Rowley is a former manufacturing town that produced shoes, textiles, boats and wooden wagons. Manufacturing continues to be a large commercial sector, along with construction and real estate. More interesting for pups, however, is the numerous parks and trail systems that are pup-friendly and perfect for outdoors-loving humans and their dogs. Rowley also contains 2 veterinarians in case your pooch becomes ill or injured.
The William Forward Wildlife Management Area, which Rowley shares with the town of Newbury, is 2083 acres of marshy wetland and wooded upland that features walking and bicycling trails in beautiful surroundings. Bridges and boardwalks span the wetter areas, and being able to paddle in a canoe or kayak through the marshes with your fur-buddy is a bonus. The WMA is open year-round and lends itself to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well. You and your leashed pup will encounter many birds on your trek, whatever time of year, and many forms of wildlife live here, including amphibians, deer, and fox. What a furbulous nature walk for Fido!
Whatever reason you have for being in the Rowley area, you’re going to enjoy the many pawrrific opportunities for outdoor fun and exploration!
Rowley is home to the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest. This park of over 1,000 acres is made up of forested land with scenic views. A multi-use trail system here welcomes leashed dogs with their humans for hiking and biking in summer, and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in winter. The intersecting, looped trails are accessed by a parking area on Pingree Farm Road, and meander through woods, wetlands, along and over brooks and around ponds. When you’re done hiking for the day, head on over to Spud’s Restaurant and Pub, where there are outside tables waiting for you and your furry date. Have the classic American hamburger and fried spuds, or make it a Cowboy Bourbon Burger. If red meat isn’t your thing, try one of their seafood offerings! Bone appetit!
This neighborhood of Ipswich, just southeast of Rowley, hosts the dog-friendly Willowdale State Forest. The forest is divided by Route 1 into virtually 2 separate parks with a total of 40 miles of multi-use trails. There is also a large pond in the western section called Hood Pond. The trails consist of single-lane dirt and paved road, as well as unpaved tracks, which intersect and loop through wetlands and forest, and over or through small brooks. This is the kind of hiking space that will make you feel peacefully alone with your fur-pup: quiet and calming. In the winter, come back for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing – you won’t find any noisy snowmobiles out here to fracture the quiet essence of the place. Come enjoy the woofderful trails with your pooch!
The Ipswich Town Center is where you’ll find Nichols Field, on a road with an interesting name: Labor-in-Vain Road, named after Labor-in-Vain Creek nearby. This pup-friendly park is a 15-acre open field with gentle hills that slope down to the Creek, with grassy wetlands on one side, and the Ipswich River on the other. The trails form a series of 3 loops that traverse the meadow and provide views of the river and marsh below. Imagine your fur-pup strolling by your side on his leash, heading across the grass field with birds singing in the trees surrounding you. Pawrrific!
This neighborhood in Ipswich contains Crane Beach, over 1200 acres of conservation area that is open year-round and allows leashed pups to roam with their humans from October through April. It features 5.5 miles of hiking trails through the dunes and woodlands surrounding the beach, and provides restrooms, showers and changing facilities for the humans’ convenience. The 6 trails are comprised of loops and out-and-backs, crossing and intersecting the Castle Neck portion of the Crane Beach peninsula, with other trails on the west side. With this much space to roam, this is sure to be one of your favorite adventures in the barktiful Ipswich area!
Topsfield is home to dog-friendly Bradley Palmer State Park, featuring 721 acres of pine forest and sun-drenched meadows where you and your special Fido can hike in the summer, cross-country ski in the winter. The park features several picnic areas, plus restrooms for that time when you’ve hiked enough for the day, or just need a quick break before setting out on another trek. If you like being on the water with your fur-pup, you can launch a canoe or kayak at the boat ramp and paddle away on the Ipswich River. The combination of river, woods, fields and gentle hills makes this a pawrfect spot to spend an hour or a whole day with your furry bestie. Arf!