Located 10 miles northwest of New Haven, Bethany is a pup-friendly destination that will keep your furry pal's tail wagging; this small town boasts miles of trails and several parks and open spaces that any curious pooch will appreciate. There are three veterinary hospitals in town that keep the community's critters in tiptop shape, so you can travel around Bethany with Fido without any worries.
Leash up and get ready to do plenty of walking with your pooch—there's definitely no shortage of dog walking spots in Bethany! For a short stroll in nature that's easily accessible, check out the Edna L. Delano Nature Sanctuary and Rodell's Roost for Robins. Located next to Amity Road, the town's busiest road, these two adjoining properties offer easy trails that meander through a fully wooded area and up a small hillside with seasonal views.
If you and Fido find yourselves in the western part of town, go for a leashed walk at the Ida Carrington Lowell Land. This tract of woofderful woodlands spans 27 acres, with wide hiking trails going around the perimeter and through the middle of the property. Aside from large trees, you and your pup will encounter stone walls and seasonal stream beds along the way.
Pawsome outdoor fun awaits you and Fido in Bethany, so what are you waiting for?
Let your canine companion run and play off-leash at the Bethany Dog Park! Surrounded by wooded areas, this fenced-in, no-frills park is a good place for Fido to burn off all that excess energy. Remember to bring your own water and pick-up bags. Another spot where you can tire Fido out is the Bethany Airport. Previously the site of one of the first airports in New England, this 112-acre property is now a multipurpose area that includes a recycling center and soccer field, though some features of the old airport still remain. There's also a network of trails that welcome leashed doggos in the wooded portion of the property. These trails are mostly level and make for easy to moderate hikes.
Tucked in a quiet corner of town between a few houses, Bethany Farms is a nice place to go for a peaceful walk with your pooch. This area offers 2.5 miles of blazed trails that the public, including leashed dogs, can use. The Naugatuck Trail, which is the main trail, will lead you and Fido down a watercourse to the Woodbridge border, before it connects to a section of the old Naugatuck Trail that stretches beside Bladen's Brook. Note that the trails of Bethany Farms go through narrow easements on private land; it's recommended to stay on the trails when boundaries are not clearly marked.
If your best friend loves playing in the water, bring him to the Bethany Veterans Memorial Park, where he can dip his paws and splash around in the man-made Hockanum Lake. There's also a walking trail around the lake and some hiking trails, so keeping Fido occupied should be no problem at all! Other features of the Bethany Veterans Memorial Park include a playground, picnic areas, and athletic fields and courts. If you and Fido are up for a challenge, the nearby Mendell's Folly offers 4.5 miles of moderate to difficult trails that travel through the 125-acre site, which comprises rocky outcrops and ridges, heavily wooded hills, a marsh, a brook, a ravine, and a beaver lodge and dam.
Nestled between scenic Sperry and Carrington Roads, the Welch Parcels comprise 24 acres of open fields and forests. Originally used as farmland, this site now provides a nice place to go for a quiet walk in the midst of a rural landscape. Following any of the Welch Parcels' trails will take you and Fido on a short but pleasant hike through the woods, past tall trees and stone walls. The trails connect Sperry and Carrington Roads, with trailheads available on either road. Fido is welcome to join you in exploring the Welch Parcels as long as he stays leashed. Remember to bring doggie waste bags as well!
For a hike with puptastic views, head out 7 miles east to the Sleeping Giant State Park in nearby Hamden. This state park, which gets its name from a mountaintop that resembles a snoozing giant, welcomes leashed, four-legged visitors in the picnic areas and on the hiking trails. The Sleeping Giant State Park contains many trails of varying difficulty; if you're looking for an easy option, stick to the popular Tower Trail, which leads to a stone castle at the top. From there, you and Fido can enjoy a woofderful view of the New Haven area and Long Island Sound. Don't forget to bring food, water, and mutt mitts!