The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Connecticut

Undermountain Trail/Appalachian Trail
Bear Mountain • Salisbury

The highpoint of Connecticut is on the slopes of Mount Frissell, whose summit is across the state line in Massachusetts. Bear Mountain, four miles away, is the highest summit in the Nutmeg State. Also a better adventure for your dog.

The blue-blazed Undermountain Trail links to the Appalachian Trail, to tag the peak in just under three miles. Bear Mountain is an honest mountain - there is scarcely a downhill step on the ascent to the top - no depressing drops into saddles and ravines that set tails to drooping when Seaman knows he should be headed up. You are gaining over 1,500 feet in elevation on this canine hike but the serious panting does not begin until the final half-mile.

Without the aid of any roads in 1885, Owen Travis spent three years haul- ing 350 tons of stone to the summit to build a pyramid 20 feet square and 22.5 feet high. The tower has crumbled but Seaman can still scramble up ten feet of stabilized rubble and think about what it took to bring all these rocks to the roof of Connecticut.

A return option is across the summit and down the 2.1-mile Paradise Lane Trail that crosses upland forests. The plunge on the north slope is steep, quick and rocky and will challenge the most cautious of dogs so take your time here. The full loop with a backtrack on the Undermountain Trail will cover about 6.6 miles.

HIKING TIME: 2-3 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Weir Farms National Historic Site
Dogs are allowed on the Pond Trail but not
in the adjacent Weir Preserve of the Nature Conservancy

Hiking With Your Dog In Connecticut