PORT ANGELES — Folks who think they can’t take their pets into parks or on trails or beaches may feel they’re leading dogs’ lives.
That’s why the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau has posted a printable map of where dog owners can take their four-legged friends and feel welcome.
Stefanie Rotmark, the bureau’s social media manager, created the map with the help of area animal agencies and a local designer.
It shows the parks and trails where they may stray and play with their animals.
The bureau also will add a page dedicated to “furry fun” to the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission website, OlympicPeninsula.org/dog-friendly.
Many visitors know that dogs, even leashed, aren’t permitted beyond the parking lots in most sites in Olympic National Park.
Still, that leaves thousands of acres of trails and beaches where paws may tread, said Marsha Massey, executive director of the bureau.
The map locates them with colored shaded areas and dots:
■ Within the park at Lake Crescent, Lake Quinault, and the beaches at Rialto and Kalaloch.
■ All trails within Olympic National Forest.
■ All Washington state parks and the parks of Clallam and Jefferson counties.
The sites stretch from the Pacific Coast to Admiralty Inlet, from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the southern elbow of Hood Canal.
“Over the last year,” Rotmark said, “we’ve had numerous inquiries in all seasons about traveling with dogs:
“’Where can we hike?
“’Can dogs be in the national park?
“’Are they allowed on the beach?
“’Where can I camp with my dog?’”
The bureau tried posting a blog to its Facebook page, “but the message didn’t seem to be getting to the right people.
“So, I decided to help travelers by creating a map and finding all the places where dogs are welcome,” Rotmark said.
The map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/OPDogMap.
Even some residents may not know all the places they can ramble with their canines, including the Spruce Railroad Trail and Moments in Time Trail at Lake Crescent.
Pet owners are advised, though, to practice canine courtesy by picking up after their dogs and keeping their animals leashed.
Mary Brelsford, the bureau’s communications manager, said the map is too new to have shown its impact.
“We don’t have any web statistics to show how many have been downloaded,” she said.
But the bureau fields at least a couple of questions about canines a week and “certainly” more than 100 each year, she said.
“We get a lot of calls,” she said. “That’s what we do here at the visitor bureau.”
The Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau is the tourism destination-marketing organization for unincorporated Clallam County and administrative office for the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission that markets the greater Olympic Peninsula.
For more information, contact Massey at 360-452-8552 or [email protected]
Reporter James Casey can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at [email protected]