Located less than 50 miles southwest of the state capital of Hartford, Bethel is a vibrant New England town with a historic downtown, charming farms, and winding nature trails. There are four veterinary facilities in pup-friendly Bethel, so you can travel worry-free with your canine companion.
Is your best friend a furry ball of energy? Let him run it off at the Bethel Bark Park! The project of Bethel Girl Scouts, this one-acre, off-leash area can be found inside Meckauer Park—just look for the building with the colorful painted cartoon dog. The Bethel Bark Park features separate areas for large and small dogs, as well as benches and pet waste stations. Don't forget to bring your own water and bowl.
Fido is also welcome to sniff around Meckauer Park. Go for a leashed walk on the paved trails, around the duck pond, and through the arboretum. The only area that's off-limits to puppers is the children's playground.
From the adjacent Bennett Memorial Park, you and Fido can access the Enchanted Trail Boardwalk, which will lead you through a swampy area, meadow, and reed bed. Halfway along the way is a viewing platform with seating, so take a pawse and enjoy the view!
Come discover the quaint little town of Bethel with your pup!
Just a stone's throw from downtown, Overlook Park lets you and Fido escape to the great outdoors without having to travel too far. It is located behind the shops along Greenwood Ave, making it easy to pick up some food first if you're planning to have a picnic in the woods with your pup later on. As its name suggests, Overlook Park has several points where you and your pooch can look over downtown and the hills of neighboring Danbury. Go for a peaceful, leashed walk on the two main trails that encircle the park and the offshoots that lead into the middle of the hardwood forest.
If you and Fido find yourselves in this neighborhood, you don't have to worry about going hungry as there are a few dog-friendly eateries where you can grab a bite to eat with your pooch in tow. For a nostalgic dining experience, head to the Sycamore Drive-In Restaurant, where you can share an outdoor table with your best friend or opt for the car hop service. This 1950s-style diner, which has been in business for 70 years, has become a local landmark. Other options in the area include Mr. O's Deli, which serves breakfast and lunch, and Grassy Plain Pizzeria & Restaurant, which offers Mediterranean cuisine.
The Wolfpit Nature Preserve is another spot in Bethel where you can get your nature fix with Fido. The site of a granite quarry (the wolfpit), this 82-acre preserve is composed of hardwood and evergreen trees, wetland areas, a beaver swamp, wet meadows, steep climbs to overlooks, and old stone walls. It is also home to spring peepers and various birds. A major section of the Enchanted Trail and marked trail systems meander through the Wolfpit Nature Preserve, making it a furrific place to go hiking with your pooch. If you're into geocaching and fishing, those activities are available here as well.
With its open fields, dense woodlands, and extensive trails, the Collis P. Huntington State Park is a favorite among hikers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. A lot of people also walk their dogs here, so Fido just might make some new friends. Take your furry pal for a leashed hike on the various trails and go for a doggie paddle in one of the five ponds. The Collis P. Huntington State Park spans the towns of Bethel, Newtown, and Redding, with the entrance located in nearby Redding. Lifelike sculptures of bears and wolves will greet you and Fido when you arrive at this 1,017-acre park.
Explore the largest municipally owned town park in the state in the nearby city of Danbury. Like any great park, Tarrywile Park features hiking trails and beautiful nature views, but that's not all. This scenic, 722-acre site also contains a historic castle, Montessori school, greenhouse, community center, 23-room Victorian mansion, and several other buildings. The trails, which stretch more than 21 miles over varied terrain, cater to hikers of all abilities. Enjoy a leisurely stroll or go on a more challenging route with your pooch. There's definitely a lot to see at Tarrywile Park, so allocate at least a couple of hours for this puptastic location.