‘ADK9 Challenge’ encourages safe, dog-friendly hiking

ADIRONDACKS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The pandemic has encouraged many people to get up and get active.

One Central New Yorker decided to run with it, and start a hiking challenge to bring dog-friendly options to hikers in the Adirondacks.

“It just kinda clicked to me. ADK-9 with the pun,” said Phil Galuppi. It’s the acronym for his vision: the Adirondack K-9 Challenge.

If you complete the nine dog-friendly trails you’ll get a patch in return designed by one of Galuppi’s friends.

He created an Instagram account when the challenge launched in July to share people’s progress.

“From there it just kind of exploded,” said Galuppi. “It’s already impressed me more than I ever could have imagined it.”

More than 100 people started climbing and 25 pups have already earned their patch.

Galuppi, his girlfriend, and their dogs

Phil’s goal is simple. “Encouraging people to go outside and do activities with their dog in a safe way,” he said.

The true inspiration came when Phil read about people taking their dogs to high peaks, not knowing the terrain of the trail.

Many people were bringing their dogs to the high peak regions and doing high peaks that they didn’t really know the terrain and they were getting stuck with their dog and had to be rescued or their dog just looked bent out of shape.

Phil Galuppi

His website hopes to change that. It’s filled with safety tips to go along with the safer trails.

“Make sure you have your proper tags on the dog just god forbid anything happened,” said Galuppi.What’s most rewarding is the hikers writing into the Instagram account. “This has been such a memorable challenge to do with my dog it’s creating life-long memories,” Galuppi said.

He’s hoping more people will take the challenge and safely make memories with their furry friends.