Middletown is nestled in Middlesex County right on the banks of the Connecticut River. Its origins date back to 1650 when it was first incorporated. After being established, it became a famed sailing port and an industrial stronghold. Today, this pawsome city is the perfect combination of rural countryside and busy urban life. Since it is home to Wesleyan University, Middletown even has a cool college town vibe.
With over three dozen parks, designated open spaces, and trails, Middletown has no shortage of dog walking spots. If your pup is a hiker, check out the Higby Mountain Trail. The trail starts with some switchbacks, then climbs straight up to the Pinnacle, a ridgetop viewpoint, before continuing onto Higby Mountain. The trail is about 4.5 miles in length and is best suited for athletic pups.
For an easy stroll through the woods, head over to Smith Park and follow a short trail through the lush forest. Walk among dogwood, highbush blueberry, and a wide variety of critters.
After your walk, stop by Fusion Bakery for a quick pick-me-up. Refuel with a fresh salad or a warm panini. Get your grub to go or eat at one of the patio tables with your pooch.
With endless trails and parks, three local veterinary clinics, and classic New England beauty, Middletown definitely wins Best in Show!
McCutcheon Park is a beautiful natural space with a puptastic set of trails. Your pooch will be thrilled with the chance to get his exercise in such a gorgeous setting. Trails range from .2 to 1.3 miles, so there is something for all levels. Hike through thick forests, past overhanging cliffs, and up wooded slopes. Since the terrain is flat, but also sloped at times, your pal will get a great workout. Stop by the banks of Crystal Lake for a rest. If you’re feeling lucky, bring a pole for fishing and cast a line. This park also has a ball field, multipurpose field, and picnic facilities.
Looking for a new place to walk your pup? Grab her leash and pay a visit to the Middletown Nature Gardens. This 18 acre parcel of land is full to the brim with trees and shrubs. Your pooch will get her fill of nature as she wanders through groves of maple, oak, hickory, and black cherry. The main trail is only .4 miles, so if you have an energetic pooch, you may have to take a couple laps. You can also add mileage to your walk by venturing down the side trails where your pup can discover the mysteries of the swamp land. If you’re quiet, you may even hear the frogs.
If your pooch is itching for a walk, it’s time for a trip to Wilcox Conservation Area. Clip on his leash head out for some time in Mother Nature. Warm up with a stroll around Highland Pond. This .5 mile trail will get your pup’s blood pumping. He’ll enjoy breathing in the fresh air and listening to the song birds. Your four legged explorer can then create his own route through the various side trails. One of the trails connects with Guiffrida Park in the neighboring community of Meriden. This park also has access to the Mattabesset Blue Trail, a section of the 220 mile New England Scenic Trail.
When Middletown dogs want to let loose, they take a trip to the Middlefield Dog Park. Located on The King Property in the neighboring town of Middlefield, this one acre off leash area has plenty of room for running and romping around. Your furry friend can meet up with a friend for a game of chase, or just sniff around solo. Since small dogs have their own area, petite pups can enjoy the park at their own pace. Benches are available for pet parents, so sit back and relax as your pooch tuckers himself out. Be sure to bring water and a bowl. He’ll need a big drink of water when he's through playing.
Just across the Connecticut River from Middletown is the Hurd State Park. Located in East Hampton, this park is a great place to spend some quality time with your canine companion. With camping, boating, and hiking available, this park is full of adventure. A pawsome network of trails allows you to see the natural features of the park, like the famous Split Rock, while also getting your pup’s daily dose of exercise. If she needs to rest her paws, the banks of the river make a great relaxing spot. Don’t forget to bring enough water to keep your hound well hydrated.