Top Dog Friendly Things To Do In New England
New England has rich history, culture, fascinating cities, scenic villages, and outdoor adventures at every turn. It’s a brilliant place to explore white sand beaches, lighthouses, lakes, and panoramic mountain views with your best furry travel companion!
New England is known for its quaint cities, beautiful nature, and rich history. Composed of six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, each has its own culture and claim to fame. From the peaks of the mountains to the crashing ocean shores, I am thrilled to share some of my favorite adventures in dog friendly New England!
Dog Friendly New England
Halibut Point State Park – Rockport, Massachusetts
Halibut Point State Park is a coastal park with a granite quarry, almost three miles of trails, and expansive views. There is also a visitor center and a tower that looks like a lighthouse on the grounds.
Halibut Point is one of our favorite destinations in Massachusetts. The trail begins in the woods before arriving at the tower and runs into the quarry. We never miss the opportunity to take photos at the tower before appreciating the unusual geological features of the quarry.
The trail loops around the quarry providing numerous opportunities to stand on the rocky ledges and admire the panoramic views.
As the trails head down to the shore, the rocks can be challenging for those with mobility issues. But for dogs, they provide great opportunities for rock jumping, tidal pool exploring, and lounging to appreciate the therapeutic sounds of the crashing waves.
If you are a fan of a rocky shoreline or the geological features of a quarry, this definitely is your place!
Covered Bridges – Throughout New England
One of the most recognizable landmarks of New England is the covered bridge. Originally created to protect the deck from harsh New England winters, covered bridges have a distinctive style.
Though you might not have thought to add a covered bridge to your travel itinerary, they really are a must-do when traveling to New England! And almost every bridge is perfectly pet friendly!
Some of our covered bridge adventures have been simple — a regal pose and some time to sniff around a new place. Others have involved a hike, or picnicking on the sand or rocks under the bridge.
If you want to appreciate a quintessential New England landmark and get a great photo of your dog, this definitely is your place!
White Mountains – New Hampshire
The White Mountains cover about a quarter of New Hampshire and a small portion of western Maine. With 48 peaks of over 4,000 feet, they are are popular for skiing, hiking, and ATVing.
For a short visit to the White Mountains, take a drive on the Kancamangus Highway. Some of the best stops along the way are the Rocky Gorge, Lincoln Woods, and Sabbaday Falls.
You’ll find endless hiking trails, from easy to strenuous. Many even include lakes, waterfalls, and flowing water. Some of my favorites are Arethusa Falls, the Basin-Cascade Trail, Ripley Falls, the Ammoonsuc Trail, and Lonesome Lake. And almost every hike in the White Mountains is pet friendly!
If you are an outdoor lover, a waterfall chaser, or a fan of the perfect view, this definitely is the place for you!
Cape Cod – Massachusetts
Cape Cod is a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern corner of Massachusetts. It’s a popular summer destination known for its laid-back lifestyle, and tourists come for the beaches, lighthouses, ponds, villages, seafood shacks, and dockside restaurants.
We love Cape Cod most in the off-season, when it is one of the most dog friendly places in New England. And much less crowded! However, you will find many places are pet friendly all year around. Especially in Provincetown, which is located on the very tip of the peninsula.
Our Cape Cod memories include beaches, lighthouses, and Nickerson State Park. But we’ve also visited gardens, windmills, and even gone shopping with the dogs.
While there are unlimited beaches to choose from, our favorites are Town Neck Beach with its gorgeous boardwalk, and Cahoon Hollow Beach requiring a long walk down a dune. One aspect of Cape Cod I love is the dunes, a spectacular and unusual site in New England.
If you love swimming, lounging on the beach, and lighthouses, this definitely is your place!
Gillette Castle – New Haddam, Connecticut
Gillette Castle is our favorite destination in Connecticut. This state was once the estate of William Gillette, a famous actor in the early 1900’s. Later purchased by the state of Connecticut, the park now surrounds the famous Gillette Castle and has a visitor center, museum, hiking trails, and picnic areas. There are even live theater events and walking tours available to visitors!
We love meandering the trails, catching the views high above the Connecticut River, traversing the ponds, and discovering the rustic bridges.
In addition to enjoying the scenery, we like wandering around outside the castle. The intricate details and spectacular architecture of this fieldstone structure definitely do not disappoint. Though pets cannot go in the buildings, it seems like every time we visit this park we fine a new feature to admire.
