Exercise does the body good, including for your furry friends. Dog parks and beaches that permit on or off leashed dogs are a great way for your best buddy to play outdoors in a safe environment. If you are looking for locations for your dog to socialize, exercise outdoors, or for those that don’t have access to a yard or fenced in yard, the listings below are great options. Each location below permits dogs to be off the leash while supervised by their owners.

Colchester Dog Park
99 Old Amston Road
Colchester, CT 06415
(860) 537-7295

If you are looking for a safe and clean environment for your dog to run, consider visiting Colchester Dog Park. The park consists of 2 acres of land separated into two sections. One section is .75 acres for small dogs. The second section is 1.25 acres for larger dogs. Since 2010, the Colchester Dog Park Committee has ensured your favorite four legged friends have a place of their own to exercise and socialize with other dogs. The dog park is open from dawn until a half hour before sunset.

Jennings Beach
880 South Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 256-1345

One of the only beaches in the state that permits dogs to be off of the leash while beachside is Jennings Beach. Jennings Beach is the largest of Fairfield’s beaches. Horses and dogs alike are permitted on the sand, however they are restricted from the playgrounds, patio and boardwalk. The downside is the restricted access based on the time of year; dogs are only permitted off season from October 1 – March 31 each year. On the plus side, it is a free location open to the public, giving your dog the opportunity to run free along the beach and water. There is little competition for an experience like this. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs.

Grass Island Dog Park
Grass Island Road
Greenwich, CT 06830

Not every dog can be so lucky to have a fenced in yard with plenty of room to run at their home. Lucky for your best pal, the Grass Island Dog Park has space for them to exercise. They have a separate area so that smaller dogs can socialize with same size dogs, if they need to feel more comfortable, or if they get easily scared. Dog owners are encouraged to follow posted sign instructions including no aggressive dogs, owners must remain in the fenced in area with their pets, no smoking and no food. Children under the age of 10 are also not permitted inside the park.

Related: Top Off-Leash Dog Areas In Connecticut

Mitchell D. Phaiah Dog Park
78 Quinebaug Drive
Danielson, CT 06239

From dusk until dawn you and your dogs can play off leash at Mitchell D. Phaiah Dog Park. The park features two large pens, both fenced in. The smaller of the two is for smaller sized dogs weighing 25 pounds or less. Wood chips cover the ground. Benches and fire hydrant props are located throughout the park. Puppies under 4 months of age, sick dogs, dogs in heat, food and glass are not permitted inside the dog park.

Compo Beach
60 Compo Beach Road
Westport, CT 06880
(860) 204-9561

Compo Beach provides 29 acres of beautiful land on the shore of Westport, Connecticut. It just happens to be a dog friendly beach in certain locations and certain times of the year. From October 1 through March 31 dogs are permitted when accompanied by their owner. Dog friendly area includes areas south of the brick bathhouse. Please beware that even though this is an off leash location it is not fenced in. Look for signs to know you are in the correct location. Dogs are not permitted in the pavilion or boardwalk. An alternative location in Westport that is off leash dog friendly is the north end of Winslow Park.

Related: Top Parks To Walk Your Dog In Connecticut

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