August 30


2 Hidden Dog Hiking Gems in the Metrowest

By Brian Burke

August 30, 2021


Not the most exciting or eventful

video of approach is imporant, not exciting, cuz it's so private

not exciting but geology at kalousdian, good for kids

"hidden" is sort of true.  you would drive by it!  and literally have never seen anhyone on it.  and not visible from road, so literally hideen.




In the video above, I'm obviously monitoring my dog Pepper very closely and am ready to act...but, this hazard is more likely to be a concern when you let your dog roam too far ahead or behind you.

When I was very young, one of my dogs got her head stuck in a drain pipe.  She was most likely chasing a rabbit or other small creature.  She did not make it.  It crushed me.  

That's why I'm leading off the hazard list with this issue.  

This is one reason why you need to either keep your dog leashed, or...keep them in sight at all times.

You can certainly use a hybrid approach, such as the technique I teach in my Leash Liberation Method (info below).

Please don't neglect this concern because it would be rare or your dog doesn't chase critters, or they have a small head etc.  This could happen to any dog.  So why not pay attention to where your dog is and what they're up to...what's the down side?


This hazard presents another good reason to teach your dog recall on voice command from the very beginning.  We made sure to focus big time on teaching our black lab Sophie recall from the time she was just weeks old...for reasons like this.

Want to Avoid These Hazards?

Then...You HAVE to try my Leash Liberation System!

Want more freedom for your dog to roam a bit while still maintaining control?

Be "Liberated" from holding a leash constantly and also from fears of ticks and other concerns when they go off trail!

Download my 3-Part "Leash Liberation System"!

Hazard #2:  Poked by Branches 


poked, or even stabbed by branches, harness/leash stuck on them

Ok.  "Stabbed" can be considered a bit strong of a word.  How about "poked"?  But if worse than poked is certainly a possibility.

Once you start seeing these sticks and branches that protrude out onto the edge of the trail, or just exist in the woods in general, you will be amazed.  They are everywhere!

And they are often right at eye-level to your dog.

And people that let their dog roam ahead or behind them with a leash attached, or even with just a harness on, you need to keep these branches in mind--not just for poking, but also for catching onto the leash or harness and making your dog get stuck.

Much of my leash training in the Leash Liberation Method, focuses on keeping your dog near you at all times when you apply the special technique in the method when the leash is let go....



Hazard #3:  Wildlife Encounters 

Yup.  BEAR TRACKS.  Right near where I live.  I mean, like right across the street!

And it's not just bears to watch out for...how about the potential mess that an encounter with a porcupine can present?!


I actually shot this video right after I left the trail head where we just hiked  In other words, This PORCUPINE was just feet from the trail we were just hiking on.  

In fact, you can see the blue trail marker that it's walking next to in the video!

Please don't think it couldn't happen to your dog....you know...getting "quilled"!  ,..That it would be a long-shot for stuff like this to occur.  Is it likely?  No.  

But as I always say, what's the upside?  What's the upside to letting your dog roam out of sight, or too far off trail, when you can have a "happy medium" of letting them have some freedom, but still maintaining some control on them?

My Leash Liberation Method makes all of this possible.  But let's move on to number 4 in the list...

Gracie's Gifts:

SOLUTION: (******HAVE A SOLUTION ICON OR HEADING OR BOLD OR ANOTHER WORD SIMILAR TO USE EVERY TIME I GIVE ADVICE.  MAYBE EVEN HAVE ONE WHEN I RANT....LIKE ASA AND GRACIE FOR EACH ONE!!!!!) ----- But.....if I have asa ranting, then i have to consider how he will be giving advice in the smaht dog that isn't a rant...so can't cause too much confusion over his deameanor and representation of ranting vs. teaching in the SD.

wildlife encounters - bears, porcupines, bees nests, chasing -- deer etc, back to rocks--if not get stuck could still get bitten or sprayed, 

Hazard #4:  Hunting Season!

Shotgun Shell in pic above......

Even though your dog might not look like a deer (like Pepper does, shown above), Remember, Hunting consists of WAY more than just deer hunting ine fall....it consists a ton of wildlife that your dog could be mistaken for--all year round!

And hunters are certainly typically very responsible and follow the rules, but everyone makes mistakes.  So even though you may be in an area where no shots should be taken, etc, it's a good idea to USE THE ORANGE VESTS....KEEP THEM NEAR YOU SO HUNTERS SEE YOU TOO, and MAKE NOISE continuously.

Not that it was a BIG deal, but I thought putting an orange vest on my dog, even in places that aren't WAY out there, was a bit over the top.  NOW, trust me, I feel nervous if I don't.  Just go ahead and hike sometime with a shotgun going off relatively close to you.  It changes everything.  Or image how lethal an arrow traveling super fast can be.  

But I talk about the 1% rule in my Smaht Dog program.  If there is a 1% chance that something like this can happen, why not at least just be on top of the situation...even if it's just always scanning the path around you, etc.  

