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Navigating New England: 6 Noteworthy Hikes For All Experience Levels

woman with a dog hiking along the seashore during sunset

Has working from home left you feeling extra eager to spend more time outdoors in New England this fall with your furry friend? You’re not alone! Fall is definitely the best time of year to set foot on an outdoor excursion with man’s best friend right by your side. New England is not only well-known for its historical significance, but also for its gorgeous scenery and colorful foliage this time of year. Whether you find yourself better enjoying gorgeous mountain top views on a sunny day, indulging in the salty aroma of the sea at sunset, or observing wildlife in all forms in the forest, be sure to check out these stunning, easy, and pup-friendly trails that are feasible for individuals at all experience levels!

1. Connecticut: Bluff Point Coastal Reserve Trail

  • Location: Groton, CT

  • Length: 3.6 miles loop trail

  • Elevation gain: 170ft

  • Dog friendly: Yes!

Are you a coastal enthusiast looking for a scenic seaside view? Look no further! The Bluff Point Coastal Reserve Trail, located in Groton, CT, is perfect for you! Not only are you able to be right on the waterfront with gorgeous coastal views, but this trail is also easy to walk and flat. The Bluff Point State Park is perfect for many different types of activities, including walking, mountain biking, running, fishing and horseback riding, making it the perfect place to bring your family members for a day outdoors to catch a glimpse of the ocean. The park charges an entrance fee for all out of state registered vehicles ($15 on weekends/holidays, $10 on weekdays) and is open every day from 7am-7pm.

2. Maine: Fore River Sanctuary Trail

  • Location: Portland, ME

  • Length: 3.3 miles

  • Elevation gain: 177ft

  • Dog friendly: Yes!

The Fore River Sanctuary Trail, located in Portland, ME, is home to Portland’s only natural waterfall, Jewell Falls. This easy to navigate trail includes lots of diverse wildlife, since the lowland area is a beautiful habitat for many different species like butterflies and snakes. The trail is perfect for a variety of activities, including walking, birdwatching, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and waterfall gazing. There are no entrance fees and the trail is open for everyone year-round, from dawn to dusk.

3. Massachusetts: Bash Bish Falls

  • Location: South Egremont, MA

  • Length: 2.1 miles

  • Elevation gain: 521ft

  • Dog friendly: Yes!

This hike is well-known for its scenic waterfalls, which make the perfect photo-op. The trail leads you through the forest with many places to catch some graceful creek views with Bash Bish Falls, the highest waterfall in Massachusetts, at its end point. This short and sweet hike only has a slight incline making it perfect for families with young children seeking outdoor adventure. Bash Bish Falls State Park is open year-round, from sunrise to sunset, and is ideal for many different kinds of activities, like walking, picnicking, fishing, swimming and camping. Some places along the trail may be slippery so you should use caution.

4. New Hampshire: The Sweet Trail

  • Location: Durman, New Hampshire

  • Length: 4.0 miles

  • Elevation gain: 439ft

  • Dog friendly: Yes!

This estuary, an area where a freshwater river meets the ocean, offers beautiful water and forest views throughout your trek and is home to over 150 rare plant and animal species! This trail and all of its unique inhabitants make this a great place for friends and families to observe different features of wildlife from multiple angles. It is especially fun for young curious children looking to explore and learn more about the presence of wildlife. The trail is well marked and easy to maneuver, however it can get a little buggy at times so bringing a can of bug spray with you might not be a bad idea. It is open year-round and begins at Longmarsh Road in Durham, NH, and ends at the Great Bay Estuary in Newmarket, NH. A few permitted activities included walking, bird watching, running, and cross-country skiing.

5. Rhode Island: Rocky Point Walking Trail

  • Location: Warwick, RI

  • Length: 1.6 miles

  • Elevation gain: 95ft

  • Dog friendly: Yes!

The Rocky Point Walking Trail, located in Warwick, RI, is well known as one of the most popular hikes in Rhode Island. You can expect to find many beautiful plants and flowers, scenic beach and bay views, plenty of benches to rest at, and fishing piers along your walk. The trail has many historical elements, as The Rocky Point State Park used to be The Rocky Point Amusement Park, so you can see many cool remnants of the old amusement park during your stroll. There are also several plaques posted up along the way explaining the trail's historical significance, which makes it a great place to bring your children to learn more about the area and its past. This trail is open year-round and is the perfect place for many activities, including walking, picnicking, fishing, and biking.

6. Vermont- Owls Head Mountain Trail

  • Location: Peacham, VT

  • Length: 3.2 miles

  • Elevation gain: 475ft

  • Dog friendly: Yes!

The Owls Head Mountain Trail, located in the Groton State Forest in Peacham, VT, is an easy trail that offers gorgeous views of Lake Froton, Kettle Pond, and the Green Mountains. You will pass a few swampy areas and then commission on a moderate but short climb at the end to reach the summit where you can capture beautiful and rewarding views even on a cloudy day. It’s a great place to bring your pup and young children for a quick picnic while taking in the surrounding exquisite scenery. The trail is perfect for walking, bird watching, snow shoeing and running, and the Groton State Forest is open to everyone year-round.

Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.

Written By: Natasha Greeve, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern



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