slides: Great Hikes in Central Mass to Take with Man’s Best Friend
Friday, April 04, 2014
Next time you plan on hitting the trails, make sure to bring the one hiking companion you can always count on: your dog.
Here are eight great trails that are sure to please you... and Fido.
Related Slideshow: 8 Wonderful Central MA Hikes With Man’s Best Friend
Rauscher Farm, Clinton
Rauscher Farm Conservation Area is a town-owned 62-acre property that was originally a working farm in Clinton. It now offers a wonderful place for exploring a variety of terrain with your dog. Enjoy walking or hiking across pastures, woodlands, and wetland areas. The Farm also encompasses the shoreline of Clamshell Pond. Dogs must be on-leash.
Westville Dam Recreation Area, Sturbridge
The Westville Dam Recreation Area is located in Sturbridge. There is a 1.8 mile trail that circles the lake called Westville Lake Community Trail and other shorter trails by the dam. An easy and scenic walk for both humans and dogs. Dogs must be on-leash.
Steamline Trail Park, Fitchburg
The 4.15 acre Steamline Trail Park features a ¾-mile riverside walking trail with scenic views of the North Nashua River and Flag Brook. The gravel trail begins at the old Central Steam Plant and follows alongside the pipes that once powered Fitchburg mills. Enjoy a bit of history while taking an easy walk with your canine pal.
Bowers Spring + Vaughn Hill Core Conservation Area, Bolton
Bower Springs is one of Bolton’s most popular hiking areas with scenic views of ponds, fields and well distinguished trails connecting on to the Vaughn Hill/Hansen conservation areas. The 187 acre Vaughn Hill Core Conservation Area offers one of the highest elevation areas between Boston and Wachusett Mountain with spectacular mountain vistas. You and your dog can explore pine forests, beaver dams, ponds, and open meadows. Trails pass next to creeks and streams to add to doggy enjoyment.
Located in Sutton, Purgatory Chasm is an alien landscape of unusual rock formations, and inviting climbing escapades that bring out the kid in everyone. The chasm is about a quarter of a mile long and as high as 70-foot. Bring your sense of adventure and plan to get dirty climbing rocks and crawling into caves behind your canine pal. Trails along the top of the chasm offer easier walking but edges can be slippery so exercise caution. Dogs on leash are welcome.
Henry E. Cowdrey Nature Center, Lunenberg
The Henry E. Cowdrey Nature Center offers 300 acres of pet-friendly conservation land with beautiful hiking trails. Footbridges and brooks add to the scenic vistas. Mostly flat and often intersecting trails make this a wonderful place for an easy meandering walk with your pet. Prepare for mud after any rain and bring bug spray.
Boynton Park, Worcester
Boynton Park is Worcester’s only dog park and a way to enjoy an unleashed hike up challenging terrain or an easy walk on a paved road. The 300 acre park also boasts a large open field that gives both dogs and their people the opportunity to socialize. A creek runs through the property adding to doggie fun but prepare yourself for some mud. A doggie swim hole is a popular stop. Boynton offers a completely natural respite away from cars and the city.
Trout Brook Reservation, Holden
660 acres of Holden conservation land with a system of trails makes Trout Brook Reservation a popular hike for dogs and their owners. A pond in the center of a large open field with benches and picnic tables is a relaxing way to enjoy a quiet summer morning and a great place for your dog to swim after balls. Wooded hiking trails follow a water system allowing for hiking across wooden bridges and along streams.
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