Pemberwick Park

Corner of Pemberwick Road & Moshier Street
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Pemberwick-Park-21

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Dog Socializing, Off Leash

Last Visit: 2020

Notes: A parking lot off Pemberwick Rd. was recently added. The meadow in the back is used by many local residents as an “unofficial off-leash area,” but this is not technically allowed and the field is not fenced.

Pemberwick park is our “home park.” We live a short walk away visit it frequently. The main portion of the park is comprised of a large baseball and soccer field adjacent to an enclosed basketball and tennis courts.

The charm of this park are its less visited trails and large meadow. As mentioned in the notes, the meadow located in the back of the park, past the playground along Pemberwick Road, is the local unofficial off-leash dog park. Many nearby residents take their dogs their early in the morning for a quick run. It’s important to note however that the only fence is along the busy road and it is in very poor shape with many breaks. If you intend to let your dog run here, please be sure you have it under good voice control and it’s common courtesy to use a leash if other people are present.

There are trails that run behind the fields and all the way to Weaver Street where there is a second small park. Despite the modest size (around 8 acres), this little wood is very lovely and quiet with a babbling brook running through the middle.

Mianus River Park

Greenwich Entrance:
450 Cognewaugh Rd
Cos Cob, CT 06807

Stamford Entrance:
Merribrook Lane
Stamford, CT 06902

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Mianus-River-Natural-Park-19
https://www.stamfordct.gov/city-parks/pages/mianus-river-park
http://www.friendsofmianusriverpark.org/

Activities: Hiking, Walking, Dog Socializing

Last Visit: 2018

Notes: While many people let their dogs off leash in the park, be aware this practice is discouraged and Stamford has a dog warden / police officer that regularly patrols the park issuing warnings and tickets.

Nestled on the Greenwich-Stamford border just below the Merritt Parkway, the trio of parks (Greenwich, Stamford and State owned) together make up one of the largest wilderness spaces in the area. There are nearly 400 acres filled with a variety of trails – from wide carriage roads to narrow hiking paths. There is a little something for everyone… which means dogs owners should be extra careful as they are sharing the park with hikers, mountain bikers and the occasional horseback rider!

If you plan on exploring more than just the carriage roads, bring sturdy boots as some of the trails can get quite muddy in the spring. Also, don’t forget the bug repellent as the lowlands are a bit marshy.

Greenwich Avenue, The Common & Havemeyer Field

290 Greenwich Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Havemeyer-Field-Greenwich-Common-15

Activities: Walking, Dog Socializing

Last Visit: 2020

Notes: I recommend parking in the “Benedict South Lot” on the corner of Benedict Pl. and Lewis St. towards the top of The Avenue. There is no charge for parking after 5PM and on Sundays.

“Walking The Aveneue” is one of my favorite winter-time activities with the dog. When the sun sets early and the streets become dangerous or snow-covered, Greenwich Avenue provides a safe and pleasant place to walk… especially around Christmas when the stores and the town decorate the street (budgets permitting).

That’s not to say spring, summer or fall visits shouldn’t be made! Many stores are dog friendly and several even regularly provide water and treats (Orvis and Marmot often have doggy snacks on hand for four-legged visitors). And on warm evenings the avenue is lined with diners eating al fresco, meaning there is often wonderful things for the dogs to sniff at.

Smack in the middle of The Avenue is Greenwich Common, a recently renovated and lovely little park that is joined to Havemeyer Field. The Field is a large ball field with a track surrounding it. Many people let their dogs off-leash in this area, though it is technically not permitted.

Both along the avenue and in the adjoining parks you are destine to run into other friendly dogs and owners. My dog, however, is far more interested in the bunnies that populate St. Mary’s Church yard and Greenwich Common.

If you want a longer walking route, you can easily loop down through Roger Sherman Baldwin Park and walk along the water to the boardwalk behind The Delamar Hotel. If you’re really feeling energetic, walk all the way down Steamboat Road – there is a beautiful (and newly restored) pier at the end.

Cos Cob Park

22 Sound Shore Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Cos-Cob-Park-9

Activities: Walking, dog socializing

Last Visit: 2020

Notes: Dogs should be kept off the turf fields and playgrounds.

This is a beautiful new park with wonderful facilities. A popular destination for dog walkers with great views of the Long Island Sound. Built on the location of an early 20th Century power station for the adjacent railroad (you can read about the history in the restroom pavilion) the town spent a great deal of money remediating and re-purposing the site.

You are likely to run into many other friendly dogs and their owners and you wind your way around the trail that loops the park. Don’t miss Greenwich’s 9/11 memorial which sits atop a tranquil hill overlooking the park and the Sound.

Greenwich Dog Park & Grass Island

Grass Island Road
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Grass-Island-Dog-Park-12
https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Grass-Island-13

Activities: Off leash, dog socializing, dog swimming, walking

Last Visit: 2019

Notes: Please review Dog Park rules here. Keep an eye on your dog – both to pickup waste and to make sure he or she doesn’t start digging. The park is built on top of an artificial berm that was made with construction rubble and trash in the mid-20th Century. Dogs that dig may turn up broken glass, porcelain or re-bar.

The Greenwich Dog Park at Grass Island was our first dog park experience and we have many happy memories here.

Yes, the dog park is dirty.
Yes, the dog park is too small.
Yes, it’s built on top of a literal hill of 50 year old garbage.
Yes, it overlooks the sewage treatment plant (though it rarely smells too bad…)

But this dog park has heart! Most people you meet here are super friendly and sociable. There is also a dedicated group of volunteers that spruces the place up and lobbies the towns for improvements.

