Just outside the small town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, sits Dog Mountain, a 150-acre private reserve dedicated to dogs and their owners. On open fields, trails, and ponds, there are no leash laws to restrain the pups. Dogs are welcomed and encouraged to romp around freely and interact with others.
Dog Mountain and Dog Chapel are the private estate and project of late artist Stephen Huneck and his wife Gwen. The property of Dog Mountain consists of a few structures: an old large barn that was converted into the artist’s studio and workshop, the gallery where the artwork is displayed and sold, and Dog Chapel.
Dog Chapel was opened in 2000. Stephen Huneck had a vision of creating a ritual space where pet owners could come to help achieve closure once a pet had passed. One wall inside the foyer was designated a “Remembrance Wall," where people could leave a photo and message of what their pet meant to them. Now, the entire interior of the chapel is covered with these memorials.
Other amenities on the property include an agility course, two ponds (upper and lower), maintained hiking trails, and wide open fields bursting with wildflowers. Walk up to the hill to the steel column to get a scenic overlook of the surrounding area.
The grounds and Dog Chapel are always open to the public from dawn until dusk. The gallery hours change seasonally, but they are typically open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.