Ossipee lies close to New Hampshire’s border with Maine, amid forests and lakes that attract many outdoors-loving folks and their pups for year-round adventures. Once a mill town, Ossipee’s development into a resort area boomed after the arrival of railroad service in the 1800s. And while no one expects their pups to become ill or injured, rest assured that Ossipee hosts one animal hospital, with several more in the surrounding towns of Center Ossipee, Meredith and Wolfeboro, all ready to get them up and wagging again!
The Long Sands Constitution Park is a recreational area with something for everyone, including access to Ossipee Lake, several picnic areas, soccer and baseball fields, and a boat ramp. But what will interest your fur-baby most are the trails that loop through the park, across a swamp on a raised walkway, and up to the top of a hill where you’ll find scenic views of the Ossipee River Valley. An esker and drumlin, both raised spits of land, make for a light challenge for hikers, and the interlocking trails total a bit over a mile. The elevated walkway over the red maple swamp affords great views of waterfowl and other wildlife, including birds and mammals, perhaps beaver! Arf! If you and your fur-buddy are in the mood for a trip on the lake, or out the channel to Broad Bay, the town boat ramp made of gently sloping packed sand will get you on the water fast!
If you’re a visitor in Ossipee, or you live here and are looking for some furtastic outdoor fun with your pooch, you’re sure to find a lot to do!
If you and your fur-baby are looking for a place to stay in Ossipee, consider the Beaver Hollow Campground on Route 16, a great family campground with lots for the human kiddos to do, including a pool, playgrounds, organized activities and more. But best of all, it sits on 40 acres of woodsy land that is yours for the exploring! Well-kept roads and paths meander through the property so you can feel alone with nature while able to walk to and from your campsite. Your fur-pup is welcome on a leash, and will have a puptastic time nosing out the wildlife that abounds here. When hunger strikes, head over to Harley Jacks, just up Route 16, where you’ll find ample outdoor seating to share with your furry bestie and a huge menu with everything from burgers to sliced yellowfin tuna on a bed of corn salsa, or fried sprouts and asparagus, followed by tummy-filling full dinners like prime rib or baked haddock casserole! Bone Appetit!
Just south of Ossipee is the town of Wolfeboro, on Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in the state. Lake Winnipesaukee is so big, some of its nooks and crannies are called bays instead of coves, and it’s on Wolfeboro Bay that you’ll find the Sewall Woods Conservation Area. Sewall Woods features several gentle multi-use paved trails within the park, along with the terminus of the Abenaki-Sewall Woods Bike Path network, which originates at the Abenaki Ski Area, also in Wolfeboro. In fact, the list of pup-friendly parks and trails in Wolfeboro is long, and includes Bean Park, a downtown pocket park with views of Back Bay; the Bridge Falls Path, a .5-mile trail that connects a regional network of trails; Cate Park, a downtown riverfront park that is pawrfect for a picnic and a stroll or an outdoor event; and the Cotton Valley Trail which provides year-round recreation and unmotorized commuting options.
This area of Wolfeboro is home to the dog-friendly Nicholas J Pernokas Recreation Park, known locally as the Nick. The Nick features playing fields and lots of grassy and wooded areas for wandering with Fido, plus a pawrrific playground for the kiddos. Refreshing Lake Wentworth is a short walk through the trees. Pups are welcome to join you on a leash throughout the park except in the playground and track areas, and there’s even a fenced dog park where they can frolic and socialize off-leash! A huge 8 acres, the dog park features picnic tables and umbrellas for the humans’ comfort, along with an agility course, kiddie pool and water for the beasties. Furtastic!
Effingham is a small town just northeast of Ossipee, and it’s where you’ll find the pet-welcoming Pine River State Forest, which flows a few miles into Ossipee as well and can be accessed via Route 16. This forest features many trails and roads for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing that cross through pine and oak forest with their bird and mammal populations, and wetlands with waterfowl, amphibians and water-loving mammals like beaver. Arf! What a treat for Fido! Be sure to bring plenty of water whether you’re hiking, skiing or snowshoeing, and wear layers to accommodate changing weather conditions.
Ossipee’s neighbor Tuftonboro hosts 4 short, connected, mountainside hiking trails that are pawrfect for those days when you and your fur-pup can’t, well, spend all day. Or you could do all 4 and have a longer adventure! The Black Snout Trail is about a .6-mile out and back, and features a furtastic viewing area near the end. The Canaan Mountain Trail is almost a mile long and connects with the Dave Green Trail. The Dave Green is 1.5 miles round-trip, but connects with the Sentinel Corridor Trail, which is about a mile round trip. All of these trails are on Tuftonboro’s Mount Shaw, and can be accessed via Old Mountain Road and Canaan Road near Dan Hole Pond. These are furbulous walks for scenic views and wildlife spying! Woofderful!