Northwood is a small town in the southeast portion of New Hampshire. Once a center for sawmills and shoe manufacturing, it is currently a popular vacation spot because of its natural environment which comprises of 9 lakes. Fishing, biking, walking and hiking, as well as winter sports, bring tourists year round, and their dogs are welcome to come with them, on-leash.
Northwood Meadows State Park is an area of pup-friendly wilderness spanning 674 acres. This park features vast wetlands with numerous waterfowl and moose, and forested tracts that are home to large and small mammals and birds. The park also contains 8 easily accessible trails that total approximately 12 miles and are perfect for biking, hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, all with your fur-buddy in tow. There is even a pond, formed by a dammed stream, that offers fishing and non-motorized boating for you and Fido to enjoy together.Saddleback Mountain is in Northwood as well. This 1,150-ft mountain provides dog-friendly hiking trails that circle the lower portion of the mountain and climb to the vista. This is not considered a very challenging mountain-climbing experience, more like a strenuous walk, which is perfect for a leisurely afternoon for you and your furry friend.
Northwood Lake is named for the lake in the northwest section of Northwood. A popular destination for fishing and other water sports, the lake itself is surrounded by single-family homes and campsites. Your furry companion is welcome to join in the fishing and paddling, although he is not permitted on the beach. However, the rest of the lakeshore is open to him, on leash. The lake is easy to get to via Route 4 which follows about 2 miles of the shoreline. When hunger strikes, Johnson Seafood and Steak is a fur-friendly restaurant that sits on the lake’s north shore. Open for lunch and dinner, find a wide variety of dishes on the menu, from sandwiches to lobster pie, from haddock to prime rib. Bone apetit!
This 456-acre wildlife area is managed by the NH Fish and Game, whose mission is to protect wildlife and provide accessible outdoor recreation opportunities for the public. The Forest Peters Area consists of wetlands that form the headwaters of the Lamprey River, along with forestland and meadows. This protected area is home to waterfowl and other birds, moose, and deer. Dog-friendly trails connect with those of Northwood Meadows State Park and Parsonage Lot Town Forest, and provide ample opportunities to view numerous species of wildlife and native foliage and a long trek through these areas. There’s even a beaver pond for the curious among you!
Adjacent to Northwood, Lee is a small town that is definitely dog-friendly. Its Friend-lee Pets Dog Park, which is behind the Friendly Pets Store, is a 30,000 sq ft fenced yard for play, running and socializing while owners watch and admire. For timid or small dogs, there is a smaller, gated area where they can feel safe. The park provides dog shelters and picnic tables for rest and shelter, as well as agility and endurance equipment. Fresh water is provided, and there is even a fenced in dog watering-hole to splash and cool off. The store offers a pet-bakery with furr-licious cookies and cakes for your Bestie. Another dog-friendly spot in Lee is DeMerritt Hill Farm where your leashed fur-pup is welcome. The farm features pick-your-own fruit and vegetables, as well as hiking trails, a bakery, a hayride attraction and 2 play areas for the non-furry children.
This neighborhood in Durham, a short drive from Northwood on Route 4, hosts a few Fido-friendly restaurants. Bella’s welcomes pups at its outdoor seating, where you can enjoy such delicacies as calamari, roast pork, fried fish and other dishes that will make you both drool. Aroma Joe’s offers human furr-liciousness in the form of coffees and teas, and pup-shareable items like Bacon English Muffins, biscuits and smoothies. Doggo will have to stay tethered outside while you go in to order, but he will think the wait is worth it! On Main Street, Tacomano Street Food awaits! You and your canine date can sidle up to one of the outdoor tables and enjoy tacos, quesadillas and salads, with a wide selection of toppings and fillings. Yum!
Just a few miles east of Durham is the town of Dover, and home to the Dover Community Trail. Built upon an old railroad line, the trail is flat and easy for a stroll with Fido. It has 4 sections, and is open year-round. Pups must be leashed on the 3.8-mile trail, which begins at Fisher St and ends at Watson Rd. With an asphalt and crushed stone surface, it’s possible to bike, skate, walk, or cross-country ski. As the trail heads north from Fisher Street, it passes the Dover Cassily Community Garden, a peaceful place where you and Fido can watch the progress of the vegetables planted there in the summer months.