There is a large dog and a small dog side. Bags are provided, as is water in the summer (a spigot is located by the front gate) and usually an assortment of balls and toys. There are several benches to sit on inside the dog run.

Behind the dog park are some trails leading down to the water by the boat club. You can walk all the way around the loop that takes you to a scenic point at the tip of the marina. Be careful of fishermen.

Many people take their dogs for a quick dip (to cool off or wash off) after a visit to the dog park. You can either do this in the park area by the boat club or at the boat-launch in the marina.

PS. Remember to bring bug spray in the summer!

PPS. Here’s a tip… can’t get tickets to the Greenwich Town Party? You can get great views from both the Grass Island Marina and the Dog Park!

Byram Park & Byram Beach

4 Ritch Ave W.
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Byram-Park-6
https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Byram-Park-Beach-68

Activities: Walking, Dog swimming

Last Visit: 2021

Notes: Open to dogs Dec 1 – March 31.

We rarely go here, it’s fairly small compared to the other beaches nearby (Tod’s Point and Playland). We did see some off-leash dogs on the beach on our visits, but it doesn’t seem well suited to it and may not be advisable. The surrounding park is nice for walking.

If you do go, don’t miss the statue of Greenwich’s first police dog, “Yogi.”

Bruce Park

Bruce Park Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Bruce-Park-5

Activities: Walking

Last Visit: 2019

Notes: Parking along streets that cut through the park.

Bruce Park is a large and beautiful park. Like Binney, it is well manicured and lovely for strolling. The paths are mostly paved and fairly flat except for a little trail that takes you to a small lookout across from the croquet court. There are several drinking fountains spread around the park.

One of our favorite spring and summer traditions is to bring coffee from home and arepas and pastry from the Colombian bakery in Port Chester and eat them in Bruce Park at the benches overlooking the pond.

Binney Park

Off Sound Beach Ave.
Old Greenwich, CT

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Binney-Park-4

Activities: Walking

Last Visit: 2020

Notes: 4th of July Fireworks and Greenwich Summer Concerts (Sundays) are held here.

Binney Park is one of Greenwich’s premier parks (along with Bruce and Greenwich Point). In contrast to the Back Country preserves, this is a highly manicured and landscaped park similar to Bruce, although there is a very small section of trails across the street from the Perrot library.

It is a lovely place to stroll, with a scenic path around the pond and – when not in use – large fields at the south end of the park (where there are bathrooms and a drinking fountain).

Babcock Preserve

North Street – North of Parkway
Greenwich, CT 06830

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Babcock-Preserve-1

Activities: Hiking, walking

Last Visit: 2021

Notes: Very buggy in the summer, recommend visiting in the fall or winter. Trails can get very muddy.

This is a large preserve with over 7-miles of trails situated just north of the Merritt Parkway. Truth be told however, we rarely visit. On our first couple of trips we found the combination of deep-woods and marshy terrain equated to a higher than normal concentration of mosquitoes and biting flies. We are long past due for a return visit because of this, though it should be very pleasant in the winter when the mud freezes and the bugs are long gone.

Greenwich Point Park (Tod’s Point) *RECOMMENDED*

Tods Driftway
Old Greenwich, CT

Website: https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Greenwich-Point-Park-69

Activities: Walking, dog swimming, dog socializing, off leash

Last Visit: 2019

Notes: Open to dogs Dec 1 – March 31. Leash required inside the park except on the beach (up to high-water mark). *PARK CLOSED TO DOGS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2019-2020 DOG SEASON DUE TO RACCOON-BASED DISTEMPER OUTBREAK!*

Greenwich Point Park is considered the crown jewel of Greenwich’s parks. 147 acres of beautiful park land with a large beach at one end and walking a path with spectacular views of New York City at the other.

Leash-laws are a controversial issue at the park. There is no question that you must leash your dog inside the park, in the parking lots and on the walking paths, as with any other park in Greenwich. It is not uncommon to see the town’s ACO there, so please be a responsible owner and use a leash anywhere off the beach. On the beach itself is less clear. The town posts signs implying leashes are required, but even when the ACO is there very few people leash their dogs on the sand (below the high-tide mark) and there doesn’t seem to be any enforcement.

One thing to note: on unusually warm weekend days you should expect a large crowd, which can mean running into lots of pups that have been exposed to varying levels of socialization and a similar mix of owners. It’s important to maintain your situational awareness on days like that and don’t expect other dog owners to be monitoring their puppers as closely as maybe they should be. Full disclosure: our dog was bitten there and the owner made great haste to leave the scene, sticking us with a $650 emergency vet bill. That said – we still regularly return!

Nichols Preserve

Entrance @ the end of West Lane
Greenwich, CT

Website: https://www.thegrta.org/preservation

Activities: Hiking, walking

Last Visit: 2019

Notes: Leashes required, you may run into horses.

This location is mostly in Armonk but the entrance is most easily reached from the Greenwich side.

Donated to The Nature Conservancy, this 94 acre tract of land sat unused and neglected until the diligence and generosity of the Greenwich Riding and Trail Association got it transferred to them for equestrian use. Luckily, many of the horse owners are also dog lovers – so they opened the property to their canine friends too.

There are wonderful trails throughout the property – ranging from narrow paths through woods, muddy trails along some lakes and vernal pools to basically paved roads through expansive meadows.

When we visited we didn’t run into any horses but we did enjoy ourselves on some of the equestrian obstacles that dot the property.

Because this is basically private property and we are guests, please be very respectful and always keep your dogs leashed and pickup and carry out any poops.