Named after the British city, Reading, Massachusetts is a small, but strong community in Middlesex County and a great place to catch a breath of fresh air on your way to the state's metropolises. The close proximity of central Boston, which is located about 12 miles north, means you and Fido have plenty of recreation areas and dog-friendly places to explore nearby. You won't need to travel out of town to find quality vet care, though; there are four veterinary clinics here to keep your pup in tip-top shape, and plenty more in the surrounding areas.
If you would rather spend some time exploring nature instead of busy downtown areas, head to Reading Town Forest. This is a huge natural oasis with more than 300 acres of green space and trails for walking, hiking, and biking. Leashed dogs are very welcome here!
If you do want to see the city center, you can still enjoy some green space at Memorial Park with your leashed pooch before sharing a slice at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. Your dog will need to be on a leash while you chow down at the outdoor seating area.
Wilmington is the closest neighbor of Reading. This small, quaint town doesn't have many tourist attractions, but it does feature a great dog park right on Main Street. Wilmington Dog Park is a cool off-leash facility with lots of space to run and tennis balls to throw! Join the friendly company of the locals and “regulars” (as they would call themselves), and watch your pup socialize and have fun with some new canine companions. The park is surrounded by trails where you can also enjoy a nice leashed walk after all that playing!
Salem Street is home to a few convenient amenities for dog owners, including shops and a dog playground provided by Pet Pals of Winchester. This city boarding facility helps pooches and their owners have fun together, whether you're on the go or just don't have a big yard to let your pup roam and run off-leash. The dog park is fully fenced, has plenty of space, and pleasant grass cover suitable for sensitive paws. Your pooch is welcome to meet and play with the local pups in one of two areas for small and large hounds.
Wyoming, a central neighborhood of Melrose, is the perfect place to visit with your pup. It's home to Melrose Dog Park, which provides easy access to Ell Pond and multiple walking trails stretching along the shoreline! The dog park has plenty of space and two sections for small and large pooches to play safely and separately. Each section is covered in wood chips and features doggy drinking fountains and benches for humans. After you're finished playing, relax at one of the outdoor tables (some with umbrellas!) at D’Amici’s Bakery, where you can savor a delicious dessert. (Be sure to bring dog-safe treats for when your pooch pulls those puppy dog eyes!)
Middlesex Fells Reservation is a breathtakingly beautiful nature area that's the pawfect place for adventure. This huge recreation area will steal your heart immediately, and make your pup beg you to bring him back someday! Featuring about 2,500 acres of nature -- complete with hiking trails, ponds, lakes, a local zoo and a dog walking area -- this park is a green oasis between Melrose and Winchester. You and Fido will love exploring the landscape of rocky hills and meadows, the cool forests and ponds, and the off-leash Sheepfold Dog Park, a fenced place for pups with access to the water for a splashin' good time!
The western part of Danvers is bordered by I-95, and provides a variety of public parks to explore with a leashed pooch. The real gem, though, is Danvers Dog Park, where your mutt can go dog wild off-leash! Located right next to Endicott Park and near the Curtis Way roundabout, this fenced dog park is a great place to visit in the morning for daily exercise and training. The area is covered in gravel and has some seating for humans, but drinking water facilities only operate seasonally. You can always grab a drink at one of the three outdoor tables at Nik’s Giovannis, a pet-friendly café with salads, kebabs, and a variety of beverages.