Spire at Dog Chapel

A Journey to Dog Mountain

Take a virtual journey to Dog Mountain in St Johnsbury, Vermont, and discover a destination where you, your family and your furry friend can connect and be playful.

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, you’ll find a place that holds a special charm for both locals and visitors alike. 

Dog Mountain, a haven for dog lovers and nature enthusiasts, boasts a rich history. From humble beginnings it’s become a beloved destination – and its story is as fascinating as the views it offers.

The Artful Founding of Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain was the brainchild of artist Stephen Huneck and his wife, Gwendoyln. Stephen, a renowned folk artist known for his whimsical depictions of dogs, envisioned a sanctuary where people and their canine companions could come together to celebrate the bond between humans and dogs. 

In 1995, the couple purchased a 150-acre plot of land in St. Johnsbury. They turned the barn into studio space, laying the foundation for what would become Dog Mountain.

The Dog Chapel 

Next to the art studio, lies the heart of this dog lovers’ escape: The Dog Chapel – a unique and enchanting structure that serves as a tribute to man’s best friend. The Dog Chapel opened its doors Memorial Day weekend of 2000. 

Built by Stephen Huneck himself, the chapel features stunning wood carvings and stained glass windows, each depicting scenes of dogs at play and in repose. Gwendoyln described the Dog Chapel’s mission as “Dream Without Limits.” 

The Chapel’s walls are covered with thousands upon thousands of remembrances of dogs loved and lost. It is a tremendously moving sight. Visitors are invited to reflect and pay homage to their beloved pets within this serene sanctuary.

Dog-Friendly Activities

One of the defining features of this unique destination is its emphasis on inclusivity, welcoming both humans and canines alike. And the unspoiled, and sprawling, grounds offer abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures!

Throughout the year, you can enjoy a variety of events and activities catering to dogs and their owners, from art exhibits to agility courses. 

“Leashes are optional on Dog Mountain. Dogs are free to run, play, swim, and (best of all) meet other dogs! Dogs are not just welcome here, they are cherished. Dog Mountain is a place where hundreds of dogs and people can find joy, love, and friendship by hiking the miles of trails, enjoying the swimming pond for dogs and the breathtaking views. We want everyone to take a break and allow themselves to be silly, playful and childlike.” – (from the Dog Mountain website)

The Legacy of Stephen Huneck

Tragically, Stephen Huneck passed away in 2010. His wife, Gwendoyln passed away in 2013. They left behind a legacy that continues to inspire and uplift. His artwork and vision live on at Dog Mountain – a testament to the enduring bond between humans and dogs.

In 2015, the non-profit organization Friends of Dog Mountain (FODM), was established by family and friends of Stephen and Gwendoyln Huneck. Today, FODM is the owner and manager of Dog Mountain. Its dedicated team of staff and volunteers continue to preserve and expand upon Stephen’s and Gwens vision, attracting more and more visitors from all over the world.

It’s only about 40 minutes from The Clever Critter Pet Shop & Bakery, making it a terrific pairing as part of your White Mountain vacation, or simply weekend fun with your four-footed pal.

Tail Wagging Fun

Wandering the rolling hills and wooded trails of this White Mountain region treasure, it’s easy to see why this place holds such a special place in the hearts of so many! Beyond its breathtaking beauty, Dog Mountain is a testament to the power of love, compassion, and the enduring bond between humans and dogs. Whether you’re seeking solace in the Chapel of Dog or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll with your furry friend, Dog Mountain offers a destination like no other—a place where the Huneck’s celebration of canine connection lives on, one wagging tail at a time. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Dog Mountain, CBS Sunday Morning, did a great segment on it in 2023.