For a quiet weekend getaway with your pup in upstate New York, why not head to Southwick Beach State Park? Just 30 minutes from Watertown and about an hour from Syracuse, this nearly 500-acre site is known for its long sandy beach on Lake Ontario. Swimming and sunning are some of the most pawpular activities here, but before you grab your beach gear, know that four-legged visitors are not allowed in the bathing and picnic areas. There are still other things that you can do with your canine companion, though, such as hiking and camping.
Southwick Beach State Park offers 2 miles of hiking trails for you and your doggo to explore, some of which extend into the adjoining Lakeview Wildlife Management Area. To explore both the state park and the WMA, hit the Lake Ontario Dune Trail, which begins at Southwick Beach, winds through Lakeview, then loops back to Southwick Beach. As you and Fido follow this easy route, you will encounter a variety of habitats, including woodlands, meadows, marshes, red cedar-maple forests, abandoned apple orchards, and coastal sand dunes. Wooden walkovers let you and your pooch travel across the environmentally sensitive dunes without disturbing them. Note that this trail can get muddy, so bring wet wipes or a towel for Fido's paws! During the winter, you and your pup can snowshoe around Southwick Beach.
The state park's extensive campground, which contains tent and trailer sites, welcomes up to two furry campers per site. If Fido likes lounging under shade trees, pick a spot on loop D. If you need a bit more room, loops A and C have slightly bigger sites, but they're not as shady as loop D. Keep in mind that all dogs visiting Southwick Beach must stay on a 6-foot leash and have proof of their current rabies vaccination. Don't forget to bring doggie waste bags, too!
Have a furrific time with your best pal at Southwick Beach State Park!