15 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Vermont

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dog is feeling joyful at dog friendly vacation Vermont

In the northeastern United States, you can find the small state of Vermont surrounded by New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Canada. Being such a small state, it only has about 650,000 residents. This makes it the second least-populated state in the country, with a lot of open space for natural beauty and fun. 

Vermont is home to the Green Mountains, Champlain Valley, Lake Champlain, the Connecticut River, Lake Bomoseen, and the Taconic Mountains. To add to this beauty, Vermont is the only state in the US with no buildings over 125 feet. With all these natural areas, there is much to do, and most of it is dog-friendly. 

One thing to note is the climate. Vermont has a humid continental climate with an average annual temperature of just 45 degrees F. The summers are hot but not overly so, with an average high temperature of 80 degrees F in July, which is the hottest month. The state is a popular skiing attraction as well, with the best month being in March. Here are our top picks for dog-friendly vacation destinations in Vermont. 


The most populated city in the state with approximately 44,700 residents and an estimated 7,800 dogs, Burlington is also the most pup popular place in Vermont. Known for its beauty and maple syrup, the city is located in the northwestern corner of the state on Lake Champlain. The pooch-friendly lake makes this a perfect city for a lake retreat with Fido. 

The first place to take your fur puppy is Oakledge Park, where he can get out and play in the water at Lake Champlain. You can also have a picnic, rent a kayak get out on the water, take a stroll on the walking trails, and let the kids play on the playground. Just keep your pup on a leash and bring lots of bags to pick up after him. 

If you want to let your pooch play off the leash, take him to Starr Farm Park, where they have a fully fenced dog park with a separate area for small and timid pups. It has agility equipment like tunnels and ramps, as well as benches, water, and waste stations.


Also known as The Ski Capital of the East, Stowe is the perfect winter vacation spot in northern Vermont. The hot spot here is Mount Mansfield, which is the highest mountain in the state at 4,393 feet. Although many ski resorts do not allow pets, Stowe Mountain Resort loves dogs so much they will take them to the top on the Gondola SkyRide. The summit has a skiing elevation of 3,695 and 485 acres, with 12 lifts and 116 trails. 

Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa is another pet-friendly place to stay on the mountain. It has 50 acres as well as a spa with 100 different treatments to heal your body after a day on the slopes. Nearby, you can take your pup to dinner with you at The Backyard, where they have everything from fish tacos to duck wontons. 

Don’t miss the Glen Falls Hiking Trail, where you can see the stunning Moss Glen Falls, which is the tallest in the state at 85 feet high.


This little city in northeastern Vermont was listed as the Best Small Town by National Geographic Adventures. It started as a village of 143 people in 1760 and has built up to about 7,300 residents today. It is known for its conjunction of the Moose and Passumpsic Rivers, but pup parents know it for another reason: Dog Mountain. 

Dog Mountain is a special place for all canine companions and their humans, with 150 acres of off-leash fun. It is home to the only dog church in the world, The Dog Chapel. The giant pooch park also has nature trails, ponds to swim in, and an art gallery with work done by the dog-lover Stephen Huneck, who lived there. In the winter, you can enjoy snowshoeing and ice skating, and there are events all year long, including the August Dog Party and October Dogfest.

Nearby, you and your pupster can enjoy a pizza, burgers, and baked goods at Papa Tirozzi Bakery & Pizza. 

Green Mountain National Forest

In central Vermont, Green Mountain National Forest boasts almost 400,000 acres with eight designated wilderness areas and two national recreation areas, as well as hundreds of lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds. There are also three nationally recognized trails, including the Appalachian Trail, which covers 2,200 miles.

Campers love this forest with its mild winters and beauty. There are 11 campgrounds with a total of over 100 sites to choose from. Some of them can be reserved, but others are first-come, first-served, and they range from rugged and basic to RV sites with full hookups. All of the sites welcome your fur baby, and some even have off-leash areas. 

You can also do some fishing in the forest, but everyone over 15 years old has to have a Vermont fishing license. There are four ponds, three lakes, two rivers, and dozens of streams. Many of them involve some hiking, so always bring lots of water and doggie bags. 


Just north of Burlington on Malletts Bay and Niquette Bay, Colchester has one of the state’s most dog-friendly state parks, Niquette Bay State Park. It is a wonderful place to do some hiking, as there are dozens of trails to explore and enjoy. The easiest short trail is just a half mile. Allen Trail takes you to the beach, but dogs are not allowed there, so you may want to skip this one unless you leave Fido at the hotel. 