So if you are a fan of the medieval, love river views, or like hiking in the woods, this definitely is your place!
READ MORE ⇒ Visiting Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport with Dogs
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park – Freeport, Maine
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park spans approximately 250 acres on a peninsula between Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River. It contains various ecosystems and is known for the local ospreys that nest on Googins Island. Open year around, the park is popular for bird watching, walking, educational programs, and picnicking.
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is a recent addition to our list of dog friendly things to do in New England. With miles of trails, ospreys among the trees, and brilliant water views, we love the variety of terrain.
Several trails provide opportunities to get close to the water, whether by way of a sandy beach, stairwell, or jagged slopped rocks. But my favorite thing about Wolfe’s Neck Woods are the views of Casco Bay from high above the shore.
The dramatic colors of the water, almost tropical in places, contrast with the texture of the rocks creating a magnificent scene.
If you are a lover of geology, an avid birdwatcher, or a fan of a rocky shoreline, this definitely is your place!
Dog Mountain – St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Dog Mountain is a 150-acre dog friendly haven on a mountaintop in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The property was owned by the talented artist, furniture maker, sculptor, and author, Stephen Huneck.
Sadly, Huneck died at just 61. However, his vision lives on with Dog Mountain’s Dog Chapel, art gallery, and numerous pet friendly trails, ponds. They even host dog friendly events, including parties and concerts.
The Dog Chapel, dedicated to our fallen furry friends, is a healing place for all those who have lost a furry friend. Photographs and notes to departed pets cover the walls several layers deep. And each detail of the chapel is exquisite, from the dog carvings on the pews, to the the stained glass windows, to the statues.
The second thing to love about Dog Mountain is the gallery, which contains artwork and numerous other products created by Huneck. The best part of this gallery is that dogs can shop by your side. All of the proceeds help to keep Dog Mountain in business, so be sure to support this wonderful place.
READ MORE ⇒ Another Visit to Dog Mountain
Finally, you won’t want to miss the trails, pond, and other features throughout the property. The trails are simple, but scenic, especially in the autumn months. There is a beautiful pond where dog friends often gather to play. And you’ll find dog statues in various places, dog carvings adorn the fence, and other special treasures scattered around. I can promise that you have never seen anything like it!
If you are an animal lover, or you have lost a precious pet, this definitely is your place!
Lighthouses – Throughout New England
Lighthouses are another classic sight in New England. Designed to assist ships with navigation, lighthouses are symbols of the area’s naval heritage.
All of the New England states have lighthouses, with Maine featuring the most. In order to have a true New England experience, you must visit a lighthouse. And you will be happy to find that many lighthouses are pet friendly!
Some of our lighthouse adventures have involved views from afar. Others have included hiking to or around a park in which one is located. And of course all of these visits included dozens of photos to memorialize our trip and these stunning structures.
If you want to experience a nautical New England landmark and capture a perfect photo of your dog, this is definitely your place!
Acadia National Park – Bar Harbor, Maine
Acadia National Park encompasses 47,000 acres in Northeastern Maine. It is popular with fall foliage seekers, winter skiers, hikers, and those who enjoy fishing.
We have absolutely loved our visits to Acadia National Park — definitely one of the most beautiful, dog friendly places in New England. The landscape is unique and gorgeous, with trees emerging from the rocky shore and waves crashing dramatically into the boulders. And exploring at sunrise and sunset adds a magical touch to the spectacular scene.
READ MORE ⇒ Exploring Acadia National Park with Dogs
We are far from experts on this park. However some of our adventures have included hiking around Jordan Pond and visiting Cadillac Mountain.
There are several mountain climbs we are excited to try when we return. Most of Acadia is dog friendly, including the park shuttle. But a few places are not, so make sure you do some research.
If you love dog friendly national parks, spectacular views, hiking, and the coast, this definitely is your place.
I hope you and your dog friend will take the opportunity to visit New England. I can promise that you will not regret it!
About the Author: Heather Parsons is a dog rescue mom, blogger, outdoor lover, and a true Patriots fan! She and her dogs spend their free time exploring dog friendly New England, capturing the moments through words and photographs. You can learn more about these locations and follow Heathers adventures at adventuresofshadowandwilma.com. All photos in this post belong exclusively to Heather Parsons.
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