Best Trails for Reactive Dogs in New Hampshire

Do you worry about walking your reactive dog outside your yard? For many reactive dog owners, this is an everyday concern. The constant lunging, barking or cowering behavior your dog displays can be both stressful and overwhelming leaving you wondering if you will be able to safely walk your dog on a New Hampshire trail.

Where can you walk your dog in a safe environment where you will not be approached by an off leash dog or ignorant dog owner? Well, we can’t guarantee you won’t run into one or the other, but we can offer several suggestions based on feedback from our Community about where they take their reactive dogs for physical exercise.

Check out these top suggestions from our Community. Each trail has a link for more information. Be sure to research and make sure this location will be a comfortable environment for you and your dog.

  1. Louise likes Head’s Pond Trail in Hooksett – (formerly called the Hooksett Rail Trail) this trail is mostly flat and wide and offers areas to pull off to the side with your dog as needed. At the end of the trail, is a pond for your dog to take a swim. Parking for Heads Pond is located on Route 3/28 just north of Green’s Marine in Hooksett, NH and before Post Road.
  2. Amy recommends Goffstown Rail Trail in Goffstown – this trail offers many scenic views as well as wide paths where dog walkers can avoid each other. The trail extends from Pinardville to The Village and was voted Top 10 Rail Trails in NH. There is an informational kiosk located at the parking area off Mast Road.
  3. Leah suggests Beaver Brook in Hollis – this area offers over 35 miles of trails and an array of things to see from wildflowers in the spring, to big trees, nesting boxes, and lots of natural history. Beaver Brook has two entrances. The larger parking lot is located at 117 Ridge Road in Hollis, NH. There are more trails at this location as well as a porta potty.
  4. Alex likes White Park and Rollins Park in Concord and Benedictine Park in Bedford – all have wide open areas for observing but not getting too close to dogs. The first two are commonly busy on weekends and in good weather, the latter is generally empty as it’s just an open hillside. They advise that rail trails tend to attract many cyclists, and may not be comfortable for dogs who overreact to this type of stimuli.
  5. Paula and Nicole recommend the Northern Rail Trail which runs from Lebanon to Boscawen – the trail is nice and wide, along a river and through the woods. There are other dogs, but it’s an on-leash trail with plenty of room to move over.
  6. Devon suggests Scoutland Trail in Rollinsford – the trails are wide with lots of areas to pull off if needed. This trail is not well known by outsiders and tends to be a community favorite. For the best parking, drive to the end of Greenview Drive in Rollinsford. This is a dead end street with a cul-de-sac. You will see the trailhead gate.
  7. Sarah likes the Dover Community Rail Trail (Watson Rd. entrance) in Dover – another wide trail that follows the Cocheco River with small paths to follow down to the river for a swim. This rural section is much quieter than the urban portion which is accessed behind the Dover Transportation Center. To access the parking area and trail head, use 171 Watson Road, Dover, NH. There is not much signage, but it is a good sized parking lot. 

Have a suggestion for a reactive dog-friendly trail we should know about? Please comment below with the information and we will check it out!

Looking to connect with like-minded people who also love reactive dogs? Join our passionate and engaged Golden Dog Facebook Community.

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