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Kootenai National Forest, MT

The Kootenai National Forest sits in Montana and Idaho. Scenic views will leave your breathless as you hike near cliffs, giant cedars, and large fields. The most popular areas in Kootenai are Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Ten Lakes Scenic Area known for its carved glacier basins, Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, and Ross Creek Scenic Byway.

Dogs must be on leash or restrained in developed recreation areas. We recommend that dogs be well behaved and obey commands well as there are bears, wolves, and other wildlife that roam the area. Dogs are not allowed in swimming areas and on some beaches near water.

With over 1,400 miles of trails, there are a lot of options to consider! Some trails to consider: Ross Creek Cedar Area, Trout Creek National Recreation Trail at 19.8 miles, Kootenai Falls Trail, and Big Therriault Lake Loop Trail. In the summer only, head on to Little Spar Lake and take an 8 mile hike around the lake with your dog. Trails and maps can be found on the USDA website.

Mountain biking and road biking are allowed in the area. Check out mountain biking in the Libby area in the spring where there are over 132 different species of wildflowers. You’ll also want to head down the trails past Kootenai Falls. Check out the Sheldon Mountain bike course or Kootenai Trail.

There are several camping options in the area from standard campsites, to dispersed and RV camping. Most campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Popular campgrounds to consider include Rexford Bench Campground, Loon Lake Campground, Big Therriault Lake Campground, or Timberland Campground. Spar Lake Campground has hiking, biking and a lake in the immediate area. Consider Yaak River Campground if you want to go road biking or be near the Kootenai River.

Large groups or families can consider McGillivray Campground. For cabins, go to Big Creek Baldy Lookout for a great view near Lake Koocanusa. Cabins and campgrounds are listed on the USDA website. Backpackers can refer to camping options here.

If you have a water dog or love fishing for salmon and trout, head over to the Lake Koocanusa area near Libby Dam. Large watercraft and sailing is allowed in the area. There are also campgrounds around the lake.

We hear there are morel mushrooms (non-toxic) in the area – but make sure your dog doesn’t eat a ton of them! Regular mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Some dogs love to hunt morel mushrooms, but you’ll need a permit to collect them.

For winter, go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing with your dog or consider cutting down your own christmas tree.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Libby, MT | Lincoln County | Montana
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Biking, Tracking, NoseWork, Fishing, Swimming, Camping, Winter-Sports, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Social, Running

Play "Go Find It"

Play “Go Find It”

This is a great indoor brain game to play with your dog. Ask your dog to sit and stay in one room while you hide treats in another room. Walk back to your dog and ask him to “find it.” It may help to have a trail of treats to lead your dog to the room where the other treats are hidden. You can give clues as to “no” or “yes” if your dog is close to a hidden treat.

If your dog is just starting out, put the treat in plain view where he can see and smell. To challenge things up, hide a treat so your dog has to rely only on smell. You can also hide it somewhere where your dog has to explore, go under, or jump on top of something to get to.

How long did it take for your dog to find all his treats? Submit a photo or video of your dog playing! Did you make any changes to the game? What changes?

Take a photo of your dog playing “Go Find It!”


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Games, Training, Tracking, Nose Work, Indoor Play

Go Lure Coursing

Go Lure Coursing

Got a dog that loves to chase or that has high prey drive? Why not take them lure coursing! Lure coursing is typically a dog sport for sighthounds, but any dog can participate. A lure is attached to a string and pulled along the ground at a fast pace and distance, sometimes up to 1000 meters. Dogs run after the lure, but may come across some twists, turns, jumps, and other obstacles. A straight course is best if your dog is just starting out – they need to learn to go after the lure. Chase, chase, chase! Many sanctioned clubs offer practice run-thrus or lure coursing trials that your dog can attend.

Want to try this at home first? Get some string, a lure, and a mechanical pully system. A simple search for “DIY Lure Coursing” on YouTube should get you a lot of different instructions for your own lure.

If you are interested in competitive lure coursing, look into the ASFA (American Sighthound Field Association), AKC (American Kennel Club), CKC (Canadian Kennel Club), or FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale – Europe).

Tell us about your dog’s first time lure coursing! How did you find out about lure coursing and get started?

 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Activities: Lure Coursing, Racing, Running