To let your fur baby swim off the leash at Niquette Bay State Park, take the one-mile Burns Trail, which is also easy. Calm Cove is where pups are welcome to run amok, splash, and play in the water. The park boasts 584 acres of hiking, swimming, fishing, and more. 

Does your poochie like teddy bears? Take him to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, where leashed dogs are always welcome. Also, if you like burgers, take Fido to Rozzi’s, where they have more than 30 different unique burgers. 


Located in the southern section of Vermont, Manchester has just 4,484 residents with approximately 733 dogs. One of the favorite parks for pet parents here is the Equinox Preserve. It has 914 acres of wilderness, trails, and all sorts of wildlife. The 14 trails range from short and easy to long and difficult. Be sure to keep your cuddly canine companion on a leash and bring lots of doggie bags to pick up what he drops.

If you enjoy golf, Manchester has an awesome pet-friendly resort called The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa so this is the perfect town for a weekend trip with your pal. It is located on Main Street and features an indoor pool, a spa, four restaurants, a bar, a fitness center, and room service. And your fur baby will love that Manchester Dog Park is less than two miles away at the Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park.

Take your pooch to The Crooked Ram on Main Street for some delicious food, beer, and wine. Seasons Restaurant is also dog-friendly and has an array of different foods you both will love.


Just west of Stowe, Underhill is a small town with a population of 3,100 with around 520 dogs. One of the biggest attractions in Underhill is Mount Mansfield State Forest, which is full of fun activities you can share with your fur buddy. Inside the 44,000-acre forest, there are four state parks, as well as the 880-acre Waterbury Lake. It is also home to the highest peak in Vermont, where you will find a ton of ski resorts where your pooch can ride on the Gondola SkyRide. 

If you are there during the summer, there is a lot to do, like camping, fishing, swimming, and boating, as well as hiking, biking, and picnicking. There are over a dozen campgrounds with approximately 200 sites to choose from. 

Besides the skiing during the winter and other activities during the summer, Underhill also has dozens of dog-friendly eating establishments, including The Blue Donkey where you can get burgers and booze. 


Middlebury is a town in western Vermont with approximately 9,152 residents with about 1,500 pups. It is known for its private university, Middlebury College, which was founded in 1800, making it the first operating college in the state of Vermont. The historic city features several old buildings, including two historic inns, a three-screen theater, and a post office. You definitely get an old-time feeling when you are here. 

Hiking with your fur buddy is fun, with an extensive system of trails that are all dog-friendly. For a nice short and easy route, try the Otter View Park Trail, which is just over a half mile. For something a little longer but still easy, take your pooch to Battel Nature Preserve for the 3.7-mile loop. The two-mile Chipman Hill Loop will give you a little bit more of a challenge.

After working up an appetite, you and your canine compadre can grab a sandwich and some chips from Noonie Deli. They also have salads and desserts. 


Another ski city, Killington Peak, is the main attraction here, with a 3,050 vertical drop, 150+ trails, and 21 lifts. While some of the most popular lodges are not pet-friendly, there are several right there on the mountain that welcome pups. The Mountain Inn is just feet from five different ski lifts and has a pool, gym, restaurant, and bar. Cascades Lodge is also pet-friendly and has an indoor pool, hot tub, and golf course.

If you need to get some ski supplies, clothing, or boots, Base Camp Outfitters welcomes your pet inside as long as he is on a leash at all times. If the hotel does not allow dogs, take your cuddle buddy to Casey’s Caboose on Killington Road for burgers and beer in a derailed snowplow railcar. Killington Deli is also dog-friendly and has a variety of delicious food. 

For those who want an adult beverage after a day on the slopes, Killington Distillery has hand-crafted spirits and cocktails as well as food. 


In southeastern on the New Hampshire border, Hartford has quite a few bodies of water that attract many to the town to fish, swim, boat, and just hang out on the waterfront. The Ottauquechee River traipses through the southwestern and central part of the city alongside Lake Pinneo and Dewey’s Pond. Also, the White River runs from the northwest corner of town to the Connecticut River in the southeastern section. 

Quechee State Park is a huge attraction here, especially during the summer, with a variety of outdoor fun like camping, swimming, boating, fishing, rafting, hiking, and picnicking. It is only open from mid-May to mid-October, so a summer vacation here with your pup would be perfect. And who needs a hotel when you can pitch a tent or stay in a cabin? Just make sure to reserve your spot in advance. 

If your pooch needs to get rid of the zoomies, take him to Watson Upper Valley Dog Park, where they have 1.5 acres of off-leash fun with agility stations, water, and a special section for little dogs. 


