Fishkill is a town in Dutchess County that lies approximately 60 miles north of New York City. The Fishkill Creek it straddles is a popular trout fishing stream that flows through several parks before it empties into the Hudson River some 33 miles from its source. Hiking along its banks provides the adventurous dog lover and her pup a perfect place to view wildlife, as well as to fish. The entire town of Fishkill is an on-leash dog-friendly area, so Fido is welcome in all its parks and other natural resources. Woofderful!
The Sarah Taylor Park consists of 45 acres of parkland along the Fishkill Creek in the Village Center. You and your furry companion can tackle the half-mile walking/jogging track, with Fido on leash, and afterward share a meal in the shady picnic grove complete with a pavilion and tables. Have a sit in the gazebo, or dip your line into the creek and catch a trout or two for dinner! There are soccer fields and a playground, if you’ve brought your human family along. The creek banks are just the place to sit and contemplate the peaceful flow of the water and the day, with your furry bestie by your side. Pawsome!
If you’re in the mood for a cool dessert, head over to Cold Stone Creamery on Route 9 for an ice cream cone or a sundae. With many flavors and toppings to choose from, you’re sure to find something you can’t resist sharing with Fido at one of Cold Stone’s outdoor tables. Be sure to tie him to one of the tables while you go inside to order. Cold Stone also offers cakes, cupcakes, and smoothies, among other delectable desserts. Bone appetit!
This neighborhood is home to the dog-friendly Doug Phillips Park, a popular destination for families, especially those with pups. The park boasts softball fields and picnic areas, with a natural trail that meanders its way along the creek. For those who like to paddle, there is a kayak/canoe launch area. As the creek passes under Rte 52, there are some mild rapids, although the creek is usually described as a gentle stream. Be sure to remember to bring a life jacket for Fido! In one corner of Doug Phillips Park is the Doug Phillips Dog Park, also known as the Friendly Paws Park. This one-acre park is fully fenced for off-leash fun and socializing, and there is drinking water provided, along with benches for the humans. Toys and kiddie pools round out the amenities in this popular spot, which provides a surface of grass and dirt. Come on over and have a romp!
The Fishkill Village Center neighborhood is the place to take Fido if you and he are hungry. There are at least 7 restaurants that provide a place for him to join you for a meal, and they are as diverse as they are welcoming. All of them offer outdoor seating, and some offer a bowl of water and treats when requested. Farm to Table Bistro features unique takes on whatever is in season at the moment, and its menu ranges from omnivorous (arf!) to vegan dishes. Domo Sushi on Main Street serves up sushi and sashimi sure to please everyone in your party, including Fido. They even have a Best Friend Roll! Or try Sapore Steakhouse - perfect for a fancy seafood or meat meal on the patio with your fur-baby. For really casual fare, head over to the Bagel Shoppe, and to round out the list, there is the Hudson Sandwich Company, which lures with sandwiches like the Smoked Duck Pastrami, flatbreads, wraps, salads and more. Bone appetit!
This Fishkill neighborhood is home to the dog-friendly Willow Lake Farms, a 100-acre property featuring furnished cottages overlooking a 5-acre lake. If you are staying in the area, this is an especially good choice because besides comfortable accommodations, it provides a variety of activities to enjoy, like fishing, hiking and boating. Mowed and landscaped grounds cover 30 acres, with about 70 acres of woodlands for you and Fido to explore for wildlife. Miles of hiking trails offer something for everyone, from leisurely walks with occasional rests at the numerous benches around the lake, to a climb to the top of Fishkill Mountain.
The Baxtertown Woods Wildlife Management Area is part of the state’s efforts to maintain balance within its wildlife population by designating specific areas for hunting and trapping deer and small mammals like otter and rabbits, as well as birds. Dogs are welcome to accompany their hunting/fishing/trapping humans within the 250-acre designated hunting area, which is made up of undeveloped fields, wetlands and woods. If hunting or trapping are not your thing, but you and Fido would like to hike through the area, Fido should be on-leash and wearing orange during the posted hunting season. Be sure to carry plenty of water and waste bags, and carry out anything you carry in. This is a near-wilderness area with no marked trails, so also be sure to bring safety gear such as binoculars and a compass. And an orange hat or vest! Happy hiking or hunting!
A few miles south of Fishkill lies Cold Spring, a village on the east bank of the Hudson River. It is host to the dog-friendly Hudson Highlands State Park, 7,669 acres of forested land, with salt marshes at the river’s edge, and cliffs. It is a popular day-hiking location, including the steep and somewhat treacherous climb up Breakneck Ridge. Dogs are welcome throughout the park, and there are several less daunting trails to be had there, although most consist at least in part of some rocky outcroppings and ascents. Part of the Appalachian Trail passes through the park, and the 9 trails total about 44 miles when taken separately. When your 3-4-hour hike is finished, head over to the Cold Spring Depot Restaurant for a hearty hamburger with all the fixings, with your fur-baby by your side at one of their outdoor tables. And don’t forget to share!