Thanks to our FitDog Friday blog hop hosts: SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place, and To Dog With Love. FitDog Friday is a weekly hop promoting a fit and healthy lifestyle for our pets, as well as for ourselves!
One very fun way to keep fit is hiking. We are lucky to live in an area where the hiking trails are numerous. We are just south of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and live in a town with one of the most popular hiking destinations in the area: Cardigan Mountain. I’ve hiked up Cardigan many times, and from three different directions. My hubby and I hiked a lot more when we were younger, and with all of our dogs, until the last group. Once we had four dogs we just got out of the habit. Lately I’ve just been missing it a lot, and my sister and I are always talking about hiking every fall.
Kobi is our only current dog that has been hiking much, the girls have only been out occasionally. My sister and I finally got our schedules together and decided to hike this last weekend. Kobi is just getting too old now for hiking, but Sheba and Cricket are still very active. However, with Sheba’s arthritis, in her front shoulders, I didn’t feel like hiking up a mountain would be best for her at this point. She’s been getting better, but I only want to get her slowly back into activity to see how it affects her. My sister and her boyfriend had hiked to a waterfall over the summer and she thought that would be a good hike for us. It’s just under 2.5 miles round trip, and not very steep. It’s rated as an “easy” hike in the book she has.
This hike is on the eastern side of Mt. Cardigan, in the little town of Alexandria. Since we live on the western side of the mountain, it was about a 45 minute drive to get there, since we had to skirt around the mountain range and around the southern part of beautiful Newfound Lake.
The trail to Welton Falls is known as the Manning Trail. It leaves from the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) Cardigan Lodge, an impressive lodge used by hikers and cross country skiers. It was a busy place on this beautiful fall day, but the trail to the falls was quiet, with few people. The trail crosses the lawn of the lodge, then passes through a spruce grove with campsites. After that it meanders along the ridge of the Fowler River.
Sheba and Cricket are intense hikers. I should say Cricket is intense, and Sheba is determined to keep up with her. The trail had a lot of ups and downs, as well as many rocks and tree roots to scramble over, so we really felt like we were getting a workout. The girls definitely kept us moving. Sheba doesn’t normally pull on a leash much, but when she’s trying to keep up with Cricket she does. Cricket pulls some, but at 25 pounds that’s not so bad. 67 pounds of Sheba was a little harder on me. Obviously we need to do some work on that if we’re going to continue to hike!
There were short steep stretches on the trail both ways but no one had any trouble navigating them. Once we reached the beautiful falls, my sister and I were ready to catch our breath, and the two dogs were happy sniffing around and exploring. Sheba had to go in the water every opportunity she got along the trail, and Cricket also enjoyed cooling off.
The girls barely slowed down on the hike out…at one point I told my sister that the dogs were like our personal fitness trainers…not letting us slow down, but keeping us moving. If we stopped to catch our breath or get a drink of water, Cricket would turn around and just kind of look at us impatiently. I’m surprised she wasn’t barking out “move, move, move!!” like a drill sergeant! This might be exactly what FitDog Friday is all about….keeping our dogs fit definitely has the same benefit for us.
What I am the most happy to report is that Sheba was not especially stiff or limping that night or the next day! She really did some scrambling too….she got in the river a couple places and didn’t try to find the easiest way back out. I was prepared that I might have to give her a Rimadyl (she is only on supplements right now with Rimadyl for any bad spells), but she didn’t need one!
I wish I could say the same for myself (and my sister also I suspect). I was sore from head to toe for three days!
We are also joining the fall K9 Kamp hosted by Peggy’s Pet Place, Kol’s Notes, and You Did What with Your Weiner. The theme for this Kamp is “Fitness Fun and Games”. Even though a hike may not be exactly what they had in mind for the Kamp, we feel like it was similar to a game for the girls….since they did, after all, get to play the part of drill sergeants for this hike! It definitely added a lot of minutes to our normal workouts for the week as well.
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2 brown dawgs says
What a beautiful place to hike. Hooray for Sheba not being stiff and boo for you being a bit…lol. We had to work long and hard on our dogs not pulling on leash since each want to be in the lead. It is a constant work in progress. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful hike with us. My favorite hikes are those to a waterfall or a lake. 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I always like to have a destination when hiking. If it can’t be a mountaintop with views, than a waterfall or beautiful lake or pond is the next best thing.
Some of the other blogs have been reviewing some new leashes that help absorb the impact of pulling…I am thinking about trying one of those.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Looks like a great time. Beautiful picture.
Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!
Sounds like your drill sergeants gave you a good workout! 🙂
I love to hike too, glad you’re getting back to it and all having fun,
Wags to all,
Your pal Snoopy 🙂
They certainly did give us a good workout, Snoopy! Hiking is a lot of fun, and I hope we can do more of it.
Sorry Kobi can’t hike as far anymore, I certainly know what that’s like to have to leave them behind.
Nice that the younger two did so well navigating the trails. It’s funny that you mention how Sheba pulls more when she’s trying to keep up with Cricket. My dogs always pull worse when one of the others is with us, it is like they are in a competition to be in the lead. I guess whatever gets them moving, right? 🙂
And lastly, I’ve probably said it before, but in case I haven’t, I’m envious that you have such nice places to hike!
Thanks, Donna! We are lucky to have so many beautiful places to hike, but I need to take more advantage of it too!
I don’t normally walk Sheba and Cricket together…so I didn’t anticipate that. Yes, I’d say their competitiveness definitely keeps them in shape, and me too!
