Thursday, August 23, 2007

Favorite dog parks?

I was going through the comments today and noticed someone asked about where the Acton dog park is that was in the Beacon Villager paper. I don't think she was trying to keep it hidden. It is behind the Acton fire station on School St. It's a short walk away from the S. Acton T stop. The "official time" that people go there are on Sundays at 10am.

There is also this long (but incomplete) list of dog friendly parks around MA. I've been trying to get to different parks in the area and talk to people about their parks but my time is a little limited with our first baby on the way.

If you know of a good dog park that you think I should visit, please let me know. My friend in CA told me about Point Isabel in the east bay but it's a little far for me to travel right now. What is your favorite park?

1 comment:

Esmerelda said...

Hi again, it's Hunter's mommy. Acton has a "voice control" leash law in all its public conservation areas except NARA Park in north Acton, where dogs must be on leash.

In addition to about 3 miles of well-marked trails behind the dog park, the Acton Arboretum (on Taylor Road) is a place many dogs frequent. A lot of non-dog-people also visit that park, though, so Hunter, Twinkie, and I usually walk on the trails. The Spring Hill Conservation area in North Acton (we call it the "Pencil Factory Trail," due to an educational kiosk which still stands) is a place we've only recently discovered -- the trails are wide and marked, and weaves over, around, and through a small river/brook/body of moving water. There's even a small open area for dogs to congregate, but I've never seen another dog there. Across from NARA park is the Town Forest, with another well-marked circle of trails. Like Spring Hill, it's a solitary trail -- we occasionally meet other dogs there, but don't stop to play. There are other trails (my dogs like variety) -- I can show you the little booklet of them Acton published.

In Concord there is the mother of all dog parks -- colloquially called Esterbrook, it's "real" name is Punkatasset. It's a huge network of trails circling one large pond and, if you have a good sense of direction and time on your hands, several smaller ones. Concord is a town of purists -- they steadfastly refuse to allow any trailmarking, so the puppies and I usually stick to the circle around the pond. The park is located on Lowell Road, about a mile past the North Bridge as you travel away from Concord center toward Carlisle. It's on the lefthand side almost immediately after a Mom & Pop type farm stand and the only way you'd know it was there is because the narrow shoulders of the road are worn out on that side. It's worth the trouble of getting there, parking (it can be a pain), and getting your dog past the two houses and yards you walk between on the way in. We've met a lot of friendly dog folks there.

Also, behind the DeCordova museum there is another spectacular system of trails. You could walk forever, and it's poorly marked, but it's a beautiful walk. The only way I know of to get there is from the DeCordova Parking lot, but there must be others. From the lot, though, if you can figure out how to get over to the left hand side of the trail (the pond there is a public water source, so no dogs allowed), there's a very touching monument devoted to a woman who fell through the ice and drowned in the pond. If you walk straight ahead of you from the lot you'll probably end up in Waltham.