Located about an hour's drive away from the state capital of Boston, the Town of Franklin was the first US municipality to be named after Benjamin Franklin and is home to the country's first library. The Town of Franklin is actually a city, and a dog-friendly one at that. Should Fido need veterinary care while you're in town, you can bring him to one of Franklin's two animal hospitals.
If you and your dog are in the Downtown area, be sure not to miss the Franklin Town Common, a beautifully landscaped green space in the heart of the city. Take a leashed walk along the tree-lined walkways, observe the war memorials, and pick up some local goods at the weekly Farmers' Market. Since the Town Common serves as the site of various community events, you and Fido might even catch a concert while you're there.
Another cool place to visit in Franklin is the Fairmount Fruit Farm, where Fido is welcome to join you in the orchards as you pick your own apples. Don't get too distracted by the fruits, though—keep your best friend leashed at all times and away from the sheep and goats. And, as always, clean up after him.
Whether you're just passing through or staying for a few days, Franklin is a puptastic destination!
There's plenty for both humans and canines to do at Dacey Community Field, so expect to spend at least a couple of hours here. The park houses multiple athletic fields, an ADA-compliant playground, picnic tables, walking trails, a challenging disc golf course, and a popular dog park. Located next to the children's playground, the dog park is a large, fenced-in area with double gates, wood chips, big rocks, trees, picnic tables, and disposal bins. While communal bowls are provided, you'll need to bring your own water. Make sure to pick up after Fido and fill in any holes he digs.
Get some exercise and get close to nature in the Franklin State Forest, an 843-acre forest with miles and miles of trails and fire roads. The trails are open for mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking with Fido, of course! There is even a designated loop for off-roading. You'll also find the Southern New England Trunkline Trail at the southeastern edge of the forest. Also called the SNETT, this 22-mile trail runs from Franklin State Forest to Douglas State Forest. A favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, it is one of the longest trails in Massachusetts and passes through six towns. If you're taking the SNETT, stop by Big Biscuit Bakery first to pick up some snacks for Fido—he'll definitely appreciate it!
One of the most beautiful natural areas in Franklin, the DelCarte Recreation & Conservation Area is a generous donation to the town by the DelCarte family. Now, everyone, including four-legged visitors, can enjoy this hidden gem, which boasts a variety of ecosystems, such as shallow ponds, wetlands, and forests. The 136-acre site also features trails, dams, picnic areas, a playground, and a canoe/kayak launch, so there's definitely a lot to do here. For a simultaneous aquatic and forest experience, take a leashed stroll on the Blue Circle Trail that travels around the Northern Pond, and go on the floating boardwalk for unobstructed views of the water.
At first blush, the Indian Rock Conservation Area may appear to be just another wooded area, but it is actually one of the oldest, if not the oldest, historical sites in Franklin. This is where the Battle of Indian Rock took place during King Philip's War in 1675, but nowadays, it is a quiet conservation area with a couple of miles of public hiking trails. A short walk from the entrance will lead you and Fido to the rock formation, which you can actually walk on. The hilltop abruptly ends in a jagged cliff, so make sure your pooch stays leashed at all times.
Feeling hungry after all that exploring? Head on down to this neighborhood, where some pup-friendly eateries with outdoor seating are located. Enjoy an Indian meal in a gated al fresco dining area at The Curry House, or bite into a donut while sitting on an outdoor bench next to your best friend at Honey Dew Donuts. Some establishments at the Franklin Village Plaza also provide outdoor tables. After filling up, you and Fido can check out Sculpture Park. Originally the site of the town pool, it is now a venue for local artists and students to display their works of art.