It’s summer in Connecticut, which means it’s time to grab Fido and hit the state’s swimming holes. Get a little exercise together, commune with nature and enjoy the scenery at the best places to take a dog swimming in Connecticut. Bring a camera to capture beautiful memories of the family’s bushy best buddy.
Sunny Brook State Park
Torrington, CT 06790
Part of Paugnut State Forest and connected to it by the 2.1-mile John Muir Trail, Sunny Brook State Park is set on 464 wooded acres. With plenty of trails, including five nature trails, and a pond to play and cool off in, Sunny Brook State Park makes for a memorable excursion. Pack a lunch, wear comfortable shoes, bring a friend or make a new one. Perfect for a game of watery fetch, this popular spot also boasts fishing, hiking, picnicking and hunting opportunities. There is a posted leash requirement that does not seem to be strictly enforced, so let mindful consideration be the guide here.
Harwinton Recreation Area
122 Litchfield Rd.
Harwinton, CT 06791
A destination for dogs and their devoted caretakers, the Harwinton Recreation Area’s trails run through the woods as well as along Leadmine Brook. With both short, easy trails and those a bit longer and more difficult, build up to a great workout for both you and your four-legged friend with a little splash time thrown in to mix it up. Bring the dog’s favorite water toy and tire him out along the trails. The Harwinton Recreation Area sits on almost 90 acres, and also offers a small covered picnic area, a playground, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court and a fishing pond. As a family recreation spot, a leash law is in effect, but is overlooked away from families.
Pawsitive Park/Estelle Cohn Memorial Dog Park
261 Asylum St.
Norwich, CT 06360
For a strictly doggy day, Pawsitive Park/Estelle Cohn Memorial Dog Park offers both large and small dog play areas to accommodate summer fun seekers of all sizes. A double entrance allows for ease of transition from on leash to off leash. Each play area is equipped with a wading pool for warm weather enjoyment. Water is available on premises to keep the pools clean and filled. Convenient paths have been built around the outside of the property for leash walks and one-on-one time. Busiest hours include weekends and early evenings, so plan visits accordingly, especially for dogs that don’t love huge crowds. Bags are provided at cleanup stations to keep the park tidy. Proof of dog license and rabies vaccination may be required here. Training treats are allowed within the dog area of the park, but human food is not. Limit of three dogs per person.
Theodora DeBarbieri is an animal advocate, columnist and local TV show host residing in Connecticut. She is owned by a number of dogs, cats and birds. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.