Dogs are wonderful companions and enjoy the outdoors as much, if not more, than their human partners. Many people feel forced to leave their four-legged companions at home when they go on a hike but with a little planning and common sense, you can have the pleasure of your furry friend’s company on your next outdoor adventure. For Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) employees working at the Heart Lake Program Center, sharing the trail with the canine part of the family is as natural as bringing along a spouse or child.

As part of the High Peaks Unit Management Plan regulations, dog owners are reminded that dogs must be leashed in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks when on trails, at primitive tent sites, at lean-to sites, everywhere above 4,000 feet, or at other areas where the public congregates. It is recommended that dogs be kept leashed in most areas for the safety of your dog, the protection of wildlife, and as a courtesy to fellow hikers. ADK supports the leash regulation in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, which is adjacent to ADK’s Heart Lake Program Center and implements the same policies for guests at Heart Lake. Many ADK staff members absolutely love their dogs, and some of their canine companions join them on the trails. Below are bios of the some of the members of the extended ADK dog family.


Khyber (aka “The Khyber Man”) – Khyber was rescued as an 8 month old puppy by me while I was living and studying in Canada. His first hike was Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and not long after we went for a bushwhack through Caribou Pass. It was obvious right away that he loved the trails and had no problem negotiating rough terrain. You may see Khyber and I hiking anytime of the year. He packs all of his own food, and sometimes some of mine. He is trained to walk behind me on the trails, which allows me to leash him to my pack and hike without having to hold onto a leash. He loves anything round and his favorite toy is a particularly ratty old soccer ball.


Marcy – Marcy is a 3 year old yellow lab that belongs to ADK Maintenance Manager, Kevin McDonough.  When Marcy first visited she was often timid of new people. While she is still a bit shy at times she has really come out of her shell.  She can often be found riding shotgun in Kevin’s pickup truck. She and Khyber enjoy playing fetch together and can be found lounging with one another after playtime. She loves swimming and playing ball.


Mollie – Mollie, a 6 month old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, is the most recent addition to the ADK dog family.  She belongs to ADK Trails Coordinator, Andrew Hamlin. Mollie is the characteristic fun loving energetic puppy. She enjoys swimming and playing with the other dogs. ADK staff have enjoyed watching her mature, and noting her growth spurts every time she visits. Andrew says, “Whenever I ask her a question, she tilts her head with an inquisitive look and is incredibly receptive to my commands.” Mollie loves all dogs and people.

Dogs-Kaya and Eddie
Kaya and Eddie

Kaya and Eddie – Kaya is the matriarch of the ADK dog clan. She is a 9 year old Vizsla. She has been a cherished companion to ADK Maintenance Assistant, Marc LoIacono, for many years. She absolutely loves the water and enjoys a refreshing swim in any lake. Kaya’s brother Eddie is a 4.5 year old terrier mix. He was adopted by Marc and has a ton of energy and loves to play with other dogs. His older sister tolerates him well, if sometimes reluctantly.


Alex (aka “The Monker”) – Alex is a 3 year old female Black Lab owned by ADK Education Director, Thea Moruzzi. She is instantly in love with any human she meets and is super vocal with a sassy little attitude. Alex will “roo roo” at you if she doesn’t approve or get her way. She loves to wade (not swimming quite yet), eat sticks, and hike. Alex is equally comfortable sitting on the couch and running around like crazy outside. Winter is her favorite season and she is a hardcore skijoring aficionado.


Brookelynn – Brookelynn is a 7 year old beagle that was adopted from the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake. She belongs to Michelle and Marc Minnoe, who work in the High Peaks Information Center and on the ADK Maintenance team, respectively. She absolutely loves people, and her tail is constantly wagging. Brookelynn enjoys sunbathing in her back yard, having a good roll in the grass, and munching on frozen strawberries.

Oakley, Kaycee, and Jedi – Oakley and Kaycee are a pair of yellow labs owned by ADK Reservations team member Baylee Crowningshield. Oakley and Kaycee were regularly and hilariously entertaining as puppies.  Baylee’s mother, Janet Morgan (ADK Administrative Manager), enjoyed them so much that she soon added Jedi, a young energetic Golden Retriever, to the Morgan clan.


Django– Django is a 4-year old German short-haired pointer owned by Ryan Doyle, ADK’s Outdoor Leadership Coordinator.  He is VERY powerful and energetic, but is also gentle and snuggly when it’s time to settle down.  He can run for hours on end, whether hiking in the woods, mountain biking or skiing.  He also loves to swim.  His newest favorite friend is Ryan’s five-month old daughter, Hannah.

Please remember that the same planning and preparations that you take prior to a hike also apply to your four-legged companion. Having enough water and food, practicing Leave No Trace wilderness ethics, and taking along the proper equipment and gear are critical to a successful canine adventure. ADK’s High Peaks Information Center, Lake George Member Service Center, and the ADK web store all offer high quality outdoor pet gear and accessories from Ruffwear to fully outfit your furry friend. A great selection of travel bowls, leashes, harnesses, collars, and toys will have your dog ready to join you on your next hike. So gear up, plan ahead, and take your best friend with you. And don’t forget to say hello to the ADK dogs should you meet them on the trail!