(WWLP) – It’s no secret that Americans love their pets, it’s not unusual to see dogs chasing each other at the beach. But, it’s easier to enjoy time with your pet in more dog-friendly environments.
If you’re a dog lover and you’re looking for the best beach for you and your best friend, you might want to make sure you find a place that is considered to be “dog-friendly.” Keep in mind that many beaches restrict dogs during the summer.
According to Yelp, these are the top five best dog-friendly beaches in Massachusetts:
- World’s End: 250 Martins Lane in Hingham, MA
- Stodder’s Neck: Lincoln Street in Hingham, MA
- Fresh Pond: 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy in Cambridge, MA
- Blue Hills Reservation: 695 Hillside Street in Milton, MA
- Horn Pond: Lake Street And Arlington Road in Woburn, MA
- Lake McDonough Recreational Area: Route 219 in Barkhamsted, CT
- Enders State Forest: Route 219 in Granby, CT
- Valley Falls Park: 300 Valley Falls Road in Vernon, CT
- Stratton Brook State Park: 149 Farms Village Road in Simsbury, CT
Yelp, a ratings and reviews site, put together the list by evaluating all of the dog-friendly beaches on its platform on several factors, including the number and quality of ratings.
Dogs are allowed in some Massachusetts state parks, forests, and reservations. They are also allowed to be off-leash at the following western Mass. properties:
- Chester-Blandford State Forest in Blandford, on trails.
- Clarksburg State Park in Clarksburg, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.
- Jug End State Reservation and Wildlife Management Area in Egremont, on trails.
- October Mountain State Forest in Lee, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.
- Pittsfield State Forest in Pittsfield, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.
Where are dogs not allowed
Dogs are not allowed, mostly for public safety, public health, or habitat concerns or deed restriction purposes.
- Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord, MA
- Moore State Park, Paxton, MA
- City Square Park, Charlestown, MA
- Plum Island’s Sandy Point State Reservation, Newburyport, MA
- Boston Harbor Islands
- DCR buildings (administrative offices, visitor centers, restrooms)
- Indoor skating rinks
- Cabins, yurts, and the encompassing areas
- DCR playgrounds
- DCR swimming pools
- DCR parking areas
- DCR coastal beaches and designated swimming areas of inland beaches from May 1 through September 15, unless otherwise posted.
- Starting on April 1 of each year and extending through September 15, unless otherwise posted, DCR coastal beaches designated as priority nesting habitats for shore birds.
- All DCR’s Division of Water Supply Protection land and water, including the Quabbin, Sudbury, Wachusett, and Foss Reservoir watersheds, as well as the area on Rt. 122 in Barre and Oakham surrounding the Ware River Roger H. Lonergan Intake.
- Other posted areas
Rules and etiquette
To ensure an enjoyable parks experience for all visitors, DCR requests that all dog owners observe the following rules and etiquette while recreating with dogs at DCR properties where dogs are allowed:
- Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with current tags for license and rabies vaccine.
- Bring no more than four (4) dogs per person at one time, unless the owner has a special use permit or commercial dog walking permit issued in accordance with DCR regulations.
- Always clean up after your dog(s) and carry out waste or dispose of it in an appropriate receptacle. Do not leave it on the ground. Cleaning Up After Your Dog
- Dogs must be on-leash in all parking areas.
- Make sure that dogs do not damage conservation land.
- Unless invited, do not allow your dog, even if friendly, to approach other dogs or people, who may not desire such contact. Keep dogs under effective control at all times and make sure they do not engage in aggressive behavior.
- In on-leash areas, dogs must be tethered on a leash of no more than ten feet in length
- In designated off-leash areas, dogs must be under control either through voice control or electronic training collar, or in a manner directed by a law enforcement officer, DCR ranger, or other DCR personnel. This means your dog:
- is within sight at all times
- comes immediately when called
- stays at your command
- does not charge or chase people, dogs, horses, or wildlife
- is leashed when entering or exiting an off-leash area. The owner should have one leash in hand for each dog.
Visitors who do not abide by these rules may be subject to eviction from the park and/or receive a fine.