Today’s episode is with Kevin, the dogdad to Nola @catahoudat, a beautiful blue merle Catahoula leopard dog from Cleveland, with quite a few trail miles under her harness. Being a working breed dog, Nola has been an enthusiastic partner in Kevin’s marathon training this past winter and spring.
After searching online, Kevin found Nola on a working farm in Maryland, and drove to bring her back to Ohio to be his hiking and exploring buddy. What started as just getting out on hikes and runs for stress relief eventually evolved into trail running and training. Close to home, they visit the Cleveland Metroparks park system, which includes more than 23,000 acres across 18 reservations in Cuyahoga County. Running through the parks are more than 100 miles of trails!
Also, just south of the city, is Cuyahoga National Park, a 33,000 acre park that follows the Cuyahoga River. The park has many beautiful waterfalls including the 85 foot (26 m) tall Brandywine Falls. Though the park is relatively small for a national park and offers very little camping, Kevin and Nola are not far from national forests in Pennsylvania.
About three to four hours away is the Allegheny National Forest, with much more access to backcountry trails and camping. Specific trails to check out would be the Morrison Trail loop, Minister Creek Trail, Hickory Creek Wilderness Trail, and many more. Since the National Forest is also a popular hunting area, it’s a good idea to be aware of current hunting seasons and to dress appropriately for safety.
For Nola, Kevin uses the Hurrta Dazzle harness, which comes in a high-vis yellow. When trail running on leash, they use a Ruffwear leash with stretch webbing. For camping, they have a Hurrta sleeping bag. Kevin’s shout outs go to Tucker @tuktuk_theberner, his sister’s Bernese Mountain dog, Scott at Evolution Canine @evocanine in Cleveland for Nola’s training, and the happy couple @britamousprimee and @steveuuolf and their catahoula Niko. Another trainer Kevin follows is Jeff @solidk9training.
For a cool catahoula sticker, check out PurplePineDesign on Etsy @missfrancocatahoula. And finally, for more info on catahoulas, I’ve included a list of some of the facebook groups that Kevin has found useful:
Thanks for listening!