Favorite HappyME Dog Friendly Winter Activities in Maine

As the season changes from Fall to Winter, we love to get out and celebrate the Maine outdoors with our HappyME dog, Ted, aka Wag. When the fall colors fade and the last leaves are raked - Maine makes its transformation into the festive holiday season. No need to hibernate, as the summer vacation fans migrate, our happy Maine dog changes gear and gives a high-5 to- all the happyME dog friendly winter activities in Maine - more Maine Mountain Recreation, Dog friendly beach time and Snowy trail-blazing.

Lighthouses and Snow are a Magical Combination

Maine Mountain Winter Woof Action.

Over in Maine 's western mountains, the change of season means Maine 's winter recreation falls into play. No reason to leave your dog out of the action, plenty of outdoor activities and dog-friendly destinations to discover. As the golf season comes to an end, some courses switch gear to embrace winter driven activities. The Bethel Inn is a dog friendly historic inn which we like to visit in the center of Bethel. In winter, the connecting golf course is transformed into a nordic skiing network which includes a 1.5 km dog-friendly loop for ski-joring. If you have an exuberant and strong dog, like our HappyME Ted, 4-paw power won 't be a problem but you 'll want to work on your voice commands and technique so you don 't end up doing some tree hugging. Throughout the Western Mountains, there are endless wilderness trails to sniff out.

HappyME Ted uses his 4-Paw Drive on a fresh powder day.

Up the hill from Bethel at Sunday River Mountain Resort there are different slopeside areas where you and your dog can enjoy some apres ski by the stone fire-pits. If you want to enjoy some fun 2-legged downhill ski or board action you can make a reservation for your dog at a local doggie daycare so they can enjoy some playtime with fellow mountain dogs. Barker Brook Kennels on the mountain access road has been a tail-wagging new daycare hangout for Ted - they also offer boarding and grooming services. The Paws Inn located on the way into Bethel offers homestyle Bed and Breakfast accommodations for you and your dog and in-house daycare support to keep your pup happy if you are out and about. As Ted discovered during our visit, the dog toy box in the kitchen is full of delightful treasures and there is a fenced in yard area to romp in.

Sunday River Slope-side outside South Ridge Lodge.

Early Season Apres Ski By the Firepit

More Tail-Wagging Beach Play.

It 's a Happy Maine Thing That the Winter Season Means More Space For Dog Play

As we head into the winter season Maine dog friendly beach hours increase and that 's a tail wagging thing to take advantage of. Crescent Beach, in Cape Elizabeth, is a wonderful beach to stroll along with your dog and soak up the salty view. We often bump into a number of canine guests enjoying some vacation time at Inn By the Sea and taking advantage of their beach front real estate. (For more information about Inn By the Sea see our happyME blog on Maine 's Inn By the Sea is paradise for Man and his Best Friend).

Dexter is a big fan of Crescent Beach and Dog-Loving Inn By the Sea.

Closer to downtown Portland, Eastern Beach, is a wonderful winter dog friendly beach destination. You can access the beach from the Eastern Promenade Road or via the Eastern Prom Trail that starts just past Ocean Gateway and weaves along the coast with panoramic views of Casco Bay. If you are visiting from out of town, the Residence Inn Downtown Portland, is a dog friendly hotel that is a two minute stroll to Eastern Prom Trail and beach. The hotel got a 5 star review from Ted 's Australian Shepherd friend, Laddie, and his family who stayed last Christmas and enjoyed a luxurious suite with a full kitchen and all the "mod-cons". You might be lucky enough to meet the hotel dog concierge - a friendly labrador called Moxie.

Our HappyME Dog takes a bench break to soak up the Casco Bay view from the Eastern Trail (Ted is sporting a HappyME Vacationland Dog Lead in Sunshine Yellow).

The Maine Narrow Gauge railroad runs parallel to the Eastern Prom Trail. During the holiday season, Thanksgiving to Christmas, the Polar Express train takes families on a magical narrated journey to the "North Pole". While your furry friend won 't be riding the train, they can observe the train festivities with you from the coastal trail or beach.

Looking across the way from Eastern Beach you 'll see Mackworth Island which is a year round favorite for us. Mackworth is located in Falmouth and is connected by a causeway. Cooler temperatures mean more free parking spaces in the island parking lot and more alone time on the trails to sniff out the view. Low tide is our favorite time to visit and walk around the beach area of the island. If you are staying on the upper trail, about half way around you 'll find the Fairy House Village where nature-loving families can build their own fairy house using natural island resources. Governor Baxter who donated this island to the state of Maine was a dog lover which makes it apt that it is a dog friendly destination year round.

Mackworth Island - walking our Ted around the shoreline on a crisp winter 's day.

Heading north of Portland, Freeport 's Winslow Park is always a fun place to take a shoreline jog or stroll. The campground and park is busy in summer but by the quieter-season there is more space for 4-paw play and to find your own happy place to sit back and enjoy the view.

Winter sunset at Winslow State Park, Freeport, Maine.

Trail Blazing on Portland Trails

When we are not enjoying the coastal beauty of winter, we love to hit the myriad of hiking trails that weave through our region. Portland Trail 's vast 50 mile network is fun to explore in winter. Mother Nature 's addition of winter snow makes trails we have explored in Summer and Fall feel fresh and new and the woods offer a great windbreak on those chilly winter days. So many zen spots to soak up the tranquility of nature and plenty of rugged action keep you and your best friend in-shape.

Portland Trails - Presumpscot River

Trail Blazin ' with HappyME Ted

Bears hibernate but dogs do not - put on some warm layers and get out and explore Vacationland this winter with your furry best friend. From stunning coastline, to winding riverside trails, to endless mountain wilderness recreation we 've got the happy Maine winter ingredients for miles of smiles and wagging tails.

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Share you favorite tail-wagging things to do in winter in Maine on our HappyME Facebook page.