O Canada! Pet-Friendly Adventures Along the Border

Posted by Billy Francis

Whether your best friend is a Labrador from Labrador or a Boston Terrier from Boston, the longest land border in the world is lined with pet-friendly places to explore with your Border Collie. It’s time to push your hound’s boundaries along the frontier between the U.S. and Canada.

International Peace Garden

Dunseith, ND
“It’s time for peace.” Photo by Rupali Abhang

Lying on the 49th parallel at the Canada–United States border near Dunseith, the International Peace Garden is a living tribute to world peace. A featured attraction in the latest edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States, this 2,339-acre park is accessible to visitors from both countries without the need for a passport. Over 150,000 flowers are planted in the formal garden every spring, but the star attractions are always the American and Canadian flags made out of flowers. The gardens are open year-round, but mid-July through August tends to be the best time to view the colorful floral displays. Your leashed pup is welcome to join you throughout the park for free. As you continue your journey across North Dakota, take a detour to Washburn to visit the Seaman Overlook, featuring a 1,400-pound, steel sculpture of the dog that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition across America.

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Minot serves as a comfortable overnight stop as you traverse between Dunseith and Washburn. While in Minot, be sure to visit Scandinavian Heritage Park, an outdoor museum dedicated to all five Nordic countries. Admission is free of charge, although donations are encouraged.

San Juan Island

Friday Harbor, WA
Lavender fields forever. Photo by BringFido/Lauren

Hop on board a Washington State Ferry in Anacortes for a trip to San Juan Island. When you arrive at Friday Harbor, ditch the car in favor of a ‘Scoot Coupe’ from Susie’s Mopeds, which will serve as your transportation for the day. Two miles away, you’ll find Jackson Beach, where your dog will enjoy running in the sand. Continue on to San Juan Island National Historical Park to learn about the history of the island and the Pig War. Make a pit stop at Pelindaba Lavender Farm to let Fido roam the purple fields and try a lavender-flavored dog biscuit. Lastly, head over to the 36-acre Lime Kiln Point State Park, where whales are commonly spotted between May and September. When you complete your loop around the island, refuel with ‘Your New Favorite Turkey Sandwich’ from The Market Chef. There’ll be enough to share with your hungry hound!

If one day on Friday Harbor isn’t enough, spend the night at Earthbox Inn & Spa. Enjoy complimentary use of the hotel’s beach cruiser bikes to explore the charming island, schedule a hot beach stone massage, or relax in the heated indoor pool.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park

Welshpool, NB
"FDR we having fun yet?" Photo by @jojosurlago

If you’re taking a tour of summer White Houses with your pooch, be sure to visit Roosevelt Campobello International Park in New Brunswick to see where Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt spent their summers. Four-legged travelers from the U.S. can reach the island via Roosevelt Memorial Bridge in Lubec, Maine. Canadian canine visitors can hop aboard a free government-operated ferry from mainland L'etete to Deer Island, and pay $5 to travel by East Coast Ferries the rest of the way. Hop off the ferry on Campobello Island and head to the park to explore more than 8 miles of scenic roads and 8 miles of walking trails. The varied landscape includes bogs, forests, windswept beaches and cool rock formations like Friar’s Head. Dogs aren’t allowed inside buildings, but are free to explore outside areas on a leash.

Wake up to epic views and possible whale sightings at this incredible oceanfront cottage in nearby Wilsons Beach.

Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls, NY
“Did you remember to bring the barrel?” Photo by @harlowthecattledog

The Niagara River acts as a natural border between the U.S. and Canada. Although the river separates them, the two countries are brought together by the Niagara Falls. Bring your leashed pooch to Niagara Falls State Park and enjoy incredible views of one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Start your trek at the Niagara Gorge Trailhead, the gateway to a network of trails in the park. Dogs are not allowed inside any of the buildings in the park, but they can hike with you on pathways that lead to epic views of the falls. Try the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike, which can be completed by all levels of hikers in about an hour.

Summer is the best time to visit the falls. After a full day’s exploration, spend the night at the pet-friendly Giacomo Hotel, which is walking distance from the falls and has a grassy area right next to the building.

Mount Royal Park

Montreal, QC
"I only walk in royal parks." Photo by @mika_bordercollie_mtl

Montreal is the closest Canadian city to the U.S. border. The largest French-speaking population outside of Paris can be found just 30 miles north of New York, delivering a certain “je ne sais quois” that you and your pooch will both love. Start your trip in Mount Royal Park. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, one of the men behind Central Park, this stunning space offers unrivaled views across the cityscape, paved pathways that wind around Beaver Lake, and a wonderful natural display as the trees change color during fall. After a long stroll around the park, Fido will be itching to play off-leash. Run freely with the Papillon population at Notre-Dame-de-Grace Dog Run. When it’s time to say bon appetit, make your way to Mandy's for gourmet salads on the human menu and boiled chicken for dogs to enjoy.

Reserve a stay at Hotel 10 Montreal, a short walk from Mount Royal Park.

Welcome to the Church of Dog. Photo by Facebook.com/stephenhuneck

Just across the border into the U.S. from Montreal, dog lovers from both sides of the line are invited to come to St. Johnsbury to celebrate and remember their beloved furry friends that have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Sit on one of the hand-carved pews inside the chapel at Dog Mountain, surrounded by photos of passed dogs and handwritten messages their families tacked onto the walls in memoriam. ‘You were the best co-pilot, Rocco. I’ll always miss you.’ Post a message in the Dog Chapel yourself, or hug your canine companion a little tighter and stay awhile. Either way, leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful grounds. Dogs are free to run, play and swim wherever they’d like in this 150-acre doggy paradise. The only rule is to leave your leash at the door! Dog Mountain was the creation of the late Stephen Huneck, a talented artist whose love for dogs is obvious in his works on display in the on-site gallery.

Located just 13 miles from Dog Mountain, The Wildflower Inn is situated on 570 acres of bucolic Vermont farmland in Lyndonville. After enjoying the innkeepers’ signature buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh-from-the-orchard maple syrup, you and your pooch can work off your meal by exploring the vast woods and meadows surrounding the quaint, pet-friendly bed-and-breakfast.

Peace Arch Historical State Park

Blaine, WA
"May the gates to the dog park never be closed!” Photo by @mrdarcystravels

Just like the International Peace Garden in North Dakota, Peace Arch Historical State Park in Blaine, WA is dedicated to celebrating peace. The centerpiece is a large white arch that was constructed in 1921 to commemorate the peaceful border between Canada and the U.S. that was a result of the War of 1812. Leashed dogs are welcome on a walk along the pathways through the serene gardens that aim to remind visitors that we should all give peace a chance. Extend your adventure by crossing into Canada and driving an hour north to dog-friendly Vancouver.

Walk and talk with the animals at this rustic barn. Situated on a wildlife sanctuary, well-behaved dogs are welcome to join you for a unique stay in Surrey, BC.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the best dog-friendly things to do across the country. And we've assembled it all in our new book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code PEACE.

What are your favorite pet-friendly attractions along the U.S.-Canada border? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @ani_yts.