Cross-country skiers can have a doggone good time on the North Valley Trail System, since almost a third of the 115 kilometers of ski trails are open to dogs. Season passes are available for both skiers and their best friends, and the popularity of the canine season passes is reflected in the numbers—almost a thousand were sold last year.
Dog trails have emerged nationwide in response to the desire of skiers to allow their pooch to enjoy the outdoors with them in winter. Our local dog trails are popular, well-used parts of the North Valley Trail System.
A recently formed local committee has been studying the trails with the goal of creating a comprehensive overview to address the best possible ways to accommodate dogs and skiers. Safety and grooming issues were studied, as well as ways to keep both dog-owning skiers and skiers without pets happy.
Check with the Blaine County Recreation District, 208.788.2117, and Galena Lodge, 208.726.4010, before getting Fido ready for a ski outing: Remember, your furry friend is permitted only on specific trails. A map of the entire system, with dog information, is available through local retailers that sell trail passes. Also, the beginning of every trail has a sign indicating whether the trail is open or closed to dogs.