Northampton is a quaint city along the Connecticut River in western Boston, about 20 miles north of Springfield, known for its culture, music, art, and academics. With almost 30,000 residents, it is one of the most populated small cities in the state as well as the most politically liberal. The city was known as Nonotuck or Norwottuck, which meant “the middle of the river” in the Pocumtuc language. The name was changed in the late 1600s by John A. King, the first white settler.
With cold winters and hot summers, the city of Northampton enjoys all four seasons, from sledding in January to swimming in July. There are 170 parks and recreational spaces in the city, covering close to 1,900 acres. If you want to go sledding, head to Hospital Hill Sled at Smith College, and if you want to swim, Skinner State Park is where to go. But if you want to take your dog to play off-leash, try one of these 15 dog parks.
Agawam Dog Park
Just 20 minutes south of downtown Northampton near Springfield, Agawam Dog Park is in the small community of Agawam. Opened in 2015, the pup play area has 1.5 acres of space for your fur baby to enjoy with other pups. The large dog section has one acre, and the small dog section has a half acre. Each side has plenty of seating for pet parents, water fountains, and several waste stations with poop baggies.
They even have agility equipment, including a ramp, hoop tunnel, pedestals, tree trunks, boulders, and giant tires to run through and climb on. For safety, the park has also got double-gated entrances to keep the fur babies inside where they belong. Also, all dogs must be fully vaccinated and healthy with a current license on their tag. No children under eight years old are allowed, and no smoking. The small dog section is for pups 25 pounds and under.
Chicopee Memorial State Park
Pack up the car and leash your pooch for a trip to Chicopee Memorial State Park, 21 miles south of Northampton by Springfield. The park boasts 575 acres that include a reservoir that is 25 acres as well as picnic areas, playgrounds, and ball fields. During the summer, you can swim, go boating, and enjoy some fishing or you can come in the winter for some cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Any time you visit the park, your pooch will need to be on a leash, and you have to bring your own doggie bags.
Your fur baby is allowed to swim or play in the water but not at the swimming beach. That is strictly for human swimming. But there is plenty of other waterfront space at the reservoir, the pond, or the brook. If you have a group with you or are planning a get-together, there is a pavilion that holds quite a few people you can reserve in advance.
Community Field Dog Park
Also known as Holyoke Dog Park, the Community Field Dog Park is 11 miles south of Northampton, just off Interstate 91 at Cherry Street. It is not a huge park, but it has a lot to offer, including unique agility equipment like a set of turf-lined steps with a slide, a wooden pedestal, tires to play on, and a nice doggie ramp. There are even some children’s play equipment, including a slide and a treehouse climb-on.
Pup parents have several seating arrangements to pick from and waste stations with doggie bags for easier cleanup. The ground is covered in wood chips or bark, which is a plus when it rains or snows. Less mud may be less fun for the pooches, but it means less cleanup for you! There is no separate section for small dogs, so all sizes play together here. You can also take your canine companion out to explore the rest of the park, but he will need his leash for that.
Dufresne Dog Park
Located in the village of Granby, about 13 miles southeast of downtown Northampton, Dufresne Dog Park features some fun and exciting amenities for all pooches. There are the normal agility equipment like a ramp to run up and down, jump-overs to jump over, and tunnels to zip through. But they also have some kiddie play items similar to what the Community Field Dog Park has. People donate their gently-used kids’ play toys because they make awesome safe dog equipment.
There are also some natural attractions like huge rocks and boulders to climb on and dirt to dig in. The main park also has a pond where you can do some fishing after you put your cuddly buddy’s leash back on. Or take him with you to play a round of disc golf. You may even get to see a horse show or another event taking place here. There are doggie bags and water but bring your own, just in case.
East Longmeadow Bark Park
Pack up the car and head to Heritage Park, about eight miles east of Agawam Dog Park. Here you will find the East Longmeadow Bark Park on the western side of the park near the pond. Although it started as just a basic fenced space, it has grown into a lovely place to take your pooch with benches, picnic tables, and running water, as well as a fire hydrant and agility equipment.
