Nestled between the Green and Taconic Mountains in southwestern Vermont, Manchester is the quintessential New England town. Whether you're thinking of going on an exciting adventure, or just a quiet getaway with your pup, you'll find it here. Manchester also has one animal hospital to take care of your best friend's needs.
at the Equinox Preserve.
over 914 acres on the slopes of Mount Equinox, the preserve is home
to various rare plants, wildlife, woodlands, marble ledges, wetlands,
springs, and a pond. Gorgeous
views await along the trails and at the summit. Doggos
are free to explore the preserve
off-leash except on
Pond Loop and when approaching other trail users.
your convenience, waste
bags and disposal bins are provided at the informational kiosks.
Prospect Rock in the nearby town of Manchester Center is another spot that offers a bird's-eye view of the Manchester Valley. Hikers say there's not much to see on the 3.1-mile, out-and-back trail, but that the beautiful view at the top is well worth the hike. Fido is welcome to join you on the trek up Prospect Rock but must remain on a leash at all times.
Come discover Manchester, a small town with big city perks, with your pooch!
If your pup has way too much energy, let him run it off at the Manchester Dog Park in nearby Manchester Center. Located inside the Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park, this off-leash dog park consists of two fenced-in areas: one for smaller and older dogs and another for larger pooches. The Manchester Dog Park is open every day from sunrise to sunset, giving canines in the area the opportunity to play and socialize all year round. Make sure Fido's tags and vaccinations are updated before visiting. If time and energy permits, explore the rest of the 88-acre Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park, which features a six-lane swimming pool, multipurpose athletic fields, three playgrounds, a one-mile walking path, and other facilities.
For a quiet walk among the woods without having to stray from the heart of town, head to the Manchester Riverwalk in Manchester Center. This pathway meanders along the West Branch of the Battenkill River through a hidden glen and passes by a waterfall, offering serene sights and sounds that will put even the tensest visitor at ease. The Manchester Riverwalk is accessible via the Factory Point Town Green, which is also a nice spot to hang out with your pooch. While you're there, check out the two historic items housed at the town green: an interpretative marker on local history and a marble monument that used to be part of the original Center Bridge.
If you and your best pal are up for a moderately challenging hike, proceed to the Lye Brook Falls Trail in Manchester Center. Part of the Green Mountain National Forest, this 4.7-mile, out-and-back trail leads up to a lovely natural waterfall and, according to hikers, takes about 2-3 hours to complete round trip. The Lye Brook Falls Trail follows along Lye Brook, traveling up a steady slope and through a few small stream crossings. Keep Fido leashed while on the trail and don't forget to take photos once you make it to the falls! Do not attempt to climb the falls, however, as the rocks are slippery.
The Merck Forest & Farmland Center is a family- and dog-friendly destination in the nearby town of Rupert. With a mission to teach innovative and sustainable management of forest and farmland, the non-profit offers a myriad of activities and recreational opportunities to the public. Drop by with Fido for a day hike on the 30-plus miles of trails, or stay overnight in a cabin or lean-to. The trails range from easy to difficult, with many going through the forest and providing stunning views of the Taconic and Adirondack Mountains. Canine companions are welcome at the Merck Forest & Farmland Center, but must remain leashed around the farm and at the visitor center.
The Mad Tom Orchard in neighboring East Dorset is a must-visit for puppers who love their apples. This pick-your-own orchard grows some of New England's favorite varieties, including McIntosh, Cortland, Ginger Gold, Northern Spy, and Honeycrisp. During weekends, you can also purchase locally made apple cider and donuts. Well-behaved dogs on a leash are allowed in the apple orchard, but not in the raspberry field. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy views of the Taconic Mountains while you and Fido pick apples. As always, clean up after your pooch. Plastic bags are provided in case you forgot to bring your own.