed with hking through rick fields is occasion steep ledges with no good way to bypass them. In that case the dog just scratches its way up the face of the rock. They have to do the same heading down.

    Dogs can normally survive a few hours of this but at some point the pads are worn off and the dog is in pain. Not a lot of options but try to wrap up the dogs feet and slowly bail down a side trail and give the dog a few days to recover. The state fish and game department who is in charge of all rescues in the state will not rescue dogs but they will cite folks for animal cruelty. Finding enough folks and equipment to carry a dog is major effort with a lot of potential for injuries.

    There are quite few folks who day hike frequently with their dogs in the area. Some breeds do seem to tolerate it better than other breeds but many folks carry booties or have learned how long they can hike before its an issue. Many dogs despise booties and unless they are trained to grow accustomed to them they usually will not tolerate them. Plan on bringing multiple pairs in the morning and losing many during the day.

  5. #5

    Default

    There are a few obstacles in the Mahoosucs which are difficult or impossible for a dog to navigate. The Mahoosuc notch is one and descending the cliff on Goose Eye with it's series of rebar ladders is another. Basically, you have to lower the dog down with a rope and harness. Then there are the stream fords in the HMW which could be a problem if the rivers are high and flowing fast, which they might be this spring with all the snow were getting. Then there are the black flies which will eat your dog alive.

    Small dogs seem to have an easier time then large dogs. You also don't have to feed them as much. I know you don't want to hear this, but you really should leave the dog home. Getting through Maine is tough enough without having to deal with the dog issues.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-16-2004
    Location
    Purgatory, Maine
    Age
    79
    Posts
    936
    Images
    18

    Default

    I have painful memories of discovering bloody paw prints from my huge Yellow Lab who was walking in front of me when we were two hours into a seven hour hike. I wrapped his cut paws in everything I could find in my first aid kit and we took four hours retracing our route. He weighed in at 115 pounds so carrying him was out of the question.
    Everyone has a photographic memory. Not everyone has film.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    3,906

    Default

    I followed a blood trail through Mahoosuc Notch. It was forest service employee with his dog that hiked everywhere. The dog started having issues before they hit the notch and got worse. He was planning to go up and over Mt Speck to get to his car but we convinced him to take the short cut out to the Bull Branch road and gave him a ride to his car.

    I have seen a few other blood trails from paws up on along Gulfside between Adams and Washington over the years.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-02-2002
    Location
    Mustang, Ok.
    Posts
    39
    Images
    1

    Default

    I've done over five thousand miles on the AT with my dog including one thru-hike. The only place your dog can't go to the Whites are the huts. By the time you make it to the Whites, you would have already done the hardest part of the trail. I had plenty of people on the trail starting out telling me my dog wouldn’t make it because of the Whites. We were NOBO and the Whites were very hard on me, but my dog loved it. The weather was much cooler and there were plenty of water. She weighed almost 140 pounds and didn't have problems with the ladders and terrain. The ladders were not like construction ladders, they are just roughhewn logs put together. Your dog can easily find another way to go around. The only time I ever had to use a rope was North of Palmerton and it was only for a few feet. The hardest part of the trail for the dog was northern Pennsylvania because of the heat and rocks were more unstable with sharp edges. My dog didn't have any major problems, but she did cut her foot on a piece of glass. I took an old sock and duct tape it to keep it on. I did buy some bag balm and applied it a couple of times a week. Most hikers that I knew who had to send then dogs home was because of lost of weight and not anything with their paws. I will be doing another thru in five weeks and I will be taking my new dog; a seven-year-old Australian Sheppard so our paths might cross. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-18-2014
    Location
    Lewiston and Biddeford, Maine
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DRRouner View Post
    I've done over five thousand miles on the AT with my dog including one thru-hike. The only place your dog can't go to the Whites are the huts. By the time you make it to the Whites, you would have already done the hardest part of the trail. I had plenty of people on the trail starting out telling me my dog wouldn’t make it because of the Whites. We were NOBO and the Whites were very hard on me, but my dog loved it. The weather was much cooler and there were plenty of water. She weighed almost 140 pounds and didn't have problems with the ladders and terrain. The ladders were not like construction ladders, they are just roughhewn logs put together. Your dog can easily find another way to go around. The only time I ever had to use a rope was North of Palmerton and it was only for a few feet. The hardest part of the trail for the dog was northern Pennsylvania because of the heat and rocks were more unstable with sharp edges. My dog didn't have any major problems, but she did cut her foot on a piece of glass. I took an old sock and duct tape it to keep it on. I did buy some bag balm and applied it a couple of times a week. Most hikers that I knew who had to send then dogs home was because of lost of weight and not anything with their paws. I will be doing another thru in five weeks and I will be taking my new dog; a seven-year-old Australian Sheppard so our paths might cross. Good luck.
    And yet, people who have hiked the AT says it gets harder once you reach the Whites. You are the first Nobo who says it's easier.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    And yet, people who have hiked the AT says it gets harder once you reach the Whites. You are the first Nobo who says it's easier.
    I believe he is saying it from a sobo perspective since sobo is the direction the OP will be walking.

