Maine Highlands Dog Friendly Vacations
Where to Go
The Maine Highlands region offers recreational opportunities that suit a variety of interests. The region includes Maine’s highest mountain peak as well as Moosehead Lake, its largest freshwater lake.
Unfortunately, Baxter Park, one of the most popular recreational areas in the Maine Highlands, does not permit dogs or any other animals within its borders. Just south of the park is Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land. This 43,000-acre unit contains low mountains, dense forests, and numerous ponds, providing ample opportunities for fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and snowshoeing with your dog. Although dogs are permitted off-leash throughout the area, trappers are allowed to set traps in the park. It may be wise to keep your dog on a leash when walking through the woods to prevent an accident.
At 40 miles long and 20 miles wide, Moosehead Lake is the largest in the state. Nestled among Mount Kineo and other low mountains, the lake provides a variety of recreational opportunities for dog lovers. If your pooch enjoys the water, consider paddling your canoe from the lake to the North Branch of the Penobscot River, the Allagash River, or the St. John River. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail passes through the area, providing an excellent path for paddlers. Boaters also enjoy Moosehead Lake’s excellent boating and fishing opportunities. If hiking is more your style, there are dozens of miles of trails in the region where your dog can ramble off-leash.
The Lincoln Lakes area, just north of Burlington, offers excellent opportunities for fishing, hunting, and exploring the wilderness. Your dog may walk on the lakeshore as well as the surrounding forest area without a leash.
If you are visiting Bangor, there are several dog-friendly attractions. Leashed dogs are welcome on the waterfront boardwalk and the Rolland F. Perry City Park. Or, let your dog play unleashed at Cascade Park.
Where to Stay
Because of its popularity as a vacation area, the Maine Highlands has several wilderness lodges and vacation rentals. The Lodge at Moosehead Lake features two special suites for dog owners. Dogs are pampered with plush dog beds, food and water dishes, pet towels, and organic canine treats. To give your pet a taste of luxury, consider booking a 20 minute massage for him. All dog visitors to the lodge must be under 70 pounds and on flea and tick medication.
When staying in Bangor, there are several accommodations options for your pet. Chain hotels such as the Econo Lodge, Holiday Inn, Days Inn, and Four Points by Sheraton welcome small dogs for an additional fee. The University Inn Academic Suites in nearby Orono or the Milford Motel on the River in Milford also allow pets.
Where to Eat
The Lodge at Moosehead Lake features a variety of dining options, from a fine dining restaurant to more relaxed pub food. The lodge has an attractive patio where you can enjoy a tasty meal with your furry friend. If you’re interested in having a drink, visit the Penobscot Bay Brewery and Winterport Winery in Winterport. These establishments welcome pets as you enjoy a local beer or glass of wine.