Franklin is a very small town with only about 1,300 residents, but it is worth the mention just for Lake Carmi State Park. Those who love sleeping under the stars or just want to get closer to nature will love this park because it has over 170 campsites and two pet-friendly cabins, making it the largest campground in Vermont. It has all the amenities, including sites for RVs, restrooms with showers, playgrounds for little humans, and swimming beaches with boat rentals.  

Other fun activities you can do with your four-legged pal include hiking, boating, paddle boarding, fishing, picnicking, horseshoes, and nature programs. Besides the 1,375-acre lake, the park also has a variety of flora and fauna, so keep your pup on a leash and bring doggie bags to pick up after him. 

Just a few minutes away, Marc’s Barc Parc in St. Albans is where you need to take Fido to run around without a leash for a while. It has benches, water, and a separate area for small dogs.


For a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, head to Brattleboro, where they have a delightful bed and breakfast called the Colonel Williams Inn. They allow pets for $25 per night per pet, but there are only nine rooms, so you need to book way in advance. The house was built way back in 1769 and has some gorgeous stonework and a pond with active beavers. Meals are included, and your pooch is welcome to join you anywhere in the place, including the dining room. 

If you want to take your sweetheart out for a drink and do not want to leave your dog behind, you can go to Hermit Thrush Brewery, which is open from Thursday through Monday. Or you can visit Saxtons River Distillery, where they make their own moonshine and other adult beverages. Don’t miss the Sapling maple liquor made with maple syrup from local farms.

Brattleboro also has an off-leash dog park at Living Memorial Park. It is fully fenced and has a ton of space for running and playing fetch.  

Willoughby State Forest

Located in northern Vermont surrounding Lake Willoughby, the Willoughby State Forest has nearly 8,000 acres of wooded recreational space for everything from cross-country skiing to camping, hiking, boating, and swimming. If you like hiking, the Lake Willoughby South Shore Loop is about two miles and takes you over some awesome bridges. For a longer hike, try the Wheeler Mountain Trail. It is 4.3 miles long and is moderately challenging. 

If you do not want to camp outdoors, the Authentic Log Cabin has three bedrooms, and you can bring your dog for no extra fee. There is a minimum of two nights, and can sleep up to six people. It also has a pond with a dock, game room, fireplace, internet, and televisions. Wherever you stay, make sure you bring your fishing license and gear because the lake holds the world record for the largest trout ever caught. 

There are several beaches you can visit as well but be sure to check if it is dog-friendly before getting comfortable. 


Located in the northeastern corner of Vermont, Brighton is a small town that was first named Gilead in 1780 when it was platted. Then, it was sold to soldiers who named it Random. Finally, it was named Brighton in 1832. There are about 1,200 residents with an estimated 200 dogs in the town so you are liable to see a few at the dog park. During the winter, the Brighton Snowmobile Club opens 130 miles of trails for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. 

During the summer, the Connecticut River features a dog-friendly canoe and kayak tour that includes boats, safety gear, a snack, and photos. Brighton State Park in Brighton Municipal Forest is a big part of Brighton. Located between Island Pond and Spectacle Pond, the popular pooch park is open for camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing from May to October. It has 79 campsites to choose from, with showers, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

While you are out and about, stop by Cafe Lotti for some sandwiches and baked goods on the outdoor patio.

Bromley Mountain Adventure Park

Bring the kids and the dog to Bromley Mountain Adventure Park in Peru, Vermont for some skiing, playing, and swimming. No matter what time of year you visit, this fun park on Bromley Mountain has something for everyone to do, including your cuddle buddy. The mountain is 1,950 feet with a summit of 3,284 feet, 47 trails, and nine lifts. Dogs are not allowed on the lifts or slopes. 

There are also two parks that are fun for all during the summer, where they have the actual adventure park with rides, ziplining, golf, and more. Some of the most popular attractions are the Alpine Slide, Bumper Boats, Space Bikes, and the Big Splash Waterslide. You will have to leave your pooch at the hotel for this, though, because no dogs are allowed on the rides. 

Speaking of the hotel, Seesaw’s Lodge is the perfect place to stay with your pupster where dogs are welcome for $50 per night per dog. It also has a restaurant, bar, and family rooms.  

The Final Woof

All pet parents know how hard it is to leave your fur baby home when you go on vacation. That is why we make these guides to help you find the best vacation destinations for dog families. In Vermont, they have a little bit of everything from skiing and snowmobiling to swimming and camping. Speaking of camping, you can sleep under the stars in Green Mountain National Forest, Underhill, Hartford, and Franklin, to name a few. If you are bringing the little humans, take them to Bromley Mountain Adventure Park, where you can have fun any time of the year. For a romantic getaway, Brattleboro has an adorable bed and breakfast that is dog-friendly. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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