The City of Colchester is the fourth largest city in Vermont, wrapping around Malletts Bay and along Lake Champlain. It’s lovingly called “The Heart of Lake Champlain,” and has easy access to the lake for boating, swimming, fishing and more. Colchester also has a diverse multi-use path system that weaves throughout town. These parks and pathways, combined with the five veterinary clinics in town, make it a breeze to raise a happy, healthy puppy in Colchester.
One of the iconic things about Colchester is the causeway that crosses through Lake Champlain. This is part of the Island Line Rail Trail, an old railway that was converted into a pathway for all to enjoy. This is just one of the trails supported by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. You and Fido can walk out for 4 miles on a path with water on both sides, while enjoying gorgeous views of the lake. Leashed dogs are welcome of course!
If you and your pup are here for a visit, you won’t need to look too far for pet friendly accommodations! The Hampton Inn Colchester welcomes up to two dogs of any size per room for no extra fee. Call ahead to confirm with the Canine Concierge that there are pet friendly rooms available.
With all of these pet friendly activities and amenities, you and your pup are sure to feel comfy in Colchester!
If you and your doggo are just itching to get out into the great outdoors, head over to the Sunny Hollow Natural Area. This natural area is located in the Town Center of Colchester, right next to Saint Michael’s College. Here you can find 80 acres of diverse land, including woods, rolling meadows and streams. There is a 3 mile mountain biking path here, as well as many more hiking and cross-country ski trails. Leashed dogs are welcome as long as they get picked up after! When your stomach is growling, head over to the Lighthouse Seafood and Grill right nearby. The entire back patio of this restaurant is dog friendly, so you can chow down on some lobster next to your best pal.
Possibly one of the favorite places to hang with your dog in Colchester is Airport Park. This park can be found in the Shipman Hill neighborhood, conveniently located along the Island Line Rail Trail. In this park, you'll find large grassy fields that are perfect to sniff and play on, or throw a frisbee. There is also a 1.3 mile pathway that loops around the park. Amenities include playgrounds, restrooms, and a large variety of athletic fields. Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy along with their two-legged friends. After working up an appetite, head over to Rozzi’s Lakeshore Tavern. Here you can enjoy one of the classic American dishes at one of the dog friendly tables.
To get a little deeper into the wilderness with your furry travel companion, go check out the Niquette Bay State Park. This 553 acre park can be found in the Mallets Bay neighborhood, just off of Roosevelt Highway. The park offers scenic rocky and sandy shoreline, and a large web of hiking trails spread throughout the area. The trails access some high ridges where you can enjoy panoramic views of Mallets Bay, the Green Mountains and the Lake Champlain Islands. You dog is welcome to join you on-leash throughout the park except for the sandy beach, and is allowed to swim and play off-leash at the Calm Cove area. After working up a sweat hiking, you and your pup can rinse and repeat in the cool waters of Mallets Bay!
The Winooski River is what separates the towns of Colchester and South Burlington. Just a hop across this iconic river into the town center of South Burlington, you can find some great areas where you and your doggo can play! One of these areas is the Winooski Gorge Park. This park features a trail that leads to breathtaking views of dramatic cliffs and the Winooski Gorge far below. If you keep heading east along the river, you’ll come upon the Muddy Brook Park. This small urban park features a wooded trail along the Winooski River. You may even see some interesting wildlife along the way! Dogs are welcome to enjoy the park as long as they stay leashed and get picked up after.
In the nearby Town Center of Burlington, there are many more places to enjoy some greenery with your pooch. The Oakledge Park is loved by humans and dogs alike, and is just 20 minutes away from Colchester. This lakefront park has a rocky beach and gorgeous views. There are bike paths throughout the park that are easy on the paws, and paddle board rentals as well. The park amenities also include restrooms, bbq pits, pavilions and a variety of athletic fields. The Oakledge Park welcomes dogs as long as they are leashed and picked up after! When it’s time for a cold one, head over to Foam Brewers in the same neighborhood. They offer a rotating selection of beers that you can enjoy at one of the outdoor dog friendly tables.