Pownal is a rural town in Maine about 20 miles from Portland, and less than 10 miles from the coast. It is primarily an agricultural area, but many of its residents commute to Portland, Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick for work.
It’s likely that Pownal’s most well-known feature is the 800-acre Bradbury Mountain State Park. Although it's only 500 feet tall, the mountain is a very popular destination for visitors and locals alike because the short, most direct route to the summit is easy and, once there, the views of the surrounding areas are magnificent. Best of all, this is a dog-friendly park where dogs are welcome on leash everywhere, including the large campground. Whether hiking on one of the many trails, picnicking with your pup at the summit, or watching for migrating hawks and eagles in the spring and fall, Bradbury is an accessible park you can return to again and again with your pup. With 18 trails of varying difficulty, drinking water and restrooms, it is open all year for you and your pup to enjoy.
There are many campgrounds throughout Maine, but the Blueberry Campground in Pownal is a special, dog-friendly place to stay that is convenient to Bradbury Mountain. Just far enough away from the coast to escape the sometimes-chilling fog, the campground offers woods and fields with birds and other wildlife, along with marked nature trails, stone walls, and ponds to explore with your fur-buddy. The only place he isn’t permitted is in the pool! Grill a steak or lobster over one of their grill pits at one of the wooded or open campsites, some of which are reserved in a less-congested and quiet area of the campground for woofer occupancy.
Whether for an afternoon adventure, or a weekend vacation, Pownal is a pawrific place to be!
Freeport may be best known as a shopping destination for locals and visitors alike. Your pup may be more interested in the Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park’s 200 acres that sit on a peninsula jutting into Casco Bay. Not only does this park offer spectacular views and a variety of ecosystems to explore with your leashed pup, but you can also view the ospreys that nest on Googins Island nearby. The Casco Bay Trail ends at a point where many of the islands can be viewed, and where you and Fido can enjoy a picnic under the trees or a barbecue in the shelter. Bring your pupper on a guided nature walk, or enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter – the park is open all year! When back on the main land, enjoy a meal at the pup-friendly Jameson’s Tavern on Main St. They would be happy to set up an outdoor seating area for you and Fido to enjoy local seafood, steaks, burgers or chicken.
This neighborhood of nearby Freeport is home to the Freeport Village Campground, which welcomes your leashed or tied fur-buddy. Their camper/RV sites include electricity, sewer and trash service, picnic tables at every site, activities, and lots of other amenities. The Cedar Haven Campground features sites for campers and RVs, as well as more secluded tent sites, and if you don’t have a camper of your own, they have 2 available for rent! They also have cabins, and all sites have fireplaces and picnic tables. You and your furry Bestie, on leash or tied, have plenty of room to frolic, including kayaking or canoeing on the pond or hanging out on the beach.
New Gloucester is a village adjacent to Pownal, and is home to the popular New Gloucester Village Store, a fur-friendly destination for eating in, take-out, market goods, catering or eating at the outdoor tables with Fido. Despite its somewhat remote location, this place serves up some interesting and unexpected fare, like the Lox and Havarti Omelet. The store makes pizza in its wood-fired oven with freshly made dough, and also features sandwiches and wraps to share with your fur-pup. You will both find something here to your liking. Bone apetit!
North Yarmouth is a town just southwest of Pownal, and is home to several parks, all of which are dog-friendly, meaning dogs must be leashed or in immediate voice control. One of the local favorites is the Old Town House Park featuring 62 acres of open space, including fields and wetlands, making it a great walking and hiking destination with your fur-friend at your side. The entire network totals about 3 miles, and you have many options for your route on the well-marked trails, including raised boardwalks across the wetlands. Another popular spot is the 300-acre Knight’s Pond Preserve which offers dog-friendly walking and running paths, as well as paddling, fishing, and other outdoor activities among the forestland and fields, and on the pond. Ducks and other water fowl share this active spot. To rid yourself of hunger pangs, stop in at the Toddy Brook Café for breakfast, lunch or dinner with your puppy-date for casual, delicious fare. They’ll reserve a table for you outside!
This neighborhood is
approximately 15 miles from Pownal in the town of Brunswick, and home to the area’s only dog park, the
Merrymeeting Dog Park. This fenced 1.5-acre park is located along the Androscoggin
River, alongside the Androscoggin River Bicycle and Pedestrian Path. It
features separate small and large dog areas, beautiful views of the river, and
year-round romping for you and your best beastie. Other features include water,
Dogipots, benches and human rest rooms. The Androscoggin River Bicycle and Pedestrian Path is a paved, on-leash trail of about
3.5 miles in length. The path is plowed and sanded in winter to keep the fun