Dog-friendly Windham is in southern Maine’s Cumberland County, near Portland. It lies along the Presumpscot River and Sebago Lake, and both bodies of water provide outdoor adventure opportunities for dog lovers and their pooches. Windham also contains a number of parks that offer activities year-round for outdoor enthusiasts.
Donnabeth Lippman Park is 123 wooded acres where dogs are welcome to join their humans for birding and wildlife-watching, fishing on the 10-acre pond, and hiking. Lippman Park features a 1.5-mile multi-loop hiking trail that is groomed in the winter to accommodate snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The largest loop circles Chaffin Pond, which is a perfect fishing spot. The trailhead is located at the park entrance off Route 302, and you will find an information kiosk there, as well as a picnic area. The terrain makes for mostly flat and easy walking. There’s plenty of parking, too. Pawsome!
After your hike at Lippman Park, head over to the Bomb Diggity Bakery and Café for breakfast or lunch. Fido can be tied to one of the outdoor tables while you go inside to order up some of their baked goods or a sandwich. Locals recommend the pastrami hash! They also offer several gluten-free and vegan menu items. Bone appetit!
So bring your pup for adventure in Windham!
A short way from Windham Center in the town of Standish lies Sebago Lake, the deepest and second largest lake in Maine. This lake is so large, it is bordered by 6 communities including Windham, and it has a large island in the center that fills up with residents in the summer. It provides most of the drinking water for the city of Portland, but it is also the center of many outdoor activities loved by both human and pup. Sebago Lake State Park’s 1400 dog-friendly acres surround the lake and feature woodlands, sandy beaches, ponds, bogs and the Presumpscot River. Many marked trails crisscross the park, which is open year-round and offers opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Motorized, sail and paddle/oar boating on the lake, swimming, camping and fishing round out the list. Pooches are welcome on the beaches between October 1 and March 31, and in the rest of the park on leash year-round. Certain parts of the campground areas are designated for campers with leashed pets. One of southern Maine’s true gems, a visit to Sebago Lake and the Park is a must-do!
The town of Cumberland sits next to Windham and is home to the Town Forest Park, which includes the Town Forest Trail. This is a dog-friendly tract that loops mostly through forest with dirt, grass and crushed gravel trail surfaces. There is one large loop that will bring you near the Public Works and ball field, and another trail that traverses only the areas of forest, mostly flat but with the occasional tree root obstruction. No problem for Fido, but be careful with your own safety. You will also encounter some swampy areas, so you may want to wear boots. A rustic wooden bridge made from small tree limbs lashed together carries the hiker over a small brook, and there are open fields along the way, too. This is a great place to explore, watch for birds and wildlife and just breathe in the fresh woodsy air. Woofderful!
Windham Center is the commercial and business area of Windham, full of stores, gas stations and restaurants. And because it incorporates most of Highland Lake, there are many waterfront cottages available for rent. If you’re looking for a scrumptious seafood meal, there’s no better place than Bob’s Seafood on Route 302/ Roosevelt Trail. Bob’s serves sandwiches, fish tacos, chowders, dinners and baskets, all made with fresh seafood and accompanied by delicious sides like his homemade cole slaw and fries. There are also burgers and chicken for the “turf” lovers! Enjoy!
The North Windham neighborhood is home to the Claman Sanctuary, an undeveloped tract of land that is well-known for the High Bush Blueberries that grow there in the summer. This land is open to public use, but there is no designated parking area or trails, so you and your fur-pup need to be willing to park by the side of the road and blaze your own path, but the effort will be worth it if you love plentiful, free blueberries! North Windham is also where you’ll find the pup-friendly Otter Brook Sanctuary, featuring a moderately difficult .8 mile out-and-back trail that passes through tree plantations, woods and wetlands. The two trailheads are both a short walk from River Road, and there is free parking. Woof!