Cornish lies along the Connecticut River and New Hampshire’s boundary with Vermont, and is a quintessential New England town that features three covered bridges and placement alongside the scenic Croydon Mountain Range. Besides being a tourist destination, it is an art colony, where artists and writers spend their summers or live year-round. Leashed pups are welcome here, and there are 5 veterinarians in the nearby towns of Claremont, Plainfield in New Hampshire, and Windsor in Vermont, just waiting to help get your hurt or ailing fur-baby up and wagging!
The Cornish Town Forest is located on the border with neighboring Claremont and is 270 undeveloped acres of trails that cover about 10 miles and cross wetlands, forest and exposed rock ledges. All but 1 of the 5 trails are loops, and there is a logging road where you might meet motorized vehicles and horses from July through March. Terrain varies, with streams, vernal pools and some gentle climbs over undulating fields. In the winter, bring your pooch along for pawsome cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the maintained trails. Parking and access are via Tandy Brook Road or Tandy Hollow Road.
Cornish and its surrounding area offers lots of outdoor activities for you and your fun-loving fur-pup to try! Woofderful!
Cornish is home to the Cornish Wildlife Management Area (WMA) which is dog-friendly and permits unleashed pups under voice control on the property. The Cornish WMA provides boat access via a ramp on the Connecticut River if you want to take your fur-buddy for a canoe or kayak trip. The NH Fish and Game Department plants corn along birds’ migratory corridor, and plants trees along the river to protect the shoreline for the wildlife living on it, so you and Fido will see lots of both on your hikes here! The lower end of the park intersects with a covered bridge over the river from which you will have furbulous views of the water and shoreline. Be aware that hunting is permitted in season, so check the dates and prepare with blaze orange attire for both you and your pooch! Arf!
The small community of Windsor lies across the Connecticut River from Cornish and forms part of the Vermont/New Hampshire border, and it’s where you'll find the Mount Ascutney State Park. The dog-friendly park features 4 trailheads and more than 12 miles of trails for hiking, which lead to former logging and quarry sites, plus old homesteads to explore. An observation tower at the summit provides pawrrific views of the river valley, and the climb from a convenient parking lot is less than a mile. For a mid- or after-hike picnic, stop by the open stone pavilion with its spectacular views, or at one of the picnic areas at the entrance. Or make it an overnight with your furry bestie at one of the park’s 38 wooded tent/RV sites! This park is one you and the pup shouldn’t miss!
Enfield is located a few miles to the northeast of Cornish and hosts the Enfield Wildlife Management Area (WMA) also known as the Henry Laramie WMA. This forested space covers about 3,000 acres and is home to abundant wildlife, including beavers and bears. Arf! Many ponds are located within the park and are home to various species of waterfowl, as well as trout, bass, and other fish. A parking lot with boat launch on George Pond is a perfect spot to put in your canoe or kayak for a paddle with Fido, and a few short trails lead to other ponds and an old logging road. There is much to explore in this WMA! Woofderful!
The town of Lebanon is where you’ll find the trailhead of the Northern Rail Trail – Grafton County Section. The dog-friendly multi-use trail meanders south and east from Lebanon for 57 miles before ending in Boscawen, and there are many parking areas and trail entries along the way. Nine short bridges across the Mascoma River greet you and Fido in the first 4 miles, and the trail leads to the edge of Mascoma Lake, so there are opportunities for your fur-bud to take a splash and have a drink! Be sure to visit one of Lebanon’s dog-friendly restaurants before heading out on your hike, as some of the trail passes through remote areas. Try Gusanoz with their outdoor deck and Mexican menu items. Or claim one of the three outdoor tables at Three Tomatoes Trattoria and chow down on classic Italian fare. Bone appetit!
Newport is a town to the southeast of Cornish that is where the Sugar River Recreational Rail Trail arises on its 10-mile route. One of the unique characteristics of this dog-friendly trail is that it crosses its namesake river seven times, twice on covered bridges. The surface is mostly gravel and it traverses woods and river shoreline after leaving its trailhead on Belknap Avenue. Wildlife is abundant on this trail and your fur-pup will have a great time watching, sniffing and listening for deer, smaller mammals and perhaps even an occasional moose! Because this is a multi-use trail, expect to possibly meet up with horses, bikes and motorized vehicles along the way, so please keep Fido leashed for his safety. Furbulous!