...versus dismissing it as something that will never happen.

Want to Avoid These Hazards?

Then...You HAVE to try my Leash Liberation Method!

Want more freedom for your dog to roam a bit while still maintaining control?

Be "Liberated" from holding a leash constantly and also from fears of ticks and other concerns when they go off trail!

Download my 3-step "Leash Liberation Method"!

Hazard #5:  Ticks


ticks, high grass, etc,  

time of year, how they change, 

mention tick guide and my tick tips inside the all access progrm

Hazard #6:  Approaching people

Even though this point doesn't always represent a hazard or danger, it could.  But mostly, this lesson is all about respecting others and having etiquette on the trails.

and somebody might mistake your dog as aggressive, and hit it with a stick or something.  i've seen it happen.

approaching dogs or people who  don't want to be approached, dog fight,

****put facebook images of people complaining

So as I mentioned at the outset, it can just be plain annoying.

But the "hazard" aspect, is that their "frinedly" and "nice" dog, may be attacked by a dog up ahead that is on leash and whose owner is following the rules.

And a human may not be in a good mood, or might be extremely afraid of dogs, to the point that they could hit them with a stick, kick them, etc.  


It's interesting how people let their dogs too far ahead of them.  I'm not sure I've ever been with anyone who enjoyed being approached by a solo dog with no owner, ...SO CLEARLY ALONE, THAT YOU WONDER IF THE DOG IS A STRAY...only to see the owner appear after a while...completely clueless that their dog was just jumping all over you with muddy paws (oh, but he's "friendly"...ugh.) 

So not only does it annoy people, which ok, you may not care, fine, but check out all of these things that can happen in terms of safety.


So this his how we separate ourselves at Mass Dog Hikes from other platforms where you'll see only the complaints and rants...with no solution given.  

Using the example of the dog too far ahead of its owner above, we don't just "bark" about the fact that their dog is too far ahead of them,

and along with etiquette and courtesy, we also present issues that may actually injur their dog--anmd how to avoid them....so it's all about SOLUTIONS in both cases..,not just by bitching about it.

So the solution here is, that maybe folks can consider that even if their dog is friendly, it's probably better to keep them near you when on a trail--especially when you can't see ahead or around corners.

My Leash Liberation Method helps you keep a some control, while letting your dog have some freedom...yet not run too far ahead.

Hazard #7:  Unsafe Ice, Water Current, Or... 

This hazard is sort of self explanatory--espcially the unsafe ice part.

LLM is perfect here.

But, what some may not always think of, is undercurrent, rapids, small waterfalls that drop off the other side from where you are so you can't see them.

So the when there is no ice, we tend to sometimes let our guards down.  Some dogs love water, why not let them just go in?


Diving for dogs!

besides vids and pics of twin ponds, can tell story of chuck in arizona and cool blue waves on pics of disposialbe camera, joke about being old, and the rapids after mackenzies falls and sophie wanting to go down there.

Hazard #8:  Fences, Barbed Wire, etc 

I've see a deer do this right in front of me...it was hard to watch.  I can only imagine how I'd feel if I saw my dog do it.

Old, rusty fences and barbed wire BLEND RIGHT IN TO THE LANDSCAPE and are sometimes only partially showing, as they have been broken down over the years.

Briars also, pic of fence in leash lib course, i think implementation section.  many more on phone.

Hazard #9:  Quiet Road up ahead along Trail 

You may not think this last hazard is too much of an issue, espcially if you hike the same trail all the time.

But as you can see in my All Access Pass to tons of cool hiking destinations in the MDH platform, you may be tyring out new hikes often....

But if you think about it, quite, remote and cool hiking trails may just be near quiet and remote roads...that may have an occassional speeding car go by, or a driver who is texting.

video of tully falls in winter, or just go to willis road and shoot part of trail that i like to sit down at.

Three out of the four footprints above are not mine...guess who they are from....HINT: Smokey / Yogi / Paddington


You ma

A perfe

Mass Dog Hikes daytrip destinations Bob Horton Trail

Bolton Conservation, Recreation & Dog Links:


But m

I a

A Dungeon, or should I say "Lime Kiln"


Ridges and Caves


REGARDING DOGS and wide / straight trails:  I love this area, because there is a very long straight away, which provides more open areas to see other dogs who might be coming towards you.

VIDEO ABOVE: The workers at the lumber mill used to gather the lodge in this awesome part of Haynes, and sit by the fire after they went skating on the little pond next to it.  (Thanks Town of Sudbury for this information!)

Please contact Brian at massdoghikes@gmail.com with any issues when signing in.

OR, I can just use a box like this instead of the REGISTRATION FORM, nO? ...i put it below

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur sagittis.

Want to Avoid These Hazards?

Then...You HAVE to try my Leash Liberation Method!

Want more freedom for your dog to roam a bit while still maintaining control?

Be "Liberated" from holding a leash constantly and also from fears of ticks and other concerns when they go off trail!

Download my 3-step "Leash Liberation Method"!

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