It’s difficult to accept that Kobi is older and can’t do what he used to. 🙁 That’s why I don’t walk the girls together, because I don’t want to leave Kobi home alone, so I can only take the 2 girls when my hubby is home.
You really are lucky. What a gorgeous place to be outdoors. Is this the white mountain range that Tom Ryan and Atticus climb too? I thought maybe it was given the location. I read about their hikes and wanted to be there to try it myself.
I think that’s the only thing I wish we had here – mountains.
So glad Sheba did so well!
Yes, Mel, it is the same White Mt. range where Tom & Atticus hike! Of course, they do far more difficult trails than I ever do anymore. 🙂
The mountains are really wonderful.
I was relieved about Sheba too….I was hoping she’d still be able to do some hikes in spite of her arthritis.
Mom did some great hikes like that when she visited NH last summer. Beautiful part of the country!!
I’m glad your Mom got to enjoy some of our NH countryside too, Sage. We love it here.
Dolly the Doxie says
What beautiful country how lucky you are to have someplace like that to hike! Love Dolly
Thank you, Dolly! We really are lucky.
Dogs N Pawz says
Looks like a great place to take a hike! What a fun time you all must have had!
It really was a nice place, and we had a blast!
Christine and Riley says
What a great hike! I loved the pics of the Cricket & Sheba, they look like they had sooo much fun 🙂
They really did enjoy it, and they were pooped out on the ride home! I wish I’d gotten more photos of them on the trail, but they wouldn’t stand still long enough! 🙂
Cool! Looks like a beautiful hike and sounds like it was really great. Kayo and I love to hike – looking forward to our fun hike tomorrow!
Thanks, we really did have a great time. Hopefully you’ll be writing about your hike too!
The Island Cats says
What a pretty place you live! Yep, purrfect for hiking and enjoying!
Thanks! I’m sure if cats liked to hike, you would enjoy it! 🙂
We did used to have a cat that liked to take walks with us though!
Pam and The Wieners says
What a fantastic hike! So glad to hear that Sheba did so well and seemed to really enjoy herself without much/any pain. That is a really gorgeous area; great shots of the little waterfall!
P.S. I have kept up with all your posts – just behind on commenting.
Thank you, Pam! We hope to find more time for hiking, and to get back there again, maybe even for snowshoeing.
Thanks for always coming by, I know how hard it is to keep up with everything, especially the commenting.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Lovely waterfall. The dogs are persistent aren’t they?
Oh yes, when they want to go, they are going!
That’s a beautiful hike, just perfect for a crisp Fall day…Fall is the best time of year for hiking
I love it….the woods were so pretty. Our fall has been pretty warm, but it’s cooling down more now, which I prefer for hiking.
Jackie Bouchard says
Lovely spot! I can’t wait to start hiking again with Rita. It’s finally starting to get cool enough. Rita LOVES a hike that has some water for cooling down. She’s jealous of that spot!
This makes me miss our Abby. She LOVED to hike and would go go go. I’m pretty sure she was part sled dog, as she would PULL me up the hills. She would hunker down and her big powerful back legs would just start churning. Man, that girl could GO. Miss her. (And miss her helping drag my butt up the hills.)
It is the perfect spot for hiking with dogs, with the water at the end. I’d love to do it in the summer and explore the river a little more (there were some spots that looked really deep).
Gotta love the dogs that just want to go, especially when they pull us up hill!
Hope you’ve been able to get out with Rita now.
Beauwooowooootiful and pawesome hike! Wish I could join youwooowooowooooooooo!
You would love it, Ku!
mollie and alfie says
That’s just the pawfect Hike, wonderful photo’s, that hike did you good Sheba 🙂 Have a great weekend xxooxxx
Mollie and Alfie
Thanks, Mollie & Alfie! I do really think that the hike was good for Sheba. I wish I’d gotten more photos though, but those girls really kept us on the move! 🙂
Roxy the traveling dog says
That looks an awesome spot for a hike. Love the waterfall!
I love finding new pretty places like this! I’d like to go back in the summer too, so the girls could really swim and explore more.
Nailah Bone says
Lol! Puppy drill sergeants are adorable and effective <3 This is such a wonderful post. I love that you make these hikes into a family affair. My mom, dad and I take turns pairing up to walk Nailah, it's such a great bonding experience. Happy Friday! 🙂
Thank you! Hiking or walking is really a great family activity….it gives you time to visit and talk as well as getting good exercise for ourselves and the dogs. Have a great weekend!
Sugar: Golden Woofs says
I don’t blame Sheba testing out the water. Beautiful place for a hike. Hope Sheba was alright after your hike and no need to give her Rimadyl. Swimming my key for not having joint pains. Happy Friday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
As soon as Sheba sees water she wants to go in. I wish we had a place we could take her swimming in the cold weather, but I haven’t been able to find any around here. She did not have any ill effects from the hike though, so that was great!
What a pretty area…my kind of place…lots of water and lots of woods for good sniffing and finding critters!
Yes, you would have loved it, Emma! Sheba & Cricket thought it was a doggie paradise! 🙂
SlimDoggy (@MySlimDoggy) says
What a great adventure and the perfect time of year to be hiking through the mountains – the leaves and scenery was beautiful makes hiking a little easier. SO funny about the dogs being your fitness trainers – exactly right, that’s why having dogs is so good for us – they make us get up and get out and MOVE!. Thanks for joining the Hop – great inspiration for others.
It is the perfect time of year, I only wish that fall lasted longer! But while we were there we realized these could be some great trails for snowshoeing too. The dogs will be all over that!