There are a few doggie bag dispensers, too, but it is a good idea to bring your own because it can be difficult to keep them full with so many pup parents in the area. You will need to register your fur pup, but it is completely free. You just have to have proof of vaccinations, a rabies shot, and being spayed or neutered. There are separate spaces for small and large dogs, both with ramps, tunnels, and jumps for your cuddly canine to play with.
East Windsor Dog Park
East Windsor Dog Park is in Broad Brook, Connecticut, about a half hour from Northampton city proper. It is at the southern tip of East Windsor Park, next to the skate park. The park lauds one full acre separated by dog’s size and weight. Small dogs should be under 30 pounds. However, little pooches that enjoy playing with the big dudes are welcome in the big dog area too. Although the park does close in winter, the rest of the community park stays open, so you can take him there as long as he is on a leash.
There is no water access, so you need to bring your own water and water bowl to keep your pup hydrated. This is especially important during the summer because hyper dogs can get dehydrated easily. You will find lots of shade trees and several benches underneath them for pet parents to relax on. Even though they have waste stations, bring your own bags in case they run out!
Enfield Dog Park
Five miles north of East Windsor Dog Park, the Enfield Dog Park is a large pup play area with separate areas for large and small dogs as well as agility equipment that all the dogs love! The ground cover is mulch, replaced regularly, and the benches for pup parents are placed strategically all over the place, both in and out of the shade. The fur babies love jumping through the hoops and the giant tires embedded in the ground.
And you will love watching your own canine companion run up and down the ramps, jump over the poles, and zip through the tunnels. They even have a pedestal and an elevated tube for energetic pooches to jump into and out the other side. Both sides have size-appropriate equipment so everyone can enjoy their day at the park. The park also supplies doggie bags in several dispensers, and there are water fountains. But you will need to make sure your dog is wearing a license tag and is fully vaccinated.
Friends of South Hadley Dog Park
For a fun day at South Hadley Dog Park, bring your cuddly buddy to the Friends of South Hadley Dog Park, about 13 miles south of Northampton. You can find it in South Hadley, right under the water tower on Mulligan Drive. It has almost two full acres, which is split into two sections for small and all dogs. The all-dog section is on an upper terrace with space for playing ball and frisbee, as well as a wooded area that your pooch can explore as you walk along the trail.
The lower section is for little dogs that are 30 pounds and under. The ground cover here is grass and gravel and even has a garden that makes the place beautiful during the spring and summer, as well as a trail around the perimeter. There are benches for pet parents, water fountains for everyone, and waste stations with free doggie bags. However, it would not hurt to pack your own water and bags anyway.
Look Memorial Park
Look Memorial Park is a living memorial to Frank Newhall Look, whose wife Fannie dedicated to him after he passed away. She donated over 150 acres to be used for recreation, and today it has all sorts of fun things to do. Although there is no off-leash dog park, most of the park is dog-friendly for leashed dogs. Some of the attractions, like the mini-golf, wildlife center, and spray park, are off-limits to Fido, but there is so much more you and your pooch can do.
The park is less than five miles northwest of downtown Northampton in Florence and has some really cool attractions like a steam train, pedal boats, and a small zoo. Although you cannot take him into the zoo, your cuddly compadre is welcome to join you on the train or boats. If it is warm enough, take your little buddy to the river and jump in. Just be careful of the current.
Mount Tom State Reservation
Being in the middle of the Pioneer Valley, Northampton is a city with lots of natural beauty. And Mount Tom State Reservation is one of the best places to find some of the most stunning views of the valley. Just over six miles from downtown Northampton, Mount Tom does not have a designated off-leash dog park for your cuddle buddy. But it has almost 2,000 acres, including 22 miles of hiking trails where leashed dogs are always welcome.
This historic park is popular all year long with people coming from all over to enjoy ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking, biking, fishing, and boating in the summer. You can have a picnic at one of the many picnic areas any time of the year and bring the little humans along to play on the playgrounds. Just remember to pack lots of doggie bags and extra water and snacks.
