Have you ever considered how far you walk with your dog? If you walk just 15 minutes a day you will have walked far enough in your dog's lifetime to cross the United States. With all that walking ahead of you, aren't you ready for a new place to take a hike with your dog?
Connecticut can be a great place to hike with your dog. Within a short drive your canine adventurer can be climbing hills that leave him panting, trotting on some of the most historic grounds in America, exploring the estates of America's wealthiest families or circling lakes for miles and never lose sight of the water. DOGGIN' CONNECTICUT explores the region's top trails with your best friend in mind...
Where can your dog look for the spectral black dog of death? (page 51)
Where can your dog hike on the trail where the only four-train wreck in American railroad history took place? (page 121)
Where can your dog look for Connecticut’s only lizard? (page 73)
Is there any more dispiriting day for a dog owner than driving to a new park and encountering the dreaded "NO DOGS" sign? DOGGIN' CONNECTICUT tells you the parks that don't welcome dogs. Also packed inside these 144 pages are...
...tips on outfitting your dog for a hike
...tips on practicing low impact hiking with your dog
...beach rules for dogs
...and much more
What makes a great place to take your dog hiking? Well, how about a paw-friendly surface to trot on? Grass and sandy soil are a lot more appealing than asphalt and rocks. A variety of hikes is always good - long ones for athletic dogs and short ones for the less adventurous canine. Dogs always enjoy a refreshing place to swim as well. For dog-friendly parks our guides describe the trail options for your dog, evaluate park traffic from other users, tell you whether you will need a guide dog to find your way around and, of course, tell you how to get to the park.
While walking the dog around Connecticut, we bring along generous helpings of local history, botany, geology, architecture and more. So what are you waiting for? Your dog will want to hike past the site of the world’s first successful condensed milk factory (page 29), visit the 165-foot Bavarian tower of a liquor magnate (page 57)...
THE BEST OF THE BEST
BEST PLACE FOR YOUR DOG TO SWIM
Lower Paugussett State Forest
For about a mile into the hike along Lake Zoar the water is tantalizingly close but access for your dog is problematic due to high banks. Then, out of nowhere, you reach a small sandy beach where your dog can glide into the cool waters.
BEST ONE-HOUR WORKOUT FOR YOUR DOG
Macedonia Brook State Park
The prize for adventurous dogs is Cobble Mountain with its splendid vews to the west across the Hudson River to the Catskill Mountains.
PRETTIEST HIKE FOR YOUR DOG
Gillette Castle State Park
The pride and joy of William Gillette’s 184-acre estate was his three-mile narrow gauge railroad that looped through the woods below the castle. The rails are gone but the bed makes a fanciful pathway for your dog’s travels through the park.
BEST HIKE TO VIEWS WITH YOUR DOG
Ragged Mountain Preserve
The trail trips along exposed cliff edges for a good distance on the way to the 761-foot summit and its south-facing vistas.
BEST BEACH TO HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Bluff Point Coastal Reserve
It takes a mile hike to reach Bushy Point Beach and it is only open to dogs from September 16 to April 14 but it is worth the trip and worth wait.
BEST HALF-HOUR HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Pachaug State Forest
The largest state forest in Connecticut harbors the best short trail through blankets of ferns, Eastern hemlock and Atlantic white cedar in the Rhododendron Sanctuary. yOur dog will be dwarfed by the magnificent thickets of native rosebay rhododendrons over ten feet tall.
MOST HISTORIC HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Black Rock State Park
The Mattatuck Trail visits the Leatherman Cave, one of the rock shelters used by an itinerant traveler from the late 1800s, clad totally in leather, who moved among Connecticut villages for 25 years.
BEST OPEN-FIELD HIKING WITH YOUR DOG
Collis P. Huntington State Park
The country lane rambles of the estate known as Stanerigg cover miles across wooded bumps and acres of fields.
BEST PLACE TO CIRCLE A LAKE WITH YOUR DOG
Burr Pond State Park
The canine hike around Burr Pond, almost universally wide, often flat and traversing airy hemlocks and yellow birches is the best circumnavigation of a lake in Connecticut.
BEST PLACE TO LOSE YOURSELF IN THE WOODS WITH YOUR DOG
Almost 40 miles of marked trails criss-cross the property and your dog can find himself trotting across almost anything under the heavily wooded canopy - cobbles, packed dirt, smooth rock, boardwalk.