Manchester is a small bedroom community only 3 miles from Maine’s state capital of Augusta. The town is surrounded by natural resources that outdoors-loving dogs and their families will enjoy, including lakes and ponds, trails, forest and fields.
Cobbosseecontee Lake, also known as Cobbossee Lake, is a large body of water which Manchester shares with other nearby towns. It features many small dog-friendly and accessible islands with their coves and inlets, and your fur-pup is welcome to join you for a boating excursion among them. The islands are largely unoccupied, and any island not posted as private land is open to humans and their doggos to visit and explore. Many species of birds live on the islands or spend time there on their migratory trips twice a year.
Manchester is also home to Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream, a must-stop for you and Fido after your exploration of Cobbossecontee Lake’s islands. Their homemade ice cream comes in a variety of typical flavors, along with tongue-tingling unique ones like Indian Pudding and Ginger Snap. Your pup is welcome to join you at one of the outdoor tables, and drive-through is available too! Pawsome!Whether you live in Manchester with your pup, or the two of you are just visiting, be sure to get outdoors and enjoy the parks, trails and dog-friendly restaurants in the area!
The Jamie's Pond Wildlife Management Area is 800 acres of land that straddles Manchester in next-door neighbor Hallowell. This dog-friendly area permits dogs to be off-leash if they are under good voice control, and welcomes them on its extensive network of hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails that are well marked. You and your fur-buddy will see a large number of birds, including raptors, loons, and songbirds on and near Jamie's Pond itself, which is open to paddlers of all kinds. The Manchester area is also home to a large network of snowmobile trails that are well-maintained and -marked. Skiers and snowshoers are also welcome on these byways, with their furry besties by their sides. Be aware that snowmobiles always have the right of way.
Belgrade Lakes, in the town of Belgrade, features a unique opportunity for you to spend even more time outdoors with your fur-baby. The Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, which is the area’s public course, welcomes dogs! This is an unusual feature for a golf club and made especially attractive because of the idyllic setting Belgrade Lakes provides. Beautifully landscaped and surrounded by woodlands, this course is a perfect place to just stroll with your fur-pup, and the pleasure of playing 18 holes is an added delight! Leashed or unleashed well-controlled pups can be seen enjoying the outdoors with their humans, and so far, no one is complaining about balls going missing, although that may just be considered one of the hazards! Arf!
The Waterville Area Dog Park is located in the adjacent town of Waterville. This fenced 1-acre plot of land features separate large and small dog areas. The grassy surface is unobstructed, making for great running and cavorting with other dogs. Picnic tables and convenient waste containers are provided, but be sure to bring drinking water and a bowl, plus waste bags. And don’t forget the balls and frisbees! Waterville also hosts the Mainely Brews Restaurant and Brewhouse, a dog-friendly spot to go after the romp in the dog park! Serving fabulous food and a large patio for your doggo date, you’ll also find a wide variety of beer to slake your thirst. Woofderful!
This neighborhood, also known as North Augusta/ U of Maine at Augusta, is home to the Augusta Dog Park, a city-owned park that is maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers. Located on the banks of the Kennebec River, the park is open year-round and features a double-gated safety entrance, drinking water hauled in by volunteers, waste containers, and picnic tables for human relaxation while the doggos romp. There is even a shelter for those cold days, or rare hot days. Because the park is surrounded on 3 sides by woodlands, you and your pup may even be treated to the sight of birds, wildlife and the occasional bald eagle! Woofderful!
The Kennebec River Rail-Trail begins in this neighborhood at the Riverfront Park, and travels 6.5 miles to its end at Gardiner. This dog-friendly trail is a great destination for walks with your favorite pup, and is open for cycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading as well. In the winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are favorite activities along the trail. As it follows the course of the Kennebec, the views of Augusta and its surrounding towns are fantastic. The paved, mostly flat route is easy, and is host to several races and other events during the year. Bring your pup and travel the Kennebec River Rail-Trail for some year-round exercise and adventure.