Located at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck Rivers in western Connecticut, the City of Shelton boasts several historic sites and outdoor recreation opportunities amidst puptacular natural scenery. Extensive open spaces and miles of trails will surely delight any nature-loving doggo that visits Shelton. The city has three animal hospitals, enabling you to travel with peace of mind.
First stop, the Shelton Dog Park! Let Fido socialize and play with other pooches at this off-leash park, which is divided into two separate areas for big and small dogs. There are also some minor obstacles, large rocks, and tennis balls to keep four-legged guests occupied. The Shelton Dog Park sits right next to a network of hiking trails, so you can go exploring if your pup still has any energy left!
The Indian Well State Park is a popular summer destination, with its scenic waterfalls, hiking trails, and a swimming beach. The 153-acre site is most peaceful in the off-season, which is the best time to visit with Fido since leashed dogs are only allowed in the park from the day after Labor Day to Memorial Day weekend. During the rest of the year, Fido is limited to the park's Maples area. Still, it is recommended to call before visiting to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Come and see what Shelton has in store for you and your pupper!
Pawse and smell the wildflowers at the Eklund Garden! Set among the ruins of an old cabin, this little-known, volunteer-run botanical garden is filled with plants that are native to the greater Northeastern United States, particularly those that are believed to be native to Connecticut. Take a leashed stroll with Fido around the beautiful grounds, making sure not to disturb anything. From the Eklund Garden, you and your pooch can access the Shelton Lakes Greenway, an extensive trail network spread over 450 acres. There are 11 miles of trails in the system, including the popular, multi-use Shelton Lakes Recreation Path. Fido is welcome to join you on the trails as long as he remains on a short leash.
Situated along the Housatonic River, the Veterans Memorial Park is a great place to take Fido for a leashed walk, enjoy scenic views, and attend community events. Also known as “The Slab,” the park is often used as a venue for concerts, festivals, and the like. Aside from the war memorials, the Veterans Memorial Park houses the Shelton Riverwalk, a 0.3-mile paved trail that hugs the riverside perimeter of the site. If you'd like a longer walk, you and your pup can continue on to the sidewalk along Canal Street to turn the Riverwalk into a loop path and cover 0.57 miles per loop.
The oldest park in Shelton, Riverview Park is a pawsome spot to spend a nice afternoon with your best friend. Many stop by for the athletic amenities and playground, but not a lot of people are aware of the old hiking trail that stretches through the entire length of the park. Known as the Bluff Walk, it begins behind the playground on the side of the river bluff, shaded by big trees. The trail will lead you and Fido past the Derby-Shelton Dam overlook, sports fields, and a war memorial. It ends at the historic marker for Fort Hill, which was formerly an Indian fort.
South Bank Park is a popular fishing spot that sits on a bend of the Housatonic River, with boats coming in during the summer. This small open space is ideal for just hanging out with your pup while taking in relaxing views of the river. Swimming isn't allowed, so make sure Fido doesn't get into the water! Just less than 1.5 miles away from the park are Donut Crazy and Rita's Italian Ice. Both places, which are located next to each other, offer outdoor seating so you can enjoy a donut and a cold treat with Fido by your side.
Situated between busy thoroughfares, the Huntington Green is a safe and peaceful space to take Fido for a leashed stroll under shady trees. You might also catch a free concert if you visit during the summer. For something more naturey, head to the Gristmill Trail on the Far Mill River. While it is a short trail at only 0.3 miles, it offers a highly scenic hike along the river's shoreline, with the remains of an old mill dam welcoming visitors near the trailhead. After exploring the area, head to dog-friendly Pancheros Mexican Grill and Peachwave Frozen Yogurt to grab a bite to eat.