East Haddam is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, positioned along the lovely Connecticut River. This town is home to several nature preserves and state parks that you and your canine companion can explore. One of these is the Machimoodus State Forest, which offers trails with great views of the Moodus and Salmon Rivers, cliffs, and swamps. This accessible nature combined with the three veterinary clinics in town make it easy to have a happy healthy puppy in East Haddam!
East Haddam has shown its love to the dogs in the community by creating the East Haddam Dog Park! This dog park gives the neighborhood puppers a safe environment to run, play, and make furry friends. The park is located at the old ball field at the Town Beach, with a great view of the Moodus Reservoir. The park has two separate fenced off areas, one for large breeds and one for the little guys. Waste bags are provided, but don’t forget drinking water.
If you want to kick back in nature with you best pal, go check out the Wolf’s Den Family Campground. This campground is sitting on 35 acres in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. There are electricity and water hookups, restrooms, picnic tables and firepits. Leashed dogs are welcome!
With all of these pet friendly amenities and activities, you and your dog will feel right at home in East Haddam!
Possibly one of the favorite places to get deep into nature in East Haddam is the Devil’s Hopyard State Park. Accessible from Hopyard Road, this large park features 860 acres of wilderness divided by the Eight Mile River, and about 15 miles of hiking trails. The main attraction in this park is Chapman Falls, a waterfall that drops 60 feet into three cascades. It’s even considered one of the top ten waterfalls in Connecticut. Your dog is welcome to join you as you hike, picnic, fish, and watch the wildlife in this state park. Fido needs to stay leashed at all times and be picked up after.
For a great place to enjoy some quiet meditation in nature, head over to the Brainard Homestead State Park. This 25 acres state park is located in the Moodus neighborhood of East Haddam. In this park, you’ll find large grassy meadows and wildflowers surrounded by forests. There are pathways winding through this beautiful area that you and your dog can enjoy. The park also offers great bird watching, and views of the Connecticut River flowing past. Dogs are welcome, as long as they stay leashed and are picked up after. There are no amenities here, so be sure to bring drinking water for you and your dog.
The town of East Haddam has another unique place to take you dog for a hike! This is the Gillette Castle State Park in the neighborhood of Hadlyme. What makes this state park unique is that it was once the property of the actor William Gillette. Here you can take in views of his stone mansion with it’s unique decor and medieval style-facade. On the property, you can find 3 miles of hiking trails with river views, trestles and tunnels. Amenities include a visitor center, picnic shelters and food concessions. Your pup is allowed on the trails and in the picnic areas as long as he or she stays leashed, but is not allowed in the buildings or on the decks.
Just across the border into the Town Center of Colchester, you can find a puppy paradise! This neighborhood is just 20 minutes away from East Haddam, and is home to the Colchester Dog Park. The Colchester Dog Park is a place where doggos can romp around in glorious off-leash freedom, and enjoy some pawsitive socialization. There are separate fenced off areas for large and small breeds, water bowls and picnic tables. Waste bags are available at the dog park as well, so please pick up after your pup! If you’d like to go a little further, the Airline State Park Trail runs alongside the dog park. This trail is part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization that converts former railways into pathways you and your dog can enjoy! Dogs need to stay leashed when they’re not in the fenced in area of the dog park.
If you head west and cross the Connecticut River, you’ll find the neighboring town of Haddam, and another place to get out into the great outdoors with your pooch! This town is home to the Cockaponset State Forest. This is Connecticut’s second largest state forest, and has tons of trails for hiking, skiing, and biking. The trails range from easy to difficult, so people and pups of all fitness levels can enjoy. After working up a sweat, your dog will love to romp through the water in the creeks or the reservoir. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy with their two-legged friends! When you stomach is growling, head over to Cooking Co, also in Haddam. Here you can dig into a sandwich beside Fido at one of the dog friendly outdoor tables.