North Branford, one of the smallest communities within New Haven County, is nestled on the banks of Lake Gaillard, just east of New Haven. This charming rural community offers multiple recreational areas to explore with your best furry friend. Most of the parks are public and allow only leashed pooches, but the area is so scenic and welcoming that you wouldn't want to miss a chance to explore it! In North Branford, you'll also find a few pet-friendly restaurants as well as two veterinary clinics to keep your pooch looking and feeling their best.
Branford, just south of North Branford, features a number of lush public parks for leashed walks. Dive into the shaded, expansive area of Supply Pond Park, a wonderful retreat perfect for bird watching, hiking, and even fishing! Your leash and drinking water will come in handy here and in Timberland Preserve, if you decide to travel east of North Branford.
Timberland Preserve, often shortened to "Timberlands", is an expansive hiking spot with forests and trails ranging from easy to moderate. Covering more than 588 acres of natural area, the park offers a variety of activities for everyone in the family. This park is pawpular, and your dog will need to be comfortable sharing the trails with cyclists.
Northford is a small community on the opposite bank of Lake Gaillard. Quiet and rural, the southern part of the neighborhood is easily accessible from North Brandon via Forest Road, which offers beautiful lake views along the way. The road will lead you to Totoket Valley Park, a wonderful park with a natural area and trails paired with playgrounds. Northford Dog Park is just a skip and a hop away. The doggy spot is an open area with no separate sections for small and large pooches, so make sure your buddy is comfortable playing with pups of all sizes. Don’t forget to bring waste bags with you!
Located on the east side of New Haven Harbor, East Shore offers a significant area to explore. Situated behind Tweed New Airport, the neighborhood features local businesses, schools, and churches, as well as two main recreational areas to the north and south. East Shore Park is a harborside park with walking trails and sports fields for soccer and tennis. You can explore the paved trails with the pup, or head straight to East Shore Dog Park, a pet-friendly enclosure with access to the water near Forbes Bluff. The area is not fenced, and drinking water and waste bags are on you! Benches are provided for tired pet parents.
Edgewood is a historic central neighborhood in New Haven. Whalley Avenue to the north animates the area with local businesses, cafes, and convenient pit-stops for travelers to grab a snack. Follow along Whalley Avenue to find the lush and wonderful area of Edgewood Park, centered on Iris Pond. This popular public facility is amazing for meeting up with friends and letting pooches run free in Edgewood Park Dog Park. The doggy spot is conveniently located right next to Edgewood Skate Park. The well-maintained wooded area is fenced, and has plenty of space for your pooch to run, romp, and sniff out some new friends!
Centered on Lake Whitney in Connecticut, the Whitneyville neighborhood is located in the southern part of Hamden. Apart from a huge golf course, Whitneyville also features eateries and local businesses along Whitney Avenue as well as several recreation areas. Leave the golf course behind and explore Basset Park on Ridge Street. This popular public park doesn't have walking trails, but it does have a wide-open space to explore and a few playgrounds. If you want to play off-leash, Hamden Dog Park, right across the street, is a perfect solution! This is a well-maintained dog park with a fence, benches, and waste bags for your convenience.
If you don’t mind spending 20 minutes on a short drive north for some historical, cultural, and outdoor fun, Wallingford Center will welcome you any time of the year. Organized around downtown, this neighborhood invites you to explore Doolittle Park, a small community park complete with a playground and sports fields. Needless to say, this place is extremely pawpular! If you want a quieter park with a natural landscape, Wallingford Dog Park is a wonderful fenced area for pups to play and run off-leash. The park has two sections for small and large breeds, and both enclosures have plenty of space to play in! Drinking water is available seasonally.