Barre is Vermont’s fourth largest city, and it should definitely be on your list of places to see if you are visiting New England. It is not hard to reach, as it is only about seven miles from Montpelier, Vermont’s capital. It is a city as rich in culture as it is in history; you will find echoes of the quiet and peaceful lifestyle historically enjoyed by New England Residents alongside modern-day comforts and sensibilities. Above all, the city is a relaxing and beautiful backdrop for you and your dog to explore.
The city’s nine veterinary clinics guarantee that you will always feel at ease as you travel throughout Barre. You can take a stroll along the rivers that flow through town past cozy cafes and mom-and-pop shops, or visit the small but friendly parks that pop up where you least expect them. For those who love the outdoors, there are forests and parks not far from the center of town where you can make a day out of hiking and enjoy the crisp Northeastern air that sweeps through the pine-scented woodlands.
Whatever you and your dog decide to do in this cozy locale, you won’t regret — or forget — your time in Barre.
Main Street runs through the heart of Barre, making it a great place to take a stroll if you want to make some new friends or just experience the ambiance unique to New England. As you walk you’ll notice a picturesque river running alongside you. That is the Stevens Branch River, and it flows alongside the entirety of Main Street! For a light snack and some coffee, stop by Espresso Bueno — they welcome dogs at their outdoor seating area. For something a little more substantial, try Gustos. They allow canine companions outside, and they serve mainly pub fare. Also be sure to see the “World’s Largest Zipper”, a 74-foot granite sculpture of a zipper that intersects with Main Street!
Washington Street connects with Main Street and is a terrific area to explore as you make your way through Barre. If you come from the Main Street intersection, you will be greeted by the small but beautiful Vermont City Park. A modest lawn spanning about half a block, it captures the understated and elegant spirit of New England. Venture north on Academy Street, and you will run into Currier Park. This is another superb spot for a relaxing stroll. They also have a small farmer’s market on Wednesday afternoons that runs through October! Just be sure to keep your furrific friend on their leash when you’re there.
South Barre is a wonderful neighborhood that is well worth a visit. On Websterville Road, you can find the Town of Barre Community Dog Park. This is a pawsome place for canine company! It is a fenced, off-leash dog park spanning about an acre that is free (they accept donations) and managed by volunteers. As you can probably tell, it is a very tight-knit, community-driven project, so expect to meet like-minded dog lovers in abundance when you stop by! Be aware that the park can be difficult to find; park at the elementary school parking lot and follow the bike path. Branch off on the second path you encounter on your right.
A quick, seven-mile trip north of Barre will bring you to Montpelier, Vermont’s capital. Here, you can find lots to do: a good place to start is Hubbard Off-Leash Dog Park. After you’ve let off some steam, you’ll have five Fido-approved restaurants with outdoor seating to choose from! The Skinny Pancake is a local favorite, especially if you have a sweet tooth: they serve crepes, pancakes, and even poutine. The seating there is patio-style, and it provides a great view of the town as you eat! If you’re in the mood for something a bit more savory, Bagitos Café serves delicious burritos.
Perkinsville is just east of Barre and is a great place for those who enjoy the outdoors. L.R. Jones State Forest is certainly a highlight of this area: it covers over 600 acres and contains numerous walking and hiking trails that you and your dog can traverse. The trails vary in difficulty, so you can definitely find one that suits your needs. Also, the Spruce Mountain Trail culminates in the Fire Tower, which can be climbed for a fantastic view of the surrounding area. For a simpler experience, you can journey to Plainfield Town Forest, a 22-acre town forest that is open for hiking and walking its forested trails.