Hooksett is a small New Hampshire town nestled along the Merrimack River. While most towns of this size do not have any off-leash parks for dogs, Hooksett is different. The Hooksett Dog Park, located off Merrimack Street, was opened in 2009 after months and years of planning. It is open from 6 am until dusk each day. The dog park has two fenced-in sections, and includes many amenities, such as restrooms, park benches, and picnic tables, and an agility course.
Looking for some trail fun? The Hooksett Rail Trail, a former railway line along the Portsmouth and Concord Railroad, which remained unused after 1862, is the perfect chance to get out and see some of New Hampshire’s beautiful countryside. Approximately 1.8 miles long, the trail travels from Heads Pond to Pleasant Street. Highlights include quarry bonds and a bubbling brook.
Speaking of Heads Pond, there is a 1.5-mile point-to-point trail that is open from April until October. Dog owners frequent this trail, which can become quite busy during days with good weather. It is a flat trail that offers scenic views of the pond and several plaques with information about the area’s history. Dogs must be on-leash and cleaned up after to use the trail.
Two pawsome dog-friendly areas are located in the lovely neighborhood of Allentown. The first is Hooksett Dog Park which features two off-leash play areas for small and large dogs. There is pea gravel for the dogs to run around on and a lake, but locals warn that the currents can get swift due to a nearby boat dock. Hooksett Dog Park also offers agility equipment for your dog to play with and there are shaded areas, benches, and picnic tables to relax at. If that didn’t tire your dog out, head to Hooksett Rail Trail for a great trail to walk your dog. This trail allows your dog to be off-leash while you hike, but be sure they have great recall. There are also two beautiful lakes that your pup can jump in during your adventure to cool down.
Bear Brook State Park is located on the outskirts of Hooksett. This 10,000-acre state park is a great place to take your dog for a fun day outdoors. Bear Brook offers forested parks, marshes, summits, and ponds, all great for your dog to enjoy. Your dog must stay on leash the entire time you are at the park, and is not allowed in the day-use area. Beware that this park is highly active and has archery and horseback riding, which may scare your pup. Check their webpage for a full list of pawsome dog activities at this amazing park!
Bow is less than a 15 minutes drive from Hooksett, and worth the drive to visit Bow Town Forest. This beautiful forest is full of trees and a river for your pup to enjoy, and tons of trails to hike and get some exercise. The trails are popular with mountain bikers, so be sure to be on the watch so your pup can be safe while sniffing around. Pay attention to the signs on your walk through the area, and be sure you are on the right trails. Some trails are designated for snowmobiles, which may prove a bit scary and dangerous for you and your pup!
If you’re looking for another adventure to take your pup on, then head over to Pembroke, which is a small drive away from Hooksett. Pembroke is home to Whittemore Town Forest, which is the impeccable spot to take your dog hiking and exploring. If you want to stay closer to town, then head over to Memorial Field which offers basketball courts, baseball and softball fields, and a gazebo area among other amenities. Memorial Park is awesome to take your dog to for a nice walk or picnic on a sunny day, but remember to keep your pup on-leash since it is a public park.