How Does Your State Rank For Hiking With Your Dog? | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Like Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon where all the children are above average, it is great to hike with your dog anywhere. If you have a treasured local spot to take your dog on outings you know you live in the best state for hiking with your dog. But we are here to zoom out to the big picture. At we've been telling folks for more than 20 years about places to take your best trail companion. And we've developed opinions. So we are going to rank all the 48 states in the continental United States to see how they rate for canine hikers.

    Of course the ranking is biased. Our main bias is decidedly against places that don't allow dogs on trails. Nothing subjective about that. Too many "No Dogs Allowed" signs in your state and don't expect a high ranking. Another bias is for permitting dogs on the beach. If your state doesn't have an ocean or a big lake or tail-friendly sand it is likely to be a demerit. Can't fight geography. Sorry about that. Also, we are skewing more towards day hikes than backpacking trips simply because that is how the vast majority of dogs experience hiking. So, those wonderful multi-day experiences in the wilderness probably won't get the credit they otherwise would deserve on such a list.

    The methodology is as follows. All states receive a score of 1 to 10. An average score is 5.5 (example; a 1 and a 10 averages out to 5.5). Multiply that average by 48 states and you get a total of 264 points to be allotted among all the states. So even though every state is great some are not going to make that 5.5 average. Start the discussion...

   Safe trails,
   Doug Gelbert
   Cruden Bay Books
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