The town of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, located in the south-central area of the state, is well-known for its connection to the novel, Peyton Place, which was based on this town. It is dedicated to offering residents and visitors access to the best nature has to offer. And, the town veterinarian, Dr. Thomas Moon, is ready to take care of all your pup’s health-care needs.
In this dog-friendly town alone, there are six lakes and nine town forests including the Thompson Town Forest, all of which have wonderful trails to hike with your fur-ever friend! The trails here are clearly marked and are available not only for leisurely walking, but for horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and dog-sledding!
If you are looking for a relaxing day with lake views, head over to Sunset Lake featuring 253 acres of fantastic fishing and excellent birdwatching opportunities. Many of Gilmanton’s forests and lakes allow dogs to go swimming, so watch for posted signs and most also allow dogs to be off leash. None of the forests have restrooms or water, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Pack your hiking shoes and your pup, and head to Gilmanton for memorable outdoor adventures together!
In the village of Gilmanton Iron Works, in the town of Gilmanton, you and your pup will delight in visiting Crystal Lake Park. The lake covers a whopping 433 acres, and is the perfect place to put in your boat and take your fur-ever friend for a cruise! There are water parades and sailboat races in the summer, and the cold-hardy can ice-fish in the winter. The park is full of open space, wooded areas and lots of birdwatching opportunities. This is the perfect place to pack a picnic lunch with water, and relax on the shoreline with Fido.
Belmont is a town west of Gilmanton, dedicated to the area’s conservation. Within Belmont, there are many open spaces for the enjoyment of its residents and visitors. Tioga Ridge and Clairmont Open Spaces, Jeff Marden Town Forest and Tioga River Wildlife & Conservation Area are just a handful of recreational opportunities to enjoy. All are dog-friendly and allow your pup to explore off leash, and all offer hiking trails and nature walks throughout. Winter activities include dog-sledding and cross-country skiing. Or take a 1.8 mile walk on the Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail past the lake. Pack a picnic, with water, and relax!
Southwest of Gilmanton sits the town of Canterbury. Home to many outdoor opportunities, you and your pup will find plenty to do. How about checking out Canterbury Spring, where you can fill your water bottles with fresh, sand-filtered water from the earth! Then head to the Crane Neck Pond if you are a fishing enthusiast! If you and your pup love to hike, try Hutchins Forest. The Tree Farm Loop and Ambeau Forest Trail offer an easy 1-mile hike. If you need more exercise, the Burnham Brook Loop is a more difficult 1.5-mile trek. Pack a picnic lunch with water to all these dog-friendly places.
Fishing and boating enthusiasts flock to the town of Barnstead to visit the Upper and Lower Suncook Lakes, located southeast of Gilmanton. Over 700 acres of water comprise these two bodies of water, which are connected by the Suncook River. Spend time with your pup floating the day away or watching the waterskiing talents of passerby’s! If you like to canoe or kayak, there are small islands in the middle of the lakes to explore. Your pup is welcome here on leash. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water for a day’s adventure on the lakes.
There is no end to the outdoor recreational opportunities awaiting you and your fur-ever friend in the town of Alton, northeast of Gilmanton. The Merrymeeting State and Beaver Brook Wildlife Management Areas are your tickets to 552 acres of fun! There are plenty of hiking trails for you and your pup to wander, along with fishing galore. Also, visit Alton’s dedicated open spaces of Quarry Mountain Forest and Clough Town Forest for some ‘off-road’ wooded hiking fun. Your pup is welcome off-leash. Afterwards, head to Alton Village Pizza, grab a slice and enjoy dining at their two outdoor dog-friendly tables.