One of the fastest-growing towns in Connecticut, Colchester is about half an hour's drive away from the cities of Hartford, Middletown, Norwich, and New London. With natural resources such as rivers, wetlands, forests, and open space, Colchester offers many opportunities for dog-friendly activities. There are two animal hospitals in this New England town that can give you piece of mind while you explore.
pups would not want to miss the Air Line State Park Trail, a 55-mile
trail that travels through four counties, stretching from the northeast
corner of Connecticut to the center of the state. The trail follows
the corridor of the former Air Line Railroad, which was meant to
connect New York and Boston in the 1870s. Today, the Air Line State
Park Trail's scenic views and peaceful atmosphere attract walkers,
hikers, bikers, and horseback riders from all over the state.
a more laid-back activity, hang out with your pooch at the Colchester
Town Green, where you can take a quick leashed stroll, have a little
picnic, or just sit in the shade. You might catch a community event
such as a farmers market or concert here as well. Doggos are welcome
at town parks as long as they are leashed.
grab your bags—the pup-friendly town of Colchester awaits!
The Colchester Dog Park is the place to be for pooches who want to run, play, and make new friends. This fenced, off-leash dog park comprises two grassy areas: one for large dogs and another for small dogs. According to the locals, waste bags, trash cans, and water bowls are provided, but water is not, so be sure bring your own. Another great spot in the neighborhood is the Colchester Recreation Complex or “RecPlex,” which serves as the main venue for recreation in town. The RecPlex's many amenities include sports fields, playscapes, a splash pad, free Wi-Fi, and a 2/3-mile walking path. Leashed dogs are welcome at the RecPlex, but not allowed on the athletic fields when they are in use.
Spend a day in nature with your best pal at the Day Pond State Park. Stretch your legs on the hiking trails, have a picnic by the pond, or go swimming in the water. The trails are well-marked and will lead you and Fido to some falls, old stone foundations, and the main feature of the park, Day Pond. The pond was originally built by a family named Day and used to power a nearby sawmill back in the colonial era. Today, it is stocked with trout for fishermen. As always, keep Fido on a leash and pick up after him.
Experience the Colchester outdoors and a bit of history at the Salmon River State Forest, which is adjacent to the Day Pond State Park. The Comstock Covered Bridge, one of three remaining historical covered bridges in Connecticut, greets visitors at the entrance. Built to span the Salmon River, it connects East Hampton and Colchester and is now only open to foot traffic. Don't forget to take pictures of your doggo on this beautiful bridge! Inside the expansive Salmon River State Forest, you and Fido can go hiking, picnicking, and letterboxing. The state forest's furrific views, tranquil environment, and well-maintained trails make it a favorite among locals, but it is never crowded.
The Ruby and Elizabeth Cohen Woodlands is a woofderful place for the entire family, furry members included, to visit. Spanning 206.21 acres, the Cohen Woodlands is mostly covered by trees, with several acres of grassy open space, 2 ponds, and 3 hiking trails that you can explore with your pup. Stop and smell the flowers in the butterfly-pollinator garden, or go birdwatching in the marsh viewing area. The park also has picnic tables, a gazebo with a six-panel educational board, and a story walk. A National Wildlife Federation-certified wildlife habitat, the Ruby and Elizabeth Cohen Woodlands is a spot that's definitely worth visiting if you're in town.
If you and Fido are passing through the neighboring town of Lebanon and have a few hours to spare, check out the Mooween State Park. Home to a number of trails and Red Cedar Lake, this 577-acre, former boys' camp is now frequented by hikers, boaters, and mountain bikers. As you follow the trails, you and Fido will come across remnants of the state park's past, including the concrete foundation and stone chimney of the camp's main hall. Enjoy the beautiful views and varied terrain along the way, and remember to keep your pup on a leash no longer than 7 feet.