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GETTING OUT: Fun with Your Pet

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It may seem cliché by now, but a dog is a man’s best friend. If you love your dog and don’t want to leave him or her alone in the house, and also want to get out and do something active or relax, there are plenty of options available for you that will assure a mutually good time for you and your pet. Here are just a few places in Central Mass that can help you accomplish that goal.

Boynton Park, Worcester

It is sometimes hard to imagine in a city like Worcester that such a beautiful natural jewel could exist, but it does. Boynton Park is the perfect place to take your dog on a summer day. Whether you want to hike on trails or through the woods, walk along the peaceful brook or play some games like fetch with a ball or frisbee in wide-open fields, Boynton Park located off Mower Street in Worcester and crosses into Holden and Paxton.

Hodges Village Dam, Oxford

The area surrounding the Hodges Village Dam in Oxford around the French River is beautiful and peaceful, the perfect place to hang out with your dog and take in the sights and sounds of nature. There are over 15 miles of hiking trails available that will surely provide much needed exercise for you and your pooch, which is welcome as long as it is on a leash. There is plenty of wildlife to take in on the almost 1,200 acres of protected land surrounding the dam. There is a good chance you’ll see some deer, rabbits, ducks, turkeys, songbirds and much more. Hunting is allowed on the west side of the river.

Buffumville Lake, Charlton

Managed along with the Hodges Village Dam project, another terrific place to get out, relax and hang out with your beloved pet is the Buffumville Lake in Charlton. Go for a short hike or nature walk with your dog on the seven-mile Lake Shore Trail surrounding the lake or for a small fee hang out on the lake’s beach and have a picnic. There are picnic tables and grills available. If you want to go on an extended camping trip with your dog, you can even rent an island for up to a week. There is also a Frisbee course on site.

Trout Brook Reservation, Holden

Located off Manning Street in Holden, looping trails, flowing brooks, hilly terrain and open fields define this wonderful spot for fun, relaxation and some natural sightseeing. Play with your dog (leashes required) and get some exercise. Then, sit down for a nice picnic with your family on one of the many picnic tables. The trails are color-coded and looped together so you and your dog don’t get lost in the woods. Just stay on trail!

Tufts Farm Field, Grafton

Located within the 40 acre farm field on the Tufts Veterinary School campus at 200 Westboro Road in North Grafton, Tufts Farm Field is a 5 acre “doggy park” area made just for your furry friend. The Tufts Farm Field has both leash and off-leash areas where you can spend loads of fun time with your best canine pal. Since it is primarily a farm field, the field is closed to visitors during the agricultural season, but there are still plenty of opportunities to visit. You must register with the school and pay a small fee for clean-up costs, but this is a small price to pay to bring your dog the enjoyment he will surely have. 


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