Located just west of New Haven, the Town of Orange is a dream destination for people and puppers who love to spend time in nature. Originally an agricultural community, Orange is home to several trails and open spaces for you and your canine companion to explore. There are also two veterinary clinics to look after Fido's well-being while you're in town.
The Ewen Farm Preserve is a 43-acre site that evokes the town's farming heritage. Hit the trail with Fido and go for a leashed, scenic walk around the old hay fields, passing through forests, wetlands, meadows, and ponds. The trail is easy but crosses some wet areas, so wear shoes that can get wet and bring wipes for your pooch
The largest continuous open space area in Orange, the Turkey Hill Preserve, comprises 376 acres of mixed hardwoods, eastern hemlock stands, seasonal pools, talus slopes, streams, ponds, an old growth forest, and a 100-foot hill. Since the preserve is inhabited by various wildlife, you and Fido may come across some deer, wild turkey, or coyote paw prints. A single, 1.6-mile trail loops around the forested area, making it difficult to get lost.
Adventure awaits you and your pup in Orange, so what are you waiting for?
One of the town's largest open space sites, the Racebrook Tract covers 230 acres in Orange and 181 acres in neighboring Woodbridge. Here, you and your pup can explore a variety of habitats that several species of birds, reptiles, and amphibians call home, including forests, wetlands, meadows, stream belts, and brush. Four blazed trails stretching a total of 3.61 miles travel over fairly level land and make for an easy hike. You and Fido can find more trails at the Wepawaug Conservation Area and Kowal Nature Preserve, where the effortless hike through hemlock forests and along the Wepawaug River provides views of vernal pools and historic sites.
Conveniently located in the town center, the Paul Ode Nature Trail offers an easy, scenic hike through the woods behind the High Plains Community Center. Along the way, you and your pooch will encounter mixed hardwood, hemlock, and sycamore trees, as well as catch views of the Indian River. There is also a picnic area, but in case you forgot to pack food, a few nearby dog-friendly eateries will save the day. One of the places where you can refuel your tummy is Starbucks. Share an outdoor table with Fido, and don't forget to get a Puppuccino for him, too!
Named after Orange public servant Fred Wolfe, the Fred Wolfe Park is a former farm that was left unmaintained for several years. Today, it houses four soccer fields used by local leagues, as well as a nature trail that you can explore with your best friend. Starting at the edge of the parking lot, the trail will take you and Fido through immature growth and mixed hardwoods, along the perimeter of a cultivated field, and around the soccer fields. The entire trail stretches about half a mile and welcomes leashed pups. As always, bring doggie waste bags and clean up after Fido.
For pawsome views of South Central Connecticut without having to go through a grueling climb, head to the Housatonic Overlook and Tucker's Ridge. From here, you and your pup will be able to see not just the Housatonic River, but also Shelton to the west and Two Mile Island and Derby to the north. Just follow the easy trails through wetlands and forests blooming with mountain laurel, Connecticut's state flower. If you visit during the winter, you'll also get to spot some bald eagles gliding over the river or sitting in the surrounding trees. Hiking at the Housatonic Overlook and Tucker's Ridge is available throughout the year, and Fido is welcome to join you as long as he stays leashed.
Let Fido enjoy some off-leash time at the Eisenhower Dog Park in nearby Milford! This fenced-in area is a great spot for your pooch to meet other doggos and make new friends. Locals say that some parts of the fencing needs repair, so keep an eye on your pup to make sure he doesn't sneak out. Bring your own water as well, as H2O isn't provided. Outside the off-leash area, there is an extensive trail network that spans the 200-acre Eisenhower Park. Go for a leashed walk around the woods, wetlands, fields, recreational areas, and along the Wepawaug River, which flows through the entire length of the park.