Best New Hampshire Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks
Let your pup splash in the waves or enjoy some off-the-leash fun
A note from New Hampshire Magazine: Due to the ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, all beaches are currently closed, and it’s advised that you avoid crowded parks. When you do venture out, we hope you will exercise best judgement and avoid any crowded places, and that you’ll practice appropriate social distancing. We will continue to update this and other stories as more details are released. In the meantime, we hope you use this guide (and others) to make plans for when we can once again experience all that our wonderful state has to offer. Stay safe, and stay healthy!
If salty air, sandcastles and splashing in the waves sound like the perfect day for you and your canine companion, then a trip to the beach is a must. When you are packing the chairs and umbrellas, don’t forget extra leashes, poop bags, fresh water and beach towels. Although dogs are not allowed on any ocean beaches in New Hampshire state parks, there are several pet-friendly beaches along the state’s 18 miles of shoreline to explore.
Foss Beach in Rye is a town-owned beach, which means that you and your dog are allowed anytime during the off-season from sunrise to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. the Saturday before Memorial Day through the Saturday after Labor Day. It’s a long stretch of beach that runs from the Rye Harbor State Park along Ocean Boulevard past Washington Road. While the beach is rocky, you are allowed to have your dog off the leash as long as they are under voice control. Make sure to check the tidal charts before you head out as this beach disappears during high tide. Note: All beaches are closed in Rye, and parking along Ocean Boulevard (Route 1A) is prohibited. See more information here.
Located in Seabrook between Hampton Beach and Salisbury Beach, Seabrook Beach is a dog-friendly hidden gem for you and your pet. Dogs are required to be leashed year-round, and are limited to the hours of before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. With this in mind, we recommend visiting off-season. Note: Seabrook Beach is closed until further notice.
Great Island Common
For a more scenic beach visit, check out Great Island Common in New Castle. Consisting of 32 acres, it includes a small, sandy beach, rocky shoreline, picnic area and stone jetty popular for fishing. While you are walking your dog, don’t forget to look for the area’s two lighthouses, Whaleback and Portsmouth Harbor Light, and three local forts, Fort Constitution, Fort McClary and Fort Foster. No dogs are allowed from May 15 through September 15, but this is still an enjoyable place to bring your dog (on-leash) during the off-season. Note: The New Castle Beach and the children’s playground at New Castle Common are closed. The New Castle Common and Beach are closed to all vehicle traffic. See more information here.
Unplanned parties are the best, especially when your dog is involved. Before you bring your dog out to socialize, make sure that they are licensed, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Check out these local dog parks and let your dog run free and maybe even make some new friends.
Hudson Dog Park at Benson Park
19 Kimball Rd., Hudson
This park boasts plenty of room for your dog to romp around from sunrise to sunset, and there are even two separate areas, large and small, for dogs to play leash-free.
Live Free and Run Dog Park
Green Road, Kingston
This is a fenced-in, off-leash park where you and your dog are encouraged to engage with the community around you, and participate in education, training and recreational activities. There is a membership fee to be a part of this park, but dues go toward keeping the space maintained.
Derry Dog Park
Fordway Extension, Derry
This local park is completely fenced in, allowing your dog the opportunity to run and play freely in a safe and enclosed environment. There are also agility obstacles and available to keep your dog entertained from sunrise to sunset.
Shaker Field Dog Park
535 NH-4A, Enfield
This park has something for every dog. The park features three separate enclosures: one for small dogs (30 pounds and under), one for large dogs (over 30 pounds) and a training area. There are also amenities like benches, tunnels, rock piles, boulders and tires.