Best Hikes With Dogs Boston and Beyond  by Jenna Ringelheim

Best Hikes With Dogs Boston & Beyond Guide Book

by Jenna Ringelheim (The Mountaineers Books)
Best Hikes With Dogs Boston and Beyond  by Jenna Ringelheim
Whether you’re in bustling Beantown, the peaceful Berkshires, or out for a beach walk on the Cape, you and your canine buddy will have a blast on the trail! Areas covered in this guide include Dogtown Commons, Estabrook Woods, Callahan State Park, Blue Hills Reservation, Mount Watatic, island beaches, and many more.

© 2008 Jenna Ringelheim/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes With Dogs Boston & Beyond" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 50.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 50.

Renowned for its miles of “grass avenues” bordered by woods, Appleton Farms Grass Rides has welcomed dogs and their owners for more than thirty years. Due to its increasing popularity, The Trustees of Reservations has implemented a Green Dogs Program that requires a free (to members) dog-walking permit in exchange for agreeing to follow the Grass Rides dog etiquette. The pilot program allows responsible owners to walk their dogs leash free.
Hamilton, MA - Hiking
Bald Hill Reservation is one of Essex County’s best places to take an outing with your dog. The Commonwealth and the Essex County Greenbelt Association have protected over 1800 contiguous acres, which include the John C. Phillips Wildlife Sanctuary, Boxford State Forest, and Boxford Woodlots. This conserved land contains a fine collection of forests,wetlands, ponds, streams, and open fields in which you and your furry friend can frolic. Migratory birds and wildflowers in spring, fall foliage, and winter tracking make visiting this property worthwhile at any time of year. Take a morning or the whole day to explore this fantastic place.
Boxford, MA - Hiking
With over 12,000 acres to explore, the thought of hiking in Beartown State Forest may seem overwhelming. The Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a good place to start as it offers wonderful access to the water and the woods, and it connects to the Appalachian Trail (AT) for those who want to take a bit more of a hike. During the warm months, the pristine 35- acre pond attracts swimmers, boaters, and fishermen, but try visiting in late fall and early spring to avoid the crowds. Year-round camping is also available at Beartown, giving you and your pooch the opportunity to spend a few days exploring the trails.
Monterey, MA - Hiking
Hosting an extensive network of walking trails that cover miles of varied terrain, Beebe Woods is a picturesque place to visit. This unique landscape was created some 15,000 to 18,000 years ago toward the end of the last ice age. Situated on top of the glacial moraine that stretches from Woods Hole to the Cape Cod Canal, the glacier’s work is evident from the kettle hole ponds and huge boulders that dot the landscape. Gifted to the town in 1976, this 388-acre estate is open to the public for walking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and bird-watching. Well-marked carriage trails and a pond that lies deep within the woods will make this hike one of your dog’s all-time favorites.
Falmouth, MA - Hiking
While sailing along the Atlantic coastline, early European explorers named these hills for their bluish hue. Today, the Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph, and provides a green oasis within minutes of downtown Boston. Highest of the twenty-two hills in the chain, Great Blue Hill rises 635 feet above the surrounding towns. With its varied terrain, scenic vistas, and 125 miles of trails, the Blue Hills Reservation offers year-round enjoyment for you and your dog.
Milton, MA - Hiking
At 230 acres, Ponkapoag Pond is the largest and most remote body of water found within the Blue Hills Reservation. This walk on one of the less commonly traveled trails will provide you and your pup with peace and relaxation, all within a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visit during fall to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors reflected on the lake. From the parking lot, stop at the kiosk to examine a good map of the reservation. Continue to the right of the buildings on a paved road lined with large maple trees. Fittingly named the “Avenue of Maples,” this road is not open to traffic, but watch out for an occasional golf cart. At the end of the road, turn right and walk through a gate onto a smooth dirt path. Green disks mark this trail as it travels around the circumference of the pond.
Canton, MA - Hiking
With hardwood forests, two lakes, seven rocky outcroppings, and a rambling section along the Saugus River, the 640-acre Breakheart Reservation is loved by many a dog from the Boston area. The natural resources that are part of the reservation were once utilized by Native Americans to provide shelter, tools, and food. A miserable Civil War soldier stationed at this isolated location gave the park its current name. Today, an extensive trail system through the woodlands offers a variety of hiking opportunities, and an off-leash dog park named Bark Place provides an area for socializing with doggie friends.
Saugus, MA - Hiking
Located in the northwest corner of Framingham, Callahan State Park and the adjacent Welch Reservation provide over 800 acres of forest, fields, and about seven miles of well-marked trails to enjoy. This large open space is also used by equestrians, so watch out for horses and what they might leave along the trail.
Framingham, MA - Hiking
With nearly 130 acres to explore, Cat Rock Park is a place that you and your dog will want to return to again and again. Hobbs Brook runs through the park and supplies fresh water along the trail. Hobbs Pond offers a great spot for a dog paddle, and the 334-foot summit provides stunning views of the surrounding towns. This conservation area is a great place to visit year-round.
Weston, MA - Hiking
