I’ve decided since Tilly and I need to slim down, and Pixie needs to maintain, we will be going on adventures locally. If you have a favorite place to walk your dogs I would love to hear about it, and may even write about it in the future!
Today I took Tilly and Pip to Black Rock Forest to hike. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was beautiful, (my dogs are beautiful!), and all three of us had a great time!
As you should on any outing with your dog I wore comfortable clothing and shoes, my dogs were wearing identification, I brought plenty of bags to carry out any waste, and had water available for all of us.
We started out on a trail marked with red rectangles. (I was really wishing I had grabbed a map!) It was a bit rough and rocky, and slightly muddy in spots, but was fairly level with only a few mild inclines and declines. We arrived at a creek with a wooden bridge and stopped for a photo op!
I gave them an opportunity to wade in the water (which Pixie declined!) then we continued on up the hill, the trail now marked with light blue rectangles.
This trail was a bit more challenging, and by “a bit”, I mean I am severely out of shape! The girls weren’t having any trouble, and we hadn’t seen anyone else on the path, so I let them off lead. (Keep in mind that they are both mature adult dogs, and well trained.) I never let them get too far ahead of me, and could tell them to wait for my pudgy self to catch up!
We also practiced their recall a lot, rewarding them with tiny bits of hotdog each time they returned to me. It makes me super happy to see how joyful they are running to me!
I was very mindful, listening and watching for other hikers, because although my girls are friendly, someone may be afraid of dogs, their dog may be fearful or may not be friendly towards other dogs. Any time I heard noises I would call the girls back to me until I determined what made the noise. They enjoyed the game so much they were running back faster each time; Pixie actually crashed into me a few times!
We did meet one other dog on the trail. I had spotted him coming down the hill, as had the girls, I called Tilly and Pip back to me, and put them on leash. This dog’s owner was not in sight, and she was very lucky my dogs are well socialized. If you are comfortable enough to allow your dog off lead, please be courteous, keep them within eyesight and do not allow them to approach people or dogs. Thankfully we were all friendly, and after a few calls he returned to his owner and was leashed while we passed.
Once we could no longer see or hear anyone I let the girls back off lead. They had fun climbing rocks and logs, and sniffing all the wonderful scents.
I wish I had gotten video of us navigating one downed tree which Tilly and I climbed over while Pip ducked under! I had a good laugh!
By the time we reached the top of the blue trail I was pretty winded, and carrying a “deposit” from each dog. I decided we’d be taking the access road back to the parking area, and allowed the girls to wade into the stream and cool off before we took the easy way back!
Black Rock was gorgeous, and I know we’ll be back many times in the future, although we won’t hike that blue trail if my kids are in tow!
You should definitely put it on your to-do list if you enjoy hiking, they do have more gently trails if you’d like to start out easy, I was just overambitious today. The girls and I left happy and tired, and we stopped at the Shops at Jones Farm for some of Edgwick Farm’s feta and to put in our order for Irish soda bread for Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s been a truly lovely day!
Would you like to join us on a hike or recommend your favorite place to walk with your dog? Leave a comment, send me a Facebook message, or email me at StasiaFinley@gmail.com!