    This Thread has immediately reminded me of a thread from a few years ago...

    "Lookout for your pup!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Long story short I kinda messed up this weekend. I became too ambitious and up'd our daily mileage yet again as a weekend section hiker to 25.5 miles plus a .7 mile spur trail to get up to the AT. My 6 year old pup Wardy and I are best friends and the only hiking buddy that has never in the slightest bit let me down, in over 800 doggy miles. Always right there behind my heels, obedient, aware and protective(against the unknown sounds of the wilderness). So after us successfully pulling several 20-22 mile weekend day hikes on the AT this spring and summer I thought we could polish off the last 35.5 miles of NC and TN over sat and sun then go dove hunting Monday.

    We were doing great, got up to Greasy Creek Gap, started and was averaging right under 4 MPH and were doing good. Got to Cherry Gap Shelter, both filled up on water and up Unaka Mtn we went. About half way up ol' Wardy started slowing down, panting hard. We took a break, I let him drink a liter of water I checked his pads and let him cool down, We hit it again, got up and over Unaka, on the way down Wardy was really dragging now, our distance from one another would increase, I would stop to let him catch up and instead of trotting up behind me he would just lay over in the weeds. We got to Beauty spot, both of us quite beat from the Unaka Mtn climb still race through the sunny spots of the fields and dash back into the shaded woods where we take another break, this time unlike most every other break, Wardy just cant seem to get his breath. as we start the climb down to Indian Grave Gap poor Wardy has nothing left in him, falling further and further behind like never before. I wait, he collapses, I pull him up we go a little further he collapses. we finally has a sit down, I gave him all my water I had left and at that time saw his pads, he had worn through almost every one of his pads (I’m guessing walking down rocky Unaka Mtn). I took his pack off of him strapped it to mine and easing him onto the grassy splotches along the trail we slowly made it down to Indian Grave Gap. We were lucky enough to run into a day hiker that gave us a ride back to Erwin. I picked Wardy up (95 pounds of pit and lab) out of the car and carried him into our hostel room. He was beat like never before, He laid on his bed without a sign of pain in the world. I sat there with tears down my cheeks patting him on the head. Checked out of our room, carried him to the car and left Erwin defeated. It really taught me a lesson that has cost me several hiking buddies over the years as well as probably some enjoyable experiences, as well taught me to pay closer attention o Wardy as he is not as invincible as I have become accustomed to thinking he is. The lesson learned is that although I have seemed to think it is, its not about killing miles, I haven’t heard of any weekend section hiker pulling a 26 mile day, which I was feeling up to 17 miles in at Indian Grave, but there is more to it then getting the miles done.

    I believe that to be a tough little mountain (Unaka), and Wardy and I did 17 miles in 6 hours which included all of our down time of Wardy going down hill fast. My main point is listen to your pups, pay close attention to them and remember, they aren’t wearing boots!
    Attachment 28232
    Attachment 28233

    Wardy is relaxin' on the couch healing up and soakin' up the AC. We will be back out soon walking <20 mile days enjoying the great outdoors
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-02-2017
    Location
    Wilson, NC
    Age
    22
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Fortunately my dog will be wearing shoes on our hike! And we don't plan on rushing through our hike, especially the first few months during what seems to be the hardest parts. I'm glad I've learned to read my dog, like when he's tired and ready for a stop or not feeling well. Between the hubs and I, we are able and willing to pick our dog up and carry him if need be, and he will have a harness in case we need to lower him down on a rope. Anything to get us safely to the end of the trail with all our toe nails! Not bringing our dog isn't an option for us because our dog is very energetic and anyone we left him with at home wouldn't be able to walk and play with him as often as he needs it. He will definitely pull us all the way to the top and then wonder why we aren't doing it again lol!

  12. #12

    Default

    Sounds like ya'll have it all figured out! Good luck and have a great hike! Be sure to revisit the thread and give us an update after Hanover, NH
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  13. #13
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-01-2004
    Location
    Long Island, New York
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,247
    Images
    1

    Default

    My wife and I have done the Whites with a large dog, a shepherd, without too much problem.
    The pup was allowed in all campsites, even ones run by the AMC.
    We did use a harness one time to help our dog get up some steep rocks during a night hike and I think it was in the Presidentials we put her booties on her as her feet looked raw, from rocks.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •