Hamden is a town that prides itself on the vast amount of recreational opportunities. In fact, the town motto, "Land of the Sleeping Giant," is a reference to the town's well-known rugged mountaintop. With all of these hikes, parks, and vistas, it's easy to see how Hamden can be a pet paradise for dogs that love being outdoors!
Hamden's Dog Park was recently established, the fruit of a partnership between the town and the Hamden Responsible Dog Owners club. Located in Bassett Park, the park has everything your pooch needs - sunny areas, shade trees, picnic tables, benches, an agility course, a water hose (along with bowls and tubs for hot days), and doggie bags.
Hamden is the location of several state parks. West Rock Ridge State Park is perfect for the outdoorsman, and outdoors-dog, complete with stunning views of the New Haven Harbor and the Long Island Sound, and miles of hiking trails. The Lake Wintergreen hike is a favorite for local dog-owners. Nearby East Rock Park is over 400-acres large - plenty to explore for the adventurous pooch!
Sleeping Giant State Park may be the best option for those in the Hamden area. Whether you're looking to fish in the trout-stocked pond, or enjoy a picnic in the dog-friendly shelters, you can enjoy all the park has to offer year-round. Dogs are allowed for no additional fee, and can be spotted on some of the park's many hiking and nature trails.
The City of Hamde operates the Hamden Dog Park located at 300 Waite St. It is part of the larger Bassett Park. This fenced enclosure makes a dog feel at home. There is a separate enclosure for small dogs. The surface is wood chips so you don’t have to worry about mucky paws. There is plenty of shade, and the park has water and water bowls. Bags for cleanup are available, too. There are a few toys and tennis balls. This park attracts dogs from around town and beyond. It can be even crowded on some days. The large dog enclosure, though, can handle a crowd. Great time for socialization for both dogs and human companions.
Cheshire Dog Park is located at 1220 Waterbury Road. It is a 9-mile drive north of Hamden. This grassy fenced enclosure gives dogs a chance to socialize with many other dogs. This dog park has two acres for dogs to run leash-free. There is a separate area for small dogs, too. The park provides waste receptacles for cleanup, but no water is onsite. There are shaded areas for hot days, and some benches for that human companion. This park can get muddy after a hard rain or after a melt in the snow. This dog park is a very popular spot, and draws two dozen or more dogs at a time. Beat the heat and the traffic and hit the park at sunrise!
Sixteen miles to the north of Hamden is the Southington Dog Park. This fenced enclosure is great for some off-leash socialization. The park has a separate enclosure for small dogs. Waste receptacles and water is provided onsite. This park is open from sunrise until 9 p.m. The area is grassy, and great for rolling around in if there hasn’t been a rain. It can get muddy at times! The rules are posted onsite, and again on the City’s website. There are no rules barring non-citizens of Southington using the dog park. There have been some reports of the human companions becoming a bit territorial over their dog park. Worth a look-see, at least for the grass! Make sure you bring your license and proof of vaccinations. The City of Southington has been checking for them.
The Rocky Hill Off Leash Dog Park is located 26 miles to the northeast of Hamden at 326 Elm Street. This grassy fenced enclosure is great for some off-leash exercise and socialization. There is water onsite (except during the winter) and some benches for human companions. The dog park is nestled in a hilly treed area of Elm Ridge Park. The dog park has a separate area for small dogs. There are a few benches, but a lack of shade. There are plenty of waste receptacles so no excuse picking up after your furry friend. The Elm Ridge Park has some nice open spaces for on-leash walks, and picnic areas. A good dog outing on a day off.
Seventeen miles northeast of Hamden is the Middlefield Dog Park. This park is located at 102 Mattabeseck Rd. This dog park is set in a beautiful wooded area. Mature trees are around and in the middle of this fenced enclosure. The surface is wood chips. The park has a separate enclosure for small dogs. The park does not have water so remember to bring some for this trip. This dog park has a great back-to-nature feel. It is nestled on a larger property, and can be difficult to find the first time. You and your dog will soon become regulars. More information about the dog park and its rules are available on the city’s website.