Taylor Farm Dog Park (Calf Pasture Beach)

Calf Pasture Beach Rd
Norwalk, CT 06855

Website: ???

Activities: Walking, off leash, dog swimming

Last Visit: 2015

Notes: On our last visit the off leash area was mostly unfenced and uncomfortably close to traffic.

Admittedly it has been a long time since we visited here, but we had a negative experience and never returned. The off leash area is large and beautiful – with a big pond at one end dogs could swim in, a rolling meadow in the middle and some woods along the north side.

Unfortunately, the lack of fencing and surrounding busy streets lead to some issues (the day we were there even the streets through the park were busy and traffic tended to move uncomfortably fast through them).

The final issue was the adjacent picnic area – some unfortunate young souls tried to have a bbq which every dog in the vicinity immediately swarmed as soon as the meat hit the grill.

All told, it was not a very relaxing off leash dog experience. We left fairly quickly and made the trip to Cranbury Park which was much more enjoyable for us.

I will make it a point to re-vist this location in the near future to see if conditions have improved.

Lake Mohegan Open Space *RECOMMENDED*

960 Morehouse Hwy
Fairfield, CT

Website: https://www.fairfieldct.org/openspace/lakemohegan
https://www.facebook.com/groups/207768065991175/

Activities: Dog swimming, hiking, dog socializing, walking, off leash

Last Visit: 2019

Notes: Off leash dogs permitted on trails and in the lake outside of the “100-foot” zones surrounding the parking lots.

This is truly a gem worth the trip. 170 acres of trails surround a brook that flows through a scenic cascade into a beautiful man-made lake. Easily accessible off the Meritt Parkway, you can park at either end of the lake though I recommend the paved lot close to the main beach (dogs not allowed but they do let you use their bathrooms). From there you can access easy paths to the popular dog-spots on the East side of the lake.

There are a few hazards to be aware of. First, the lake gets very deep very quickly (it is an old gravel pit) so be careful where you step. Second, there is a bit of a current – not so much it will sweep a dog away, but I have lost some toys to it. Finally, be careful of surly fishermen (unfortunately I ran into one once) and cut-lures with hooks they sometimes leave behind.

Cranbury Park

300 Grumman Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

Website: https://www.norwalkct.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/1

Activities: Walking, dog socializing, hiking, off leash

Last Visit: 2020

Notes: *There is now a $10 fee for parking.* There is a small off-leash area for dogs but it is unfenced.

This is a lovely park situated right on the Norwalk-Wilton border. It is a fairly big property (220+ acres of trails) surrounding a mansion. The grounds include a disc-golf course, a large lawn and a large network of paths through the surrounding woods.

New Canaan Land Trust: Watson-Symington Preserve

Between Wellesley Drive and West Road
New Canaan, CT

Website: https://newcanaanlandtrust.org/watson-symington/

Activities: Hiking, off leash

Last Visit: 2019

Notes: (From website) Off-leash dogs, under voice control, are allowed only between dawn and noon. Leashed dogs are welcome from dawn until dusk.

Unlike Greenwich, New Canaan Land Trust has most of their properties open to visitors. We attended a small Adopt-a-Dog event here in 2019 and took the opportunity to tour their preserve. It is not very large (42 acres) but there are nice trails throughout. The day we were there they were being improved and expanded by local scouts. It was a nice wooded area with some hilly terrain and a small brook flowing through a pond. Worth spending around an hour exploring if you are in the neighborhood.