Ditch The Dog Run: Outings Made Better With Your Pooch

March 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

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Photograph by Dirima/Shutterstock

Tired of slogging through the snowy sludge with your dog during these harsh winter months? Now that spring is finally here (or so they say), you’ll be able to get out and about with your canine pal. Here are some dog-friendly trip ideas within just a few hours of NYC—because every activity is better when you bring your furry best friend.

GET SANDY WITH SCRUFFY

Dogs can rock beach hair better than most of us. The general rule is that New York beaches are dog-friendly during the off-season, but from May 1-Sept 30, dogs are either prohibited or limited to certain hours. Here are a few beaches where your dog has the most leash-way in the peak summer months.

Larchmont, New York: Only a 30-minute drive from Manhattan gets you to this doggie beach overlooking the Long Island Sound. Bring your woofer at low tide, when the 50 foot-wide beach area extends much farther out. This timetable will help you track the tides.

Fire Island, New York: Once you step aboard the Davis Park ferry at Patchogue with your dog and chain, just the sheer number of wind-blown four-leggers will make you feel like you and the other humans are chaperones on a dog cruise ship, which, obviously, sounds awesome. Once you arrive, dogs are technically only allowed (leashed) on the bayside, never ocean-side of the beaches of Watch Hill, Fire Island Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, and Barrett Beach/Talisman, (which is so narrow that the designated terms “bayside”; and “ocean-side” become null) but feel free to walk them on the boardwalks and foot trails, even take them beach-hopping with you on the Fire Island Water Taxi. By the end of your trip, you’ll be calling it Fido Island.

Asbury Park, New Jersey: From 6 p.m. until 8:30 a.m., the 8th Ave. Dog Beach (at Ocean Ave.) is fair game for your unleashed bowser to romp in the sand and surf. Pregame a few miles down at the Wonder Bar, which as soon as Saturday, April 5 brings back its famed Yappy Hour, where dogs can play in the fenced-off beach area while their owners enjoy $3 Yuenglings.

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Doesn’t this beer taste better when your dog is next to you? Photograph by tswicegood/Flickr

WINE TASTE OR HAVE AN ARTISANAL BREW WITH FIDO

If you’re at all like me, then drinking and dogs are your two passions, best combined at any opportunity. NYC boasts some great local dog-friendly bars, like Lucky Dog and Mission Dolores, but for a weekend away with hooch plus pooch, check out these Long Island Vineyards and breweries that allow your dog to roam alongside you while you stroll or sit at the foot of your bar stool while you sip.

Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead, NY: Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome any time on the grounds and in the tasting room of this North Fork winery (tasting hours: Sunday-Friday 11 am-5 pm; Saturday 11 am-6 pm). Martha Clara takes the puppy love a step further with special canine-centric events, like “Vines and Canines Educational Vineyard Walk” a free tour you can attend with your Benji as long as you bring a donation of dog or cat food that will be given to a local shelter. Scheduled for Sunday, April 27 at 10 a.m. and Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 26th at 10 a.m.

Duckwalk Vineyards, North and South Fork locations: Head out to Duckwalk for an eco-and-dog-friendly experience. Duckwalk uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling to reduce emissions, and plants specially-selected grasses among the vines to enrich the soil with nitrogen in place of chemical fertilizers. Dogs must be leashed in the tasting room, but can pretty much roam free on the grounds. Try the Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, made from grapes frozen on the vine.

Montauk Brewing Company, Montauk: If you want to mix in some hops with your tannins, this South Fork brewery in quaint schoolhouse red is a welcome stop off (tasting room Saturdays and Sundays noon-5 p.m.). Sample all four of Montauk’s beers on tap for $8 and a pint glass to keep while you schmooze with locals and the pups lounge underfoot. The flagship brew Driftfood Ale, the amber-hued and slightly sweet Extra Special Bitter, is worth the trip out to The End.

SCALE THE MOUNTAINS WITH SPOT

Get rugged on these trails from Harriman State Park to the Adirondacks. Before you go, make sure your dog is up to date on tick preventive meds—Frontline, Comfortis and Vectra 3d all provide treatments—as those little suckers are known to be rampant in the warmer months of the year.

Adirondacks Mountains: Trek up to the small town of Keene Valley for a weekend in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Stay at the rustic Rooster Comb Inn which takes dogs for a $15 fee per night and is just minutes from the easy-to-moderate 2.5 mile Rooster Comb trailhead. Your dog will lead the way on an easy jaunt to the summit. After, go for a cool down swim with dog at Mirror Lake just 15 miles north in Lake Placid.

Harriman State Park: Just an hour drive from NYC brings you to Harriman State Park, where leashed dogs are welcome throughout all 200 miles of hiking trails. Try the Island Pond loop for an easy-to-moderate 4 hour hike with ample opportunity for “stealth” swim breaks.

Cornish Estate Trail, Cold Spring, NY: This 4.5 mile trail in Cold Spring’s Hudson Highlands State Park will lead you alongside the Hudson River and gorgeous views of Mount Beacon up to the ruins of National Lead Company president Edward J. Cornish’s estate. Explore the old stone structures with Spot, then sail back down, your body and mind high with endorphins and a greater sense of New York history.

Kate Mooney is a writer living in Brooklyn. She has written for Time Out, the NY Post, USA Today, the NY Observer and Brokelyn. Escaping New York with her scruffy mutt Phoebe is a favorite pastime! You can follow on Twitter and Instagram.

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