North Quabbin Dog Park
Grab your pup and his favorite toys and go to North Quabbin Dog Park at the Orange Municipal Airport, about a half-hour northeast of Northampton. You do not have to be an airport employee or customer to use the park. It is for everyone! The sandy space is separated into three areas. One is for small pups, one for large dogs, and an agility area with equipment for training or for playing. There is a seesaw, balance beam, ramps, hoops, jump-overs, weave poles, and much more.
The park is all sand and has picnic tables, shade structures, and doggie bag dispensers for easier cleanup. However, the park is managed by volunteers, so bringing your own doggie bags is always encouraged. You will also have to pack your own water and dog bowls. There is no water fountain or spigot at the park. Also, please do not smoke anywhere near the dog park or you will be asked to leave.
In Easthampton, six miles east of Mount Tom State Reservation, Nonotuck Park has approximately 260 acres of space to explore with your leashed fur puppy. You will not have any trouble staying busy here whether you are an angler, boater, ball player, or just want to enjoy nature, Nonotuck Park has something for everyone. Unlike the state park, though, this one is only open from May to November. It is closed during the winter, so you will not be doing any cross-country skiing or ice skating here.
If you are new here, tackle the Toteman Trail with your pup. It runs all along the outside perimeter of the park and gives you an idea of where everything is before you choose your perfect spot for fishing, picnicking, or just playing fetch. But remember, your canine companion has to be on his leash at all times. Also, you will need to pack plenty of poop bags and enough water to keep you both hydrated.
Also known as East Greenfield Dog Park, Paws Park is a pup popular fenced dog park located at Green River Park in Greenfield, just 20 minutes north of Northhampton. Surrounded by the Green River on the east and southwestern sides of the park, the larger Green River Park is a fun place for on-leash play from November through May. However, dogs are not allowed in the metro park from June 1st to November 1st. But your dog is always welcome at Paws Park in the northwestern corner of the park.
There are two fun sections. One is gravel, and the other is mostly grass. The grassy side can get muddy when it rains or snows, but both sides are equally exciting for the fur babies. Not only do they have agility equipment, but they also have camps to teach you the proper way to use the equipment. So, they have training camps to train you to train your dog!
Smith Vocational Agricultural Fields Dog Park
Smith Vocational Agricultural Fields may not be an “official dog park,” but you cannot tell that to the fur babies that play there. The whole field is a bunch of fun as well as the trails throughout the area. On or off the leash, as long as your canine companion is under your control, you are welcome to bring your pooch for some fun! It is less than two miles southwest of downtown Northampton right next to the Northampton Community Gardens.
There are more than 280 acres of space here just off Burts Pit Road, where the Smith Vocational Agricultural School is and where the state hospital used to be. With so much space, it is the largest off-leash dog area in the city. However, you should remember that this is agricultural land used by the school, so keep your pup out of places he is not allowed and always pick up any dog poop you see. Even if it is not from your dog! But bring your own poop bags.
Westfield Dog Bark Park
Your fur puppy will love it at Westfield Dog Bark, where he can lose the leash and romp around wild and free for a while. Just 20 miles southwest of Northampton, the pup playground offers lots of space to run around, play fetch, or enjoy the agility equipment. The homemade wooden stations include steps with a platform, a ramp, and tunnels. The ground cover is wood chips as well as natural soil and grass, so some spots may be muddy after rain or snow.
There are also shaded paths to walk around and a pond where your fur puppy will enjoy sniffing around. The water spigots are turned off in the winter, though, so pack your own water and always have a supply of extra doggie bags because you never know when they are going to run out. One thing to note: there is no special section for different-sized dogs. They all play together here.
The Final Woof
Letting your canine companion enjoy the dog parks in Northampton is just as much fun for you as you watch him romp and play with other fur babies. But why not try something different? For example, if you have a dog that loves the water, take him river tubing in Conway at Deerfield River Portage. They supply the tubes, life vests, transportation, and towels. You need to bring the doggie bags! Once you work up an appetite, take your pooch to Spoleto on Bridge Street where he can join you on the patio. Afterward, enjoy a glass or two of local wine at Black Birch Vineyard. Dogs are welcome on the patio and lawn.