Exercise is important both for owners and their four legged friends. Hiking provides an opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking trails around Connecticut offer dog friendly trails of all different levels, some even allowing dogs to be off-leash in certain areas. While some trails provide a challenge for young pups, there are also more level trails for elder dogs or owners.
Lake Mohegan
960 Morehouse Highway
Fairfield, CT 06825
(203) 256-3010
www.fairfieldct.orgLake Mohegan is 170 acres comprised of hiking trails, a swimming area, picnic area and splash pad. Entrance to the hiking trails is free, along with parking. Bringing your four legged friend along for a hike at Lake Mohegan will provide a scenic walk for the humans. It is approximately an hour and a half walk around the lake and cascades. Dogs must be leashed 100 feet from the parking area and owners must pick up after their dogs.
Bear Mountain Reservation
Bear Mountain Rd and Candlewood Pines Road
Danbury, CT 06811
www.ci.danbury.ct.usBear Mountain in Danbury is a wooded reservation area near Candlewood Lake. Take exit 6 off of 84, turn north onto Route 37, and look for signs for Bear Mountain and JFK trails. The JFK trails range in length, with red being the longest at 1.7 miles. Multiple small trails veer off from red and eventually make their way back. Red travels through open fields, hills and forest area. The orange trail will get you to Candlewood Lake, although be cautious of the rocky and steep slope near the lake. Bear Mountain Reservation is a quieter atmosphere to bring your dog along for some exercise.
Sunny Brook State Park
Newfield Road
Torrington, CT 06790
www.ct.govSunny Brook State Park is 464 acres available for activities such as hiking and fishing. It is part of Paugnut State Forest and along the East Branch Naugatuck River. The John Muir Trail connects the Sunny Brook State Park to Burr Pond. This location provides free parking upon arrival. It is a great park to bring your dogs, and it even has a pond as an option for your pup to cool off.Related: Top Parks To Walk Your Dog In Connecticut

Winslow Park
N. Compo Road & Post Road E.
Westport, CT 06880
www.westportct.govWinslow Park is one of Westport’s parks that allows dogs and even has off-leash areas. The park is open sunrise to sunset. It provides a large and open grassy area with walking trails. These walking trails are a perfect alternative for older owners and/or dogs with less incline than your typical hiking trail. Dogs are permitted off-leash in the north end of the park, which is the designated area with fencing. As in all of Westport’s parks, owners must pick up after their dogs and dogs roaming free must be within owners’ sight.
Twin Bridge Road
Guilford, CT 06437
(203) 453-8068
www.scrcog.orgThe Timberlands in Guildford, Connecticut has free access for hiking from dawn until dusk. It provides a peaceful atmosphere with quiet surroundings, perfect for a dog that doesn’t like a lot of noise or people. Their hiking trails mostly provide smoother, more level trails with a few tougher areas in the southern part of the park. The trails provide access to a stream and lake which are perfect for a rest or for dogs to take a quick dip to cool off. Parking can be accessed off of North Madison Road and Maupus Road.Related: Top Places Where Your Dog Can Swim In Connecticut

Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.