Policies and Safety
We are an outdoor enthusiast’s dream playground! We encourage you to explore all the trails but please bear in mind that you are responsible for your own safety. Common sense and personal awareness can help reduce the element of risk to you and others.
COVID-19 Pandemic Guidlines
Unfortunately, due to the current situation with the Covid-19, we have closed the Lodge to general use and are following CDC guidelines to prevent illness in our community as we do not have the personnel to sanitize surfaces after everyone’s visit.
However, we are pleased to still be able to provide outdoor recreational opportunities to our community and visitors. We encourage everyone using our facility to adhere to the following CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are feeling ill.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6ft between yourself and other people.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.
- CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
We love our dogs, and we know there is nothing better than sharing the outdoors with our furry friends! For many, being able to bring your pet along is often the best part of exploring the outdoors, so we welcome your four legged companions; however, we do have a few simple rules to keep everyone and their animals safe and happy.
Here at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center, leashed dogs are always welcome on all of our snowshoe trails! During the summer months, leashed pets are welcome on all trails, but we ask that pets stay off he paved trails as much as possible to minimize conflict with other trail users.
For those of you who would like to ski with your dogs. We also offer a few pet friendly ski trails. Except during scheduled winter events, members and trail pass holders are welcome to use our pet-friendly ski trails: Parts of the Volunteer Trail, Mickey’s Way, and Piste Acadienne beginning at the Red Barn trailhead. Also the lower part of the Green Bean Trail, beginning at the Lonesome Pine trailhead. Dogs are still not allowed on the Lodge Trails.
We have trail signs showing a dog's paw to mark our pet-friendly ski trails!
tips and suggestions for cross country skiing with your dogs:
- Make sure you are skiing in on a trail where dogs are allowed.
- Keep leashes short enough so that they can’t become a tripping hazard to someone else who may be skiing nearby. Ideally, your dog should be near your side and slightly ahead of you, but not in front of your skis.
- Leashes that have some kind of bungee connection help soften any sudden movement by your dog, both for yourself and for him, in case he is tempted to run toward someone else.
- If you want to go hands-free, there is also a leash system that has bungee sections to mitigate the force of any sudden move or stop, and it attaches to a simple webbing waistbelt. It is short enough to give your dog room to move, but not enough to get ahead of your skis or to trip anyone else. See the photos at the bottom that shows examples of these kind of leashes.
- Pay attention to your dogs paws, especially when it’s cold. Rubbing a salve like vasoline or Musher’s Choice will help protect your dogs feet from snow balling up and from chafing and cracking to their paws. Boots can also be helpful if they tolerate them.
- Finally, make sure you do not over-exert your dog. Most dogs like to wander at varied speeds, and generally like to sprint in short bursts, and then trot along more slowly in between. Our trails are ideal for dogs in that way, because most trails do have a series of hills where we slow down a little going up, and go quite fast in short bursts of downhill, and then return to a more leisurely pace. Know your dog, and be aware of his age and his limits.