This wonderful reservation will allow you and pup to walk through open meadows and up Maugus Hill, which on a clear day will give you a view of rolling hills and the church steeples of surrounding towns. The property is divided by a variety of trails, so each time you visit there is a new one to explore.
Wellesley, MA - Hiking
This spectacular hike rambles above the Atlantic Ocean along clay bluffs that offer some of the most dramatic views of any hike on Block Island. With plenty of lookout points along the way, you and your dog will enjoy feeling the mist on your face and the smell of saltwater in the air. Heading east from the trailhead, the path meanders along, lined with large sycamore maples and a smattering of beach rose bushes on its way down to the ocean. Before reaching the beach, make a quick stop at Clay Head Swamp, where your dog might enjoy a quick drink on a hot day.
New Shoreham, MA - Hiking
This long, narrow property provides scenic vistas and miles of trails along the Merrimack River. Deer Jump Reservation has long been a natural retreat for humans and animals alike, with its large groves of hemlock and pine and the cool waters of Fish Brook. According to the Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS), a great horned owl nest has been observed within the reservation, while red foxes, turkeys, white-tailed deer, and great blue herons are commonly seen. With lots of access to the river and few people on the trails, this reservation will be a favorite for you and your pooch.
Andover, MA - Hiking
The name alone should spark enough interest for you and your pooch to check this place out. Once a farming community, Dogtown Commons represents one of the few deserted villages in New England. Settled in the early eighteenth century, it was abandoned by 1830, leaving only dogs to roam the area. Today, this open space is comprised of 3000 acres of fields, forest, reservoirs, and marshes, with so much terrain that you and your pup will keep coming back for more. Most of Dogtown is dense woodland, crisscrossed and bisected by trails and old roads that make it very easy to get lost, so bring a snack and some extra water, just in case. Special notes: Hunting season is October 19 through April 1, Monday-Saturday. Wear bright colors , and proceed with caution.
Gloucester, MA - Hiking
Bordering both Connecticut and Rhode Island, this popular 5730-acre state forest offers a vast network of hiking and nature trails for your dog to enjoy. The long-distance Midstate Trail runs through the forest and extends to Mount Watatic in the northern section of the state. Douglas State Forest also includes a rare Atlantic white cedar swamp, which is accessible via a boardwalk trail.
Douglas, MA - Hiking
The mission of the Dunstable Rural Land Trust (DRLT), founded in 1974, is focused on preserving, conserving, and educating people about the beautiful rural landscape that is Dunstable, Massachusetts. The 350-acre DRLT Wildlife Preserve, a testament to the nonprofit’s efforts, provides trails through old-growth forest, along very active beaver ponds, and through open meadows. The property is linked to the Nashua River Rail Trail, which travels 11 miles through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable. The preserve becomes a wonderland in winter, with opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating.
Dunstable, MA - Hiking
Elm Bank Reservation consists of 182 acres of woodlands, fields, and an old estate. The property is surrounded on three sides by the Charles River and provides a home for a variety of wildlife, including deer, which you might spot in the upland habitat near the river. Like the deer, your dog will greatly enjoy the northern section of the property, where numerous trails weave through the woods and along the river.
Natick, MA - Hiking
With almost 1200 acres of woodlands, hills, ledges, and swamp, Estabrook Woods is a much-loved doggie destination. The Woods are a conglomeration of lands owned mostly by the town of Concord, a local land trust, and Harvard University. Rich with local history and frequented by writers and poets, the area was named “Easterbrooks Country” by Henry Thoreau. In addition, the woods are split by old Estabrook Road, which Minutemen hurried down to join the Concord fight at the North Bridge at the start of the American Revolutionary War.
Concord, MA - Hiking
Fresh Pond Reservation consists of a large kettle-hole lake and about 162 acres of surrounding land. The retreating Laurentide Glacier sculpted the area about 15,000 years ago. Native Americans were attracted to these ponds, streams, woods, and marshes as they found an abundance of fish and plentiful wildlife in this area. Fresh Pond today is part of a reservoir system that supplies drinking water to the City of Cambridge, and for that reason it is now fenced off to any human or canine use. The 2.25-mile perimeter path is a popular place for recreation due to its scenic landscape and proximity to the city. To avoid the crowds, visit during the week or in the early morning.
Cambridge, MA - Hiking
Great Brook Farm State Park is a reminder of what eastern Massachusetts agricultural landscape used to look like. An array of open fields, stone walls, dense woodlands, and historic buildings are iconic images of the past that still thrives today at this state park. Amid the beautiful scenery lie twenty miles of trails for you and your dog to enjoy. Although the park offers endless trails to explore, the Pine Point Loop is a good place to take your dog on a fine summer day. As the name implies, while rambling around Meadow Pond much of the trail is well shaded by towering white pines.
Carlisle, MA - Hiking
At first glance, you might think that this preserve is too far out of the way and difficult to access. You also might be put off by the many restrictions on your dog. However, if you and your pooch can time it just right, Great Rock Bight is a true gem. Dogs are not allowed April 15 through June 14 due to sensitive wildlife; during summer (June 15 through Labor Day) dogs are only allowed on the beach before 10:00 AM and after 5:00 PM. Special notes: Seasonal archery hunting is allowed on this preserve.
Chilmark, MA - Hiking