Waterbury was once an industrial giant, specializing in the manufacture of brass and watches. Today, its industrial roots are much smaller, but its love affair with the Naugutuck River and its many tributaries remains, and the city is utilizing its natural resources for outdoor activities.
The Naugutuck River Greenway traverses 44 miles along the river and through neighboring towns. Its paved paths are perfect for pedestrians and bikes, with a leashed Fido in tow, of course. Paddling with the pup is also accessible from the gentle, graveled or grassy riverbanks. Parts of the Greenway lead to parks where folks can stop and picnic or just rest with their canine companions.
In Waterbury’s UCONN area lies Waterbury Green, a city park that welcomes leashed pups. This park has been called one of the most attractive parks in New England, and features 2 acres of green space crisscrossed by a network of paved, curved walkways perfect for a stroll with your furry friend. Or you and your pup can visit Library Park, a small green space directly behind the Silas Bronson Library. This green, grassy park with benches, a paved track and a shelter offer a respite from the city.
Waterbury also hosts a dog-friendly bookstore, John Bales Books and Cafe´ where you and your Best Friend can relax at an outdoor table with a beverage and snack and survey the passing scene.
The residential neighborhood of Burnt Hill is home to the Lewis Fulton Memorial Park. This is the largest of the city’s major parks, occupying nearly 70 acres. Featured here are scenic paths for walking and biking, with your furry bestie in tow on a leash. It also features access to 2 ponds connected by a small stream. There is a playground, and areas for basketball and softball. This popular park is a laid-back oasis for city-dwellers and visitors alike, including Fido. Nearby is Frankie’s Hot Dogs where you can share a meal with your pup at one of their outside tables. They feature fried seafood and burgers and (of course) hot dogs. Bone apetit!
The East Mountain neighborhood is home to East Mountain Park, which is adjacent to the East Mountain Reservoir. There is a walkway around the park’s perimeter for long strolls with your canine companion and don’t forget to stop along way for spectacular views of the reservoir. Or take in a basketball game being played on one of the park’s fenced courts. If all this walking and cheering makes you hungry and thirsty, share an outdoor table at Frankie’s Family Restaurant where American food is transformed into something for every taste, including your dog-eared pal. Note that there is no wait service, so your dog must be tied outside while you go in to order. for something different, try a grinder or salad at Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe, shareable with your pup at their outside tables.
The Long Hill neighborhood is home to Lakewood Park, a large dog-friendly park where families gather for various playground and sports attractions. The main attraction for Mr. Fido, however, is the vast expanse of green lawn, both shaded and unshaded. He must be on leash, but he will love walks, lying in the grass with his best human, and sharing lunch or dinner at one of the 9 grills. Rest rooms and water fountains fill out the park’s features. Another park in Long Hill is City Mills Park, a family-oriented space that is dog-friendly. With lots of open area for strolling, playing and lounging with your canine companion on-leash, it also is the site of ball fields and a playground.
This neighborhood is host to the Waterbury portion of the Hop Brook Lake Recreation Area, a park that is also shared by the adjacent communities of Middlebury and Naugutuck. Covering 16.4 square miles, the park surrounds the lake which offers access to 21 acres of stocked fishing, swimming, sailing and paddling. Our dog-eared friends must be leashed, but are permitted in all parts of the lake and park. The park contains over 7 miles of hiking trails that wind through woodland and pasture, along with picnic shelters for a meal with Fido. The lake’s feeder brooks provide ample area to walk and watch for wildlife, like birds and deer. Take your furry bestie out for a day at Hop Brook! Woof!
Cheshire, a community just a few miles southeast of Waterbury, houses the Cheshire Dog Park, a 2-acre, fenced space made just for pups! Fido can run free and off-leash here, and will have fun trying out the agility equipment. There are separate small and “all” dog areas, and the park provides a waste container system that makes it easy to pick up after your pup. A doggy water fountain for thirsty pups and benches for the humans have been scheduled to be installed as soon as possible. Bring your buddy’s leash because he must have it on while entering and leaving the park, and he must display visible license and rabies tags.