Hoping to get out and about this summer with your closest canine companions? We got you covered. Whether it’s salty air and sandcastles at dog-welcoming beaches, doggo socials at local dog parks or mountain trails forgiving to those with four legs, here are the best dog-friendly activities to get you and your pup soaked in some sunrays this summer.
Although dogs aren’t allowed on any ocean beaches in New Hampshire state parks, there are several pet-friendly beaches along the state’s 18 miles of shoreline to explore.
Seabrook Beach > Located in Seabrook between Hampton Beach and Salisbury Beach, Seabrook Beach is a dog-friendly hidden gem for you and your pet. Dogs are required to be leashed year-round, and are limited to the hours of before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. With this in mind, we recommend visiting off-season.
Foss Beach > Foss Beach in Rye is a town-owned beach, which means that you and your dog are allowed from sunrise to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. the Saturday before Memorial Day through the Saturday after Labor Day (and anytime during the off-season). It’s a long stretch of beach that runs from the Rye Harbor State Park along Ocean Boulevard past Washington Road. While the beach is rocky, you are allowed to have your dog off the leash as long as they are under voice control. Make sure to check the tidal charts before you head out, as this beach disappears during high tide.
Hudson Dog Park at Benson Park > Located on the grounds of the original 166-acre Benson Wild Animal Park, this park boasts plenty of room for your dog to romp around from sunrise to sunset, and there are even two separate areas, large and small, for dogs to play leash-free. Leashed dogs are welcomed to use the over 4 miles of looping trails. Located at 19 Kimball Rd. in Hudson.
Live Free and Run Dog Park > This is a fenced-in, off-leash park where you and your dog are encouraged to engage with the community around you and participate in education, training and recreational activities. There is a membership fee to be a part of this park, but dues go toward keeping the space maintained. Located on Green Road in Kingston.
Derry Dog Park > This local park is completely fenced in, allowing your dog the opportunity to run and play freely in a safe and enclosed environment. There are also agility obstacles available to keep your dog entertained from sunrise to sunset. Located on Fordway Extension in Derry.
Shaker Field Dog Park > This park has something for every dog. The park features three separate enclosures: one for small dogs (30 pounds and under), one for large dogs (over 30 pounds) and a training area. There are also amenities like benches, tunnels, rock piles, boulders and tires. Located at 535 NH-4A in Enfield.
Leisurely hike: Lake Massabesic Trail, Auburn > This is a 4-mile, heavily trafficked loop that offers the chance to see wildlife and is appropriate for all skill levels. The trail also offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Your dog must be on a leash if you are going to walk this trail. This is an Audubon sanctuary, and you can view the trail map online.
Intermediate hike: Mount Major and Brook Trail Loop, Alton Bay > This is a moderate-level, 3.7-mile, heavily trafficked loop with beautiful wild flowers, and ideal for walks from April through November. This trail is a fan favorite for its hike along a pretty brook where your dog can drink and swim. Your dog is required to be on a leash, but not many people follow this rule, as there are as many dogs on the trail as there are people.
Up for a challenge? Mount Osceola Summit, Lincoln > If you and your dog are looking to tackle one of the Granite State’s famous 4,000-foot peaks, Mount Osceola is a good place to start. This 12.3-mile round-trip hike has gorgeous views of the Kancamagus wilderness and plenty of wildflowers that make the steep trek worth it. The entrance at Tripoli Road is the more dog-friendly place to start.