Falmouth is a coastal town on Casco Bay. Once an agricultural town, today it's a suburb of Portland. It’s also a popular destination for summer visitors who own or rent private homes on the water. The town's semi-rural environment is most obvious in its parks and trails. It's also a dog-friendly town: many of its small businesses make it easy for owners to bring their dogs with them. And should your pup become ill, you can rest assured that there is a veterinarian nearby to help him back on all 4 feet! The one in Falmouth is supplemented by 3 in nearby Portland.
Mackworth Island is connected to Falmouth Foreside by a causeway, which brings you to a small parking lot from which you can begin a 1.25-mile walk around its lovely perimeter. The looped trail will take you and your fur-pup to the east where the bay glistens and you can observe the many islands of Casco Bay, or admire Portland’s skyline. Take the rustic stairs down over the bank to the rocks below, where you’ll find a bench to sit while Fido explores the tidal pools and seaweed. From there, the trail loops to the north where you’ll see Yarmouth, then west and south past the fairy villages in the woods, and Governor Baxter’s horse cemetery. This wooded island is charming and close to everything, but you’ll feel like you’re in a different world when you walk it with your furry friend. Furtastic!
Whether you are a resident of Falmouth or are visiting “from away,” you’ll find many things to do with your pooch here!
This neighborhood is home to the Falmouth Nature Preserve, a network of dog-friendly trails and open space. The preserve is just east of Route 1 with its trailhead located off Foreside Road (Route 88). It contains several connecting trails, some with boards across wetter areas, totaling about 3 miles through the forest. The trails are perfect for hiking and cross-country skiing with their gentle elevations. When on the trails, keep in mind that although Fido doesn’t have to be on leash, he does need to be under good voice control. When you’ve raised an appetite at the preserve, head on over to Bueno Loco Restaurant where an outside table awaits you and your furry bestie. Here, you’ll chow down on classic Mexican fare mixed with some unique preparations of old favorites. Esta Bueno!
The Town Center neighborhood is where you’ll find Town Forest, located on Winn Road, where you can park on the shoulder for entry into the park. Featuring 21 acres of wooded land, the park contains a .5-mile loop trail that crosses small brooks and traverses the woods. Wildlife is abundant in this area and is pawrfect for a walk with your fur-pup whose senses will all be on high alert. In the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing make the inner woods accessible. You’ll also want to head over to the North Falmouth Community Forest, which offers 375 acres of remote property with several well-marked trails crisscrossing. Another wildlife haven, this wooded land features opportunities to see small mammals and many species of birds. Both are accessible and only 15 minutes from downtown Portland. Woofderful!
In the East Deering neighborhood of Portland, just south of the Portland-Falmouth boundary, is the really big Quarry Run Dog Park. The park features 7 acres of fully fenced land where doggos can meet new friends, play and run, splash in the babbling brook near the entrance, or play fetch on the large field at the top of the hill. The park doesn’t provide water or waste bags, so be sure to bring both. Humans have benches and picnic tables to sit and socialize with the other humans and dogs. At the bottom of the hill near the entrance is a very small fenced area for small or timid dogs. If you and Fido want to venture out of the park, there are trails where you can take him on leash. Pawrrific!
The Valley Street neighborhood of Portland is where you’ll find the Valley Street Dog Park, a small but popular fenced park that features a long rectangular shape pawrfect for ball-tossing and fetching, or frisbee. For the humans, there are benches and a covered doggy station with running water and a picnic table, lots of shade trees and boulders to sit on to watch the mayhem before you. Be aware that this park typically attracts over a dozen or more dogs on the weekend, even in winter when the surface becomes much like a skating rink. If your pooch is not well-socialized, it may be wise to keep a close eye on her. But most of the pups and their humans are well-behaved, and this park is a woofderful place to make new friends of both species!
The East End neighborhood of Portland, just across Back Cove
from Falmouth Foreside, is home to the Eastern Promenade Park Off-Leash Area.
This popular fun spot for doggos is unfenced, but because of its layout the
unleashed portion is distinctly separate from the rest of the park. This is
basically a beach on the northeast end of Portland Harbor, and is a popular place
for folks living in the area to bring their furry besties after work and on the
weekends. One full length of the park is a high stone wall, and the other is
the water. This is a perfect spot for those dogs that love to swim and chase
balls out into the frigid (even in summer!) waters of Casco Bay. Arf!