Archive for Summer

15 Towns in 12 Months-August

Summer has FLOWN by! Brya and I enjoyed our month in these two lower cape towns. They both are what we could classify quintessential cape cod summer towns. Their population more than doubles in the summer months and even with traffic, we always feel like it’s worth the drive.

Truro

This tiny town incorporated in 1709 boasts over 15,000 people once summer hits. With over 75% of its land designated as National Seashore, no fast food restaurants and no stoplights, some say Truro is the forgotten town between the popular Wellfleet and Provincetown tourist areas, but it is truly a gem worth exploring!

We started by hitting the Smalls Swamp trail. This loop around the swamp is a quick trip rich in plant life and history! This swamp was the set in the bottom of a former glacial kettle hole. This is just one of the numerous walks in the Cape Cod National Seashore which stretches from Eastham to Provincetown. Visit their site to see what else lies in store for you!

Smalls swamp sign        Smalls Swamp steps

How to get there: From the intersection of Routes 6 and 6A in North Truro, take Route 6 north for 2.1 miles, then turn right on an unnamed road signed Pilgrim Heights. Go 0.5 miles to a large, paved parking area on the left side of a one-way loop. Two trails depart from a trailhead at the northwest side of the one-way loop. The trail to Small’s Swamp goes left (northwest) toward the interpretive shelter. The trail to neighboring Pilgrim Spring veers right (northeast)

Brya and I love the water, so Truro is perfect for us! Your dogs are allowed on all National Seashore beaches YEAR ROUND on leash. All Truro town beaches welcome your pet after 6pm in the summer. We loved Coast Guard Beach, but there are so many more to sample, we will be back! Here is the list to choose from: http://www.truro-ma.gov/beach-office/pages/beach-list-information

Mayflower Bch 2014-2

While in town, be sure to check out Truro vineyards. A must see! http://trurovineyardsofcapecod.com/index.php

If you’d like to stay in this beautiful town on near the tip of the Cape, the Outer Reach Pet Resort is set on 12 acres in the National Seashore and perched atop a bluff with beautiful panoramic views of Provincetown and Pilgrim Lake http://www.outerreachresort.com/

 

Wellfleet

Being from the upper cape, I did the touristy things for 20 years. Wellfleet has an outdoor flea market by day and drive in by night-done it! The National Seashore has Marconi Beach with great wave action (most every time we see seals, yet where there are seals…….sharks do tend to follow)-done it! But to explore this town with Brya was such a great experience.

I really didn’t know that all National Seashore beaches allow pups all year long! Hard to believe, but I really didn’t. The deal is simple. You must keep your pet leashed and move past the life guard protected area. It is a little walk (so remember all your things in one trip) but it is truly a better spot! The beach is less crowded and we were able to get cell service. Be leery that most beaches require a lot of stair climbing/descending so it may not be a great place for an elderly pooch. Brya wasn’t a fan of the big waves at first, but soon grew to LOVE them! She actually body surfs!

Marconi waves 

Just this month we received some wonderful news!!! A trail once off limits to dogs is now dog friendly, and a must do! The Great Island Trail is just that, on an island. Therefore, you must watch the tides as it is inaccessible at high tide. Leashed dogs are allowed only on the trail from the upper Great Island main lot and the lower “gut” parking lot to the first dune and out to the beach….year round. Laminated maps are available at Great Island to direct pet owners to the newly opened areas.

Great Island sign     Great Island picHow to get there: Turn left off Route 6 to Wellfleet Town Center. Turn left onto Commercial Street. At town pier, turn right onto Kendrick Road, then left onto Chequesset Neck Road to the Great Island parking lot, 3-1/2 miles from traffic light on Route 6. Driving hint: Water view will generally be on your left.

Be sure to check out PJ’s family restaurant, Rte 6 & School St if you are looking for some good eats with your dog. (508-349-2126)

15 Towns in 12 Months-July

So its summer…..dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, right? Wrong!

In Provincetown, one of the most dog-friendly towns on the cape, dogs are welcome on the beaches on leash all year long. In fact, you may have your well behaved dog off leash from 6-9 am AND 6-9pm. But be sure to pick up after your pooch, if you know what I mean 😉 We have to keep the beaches clean so our furry friends don’t lose this invitation.

Ptown Beaches April 2014

Sometimes in the “dog days of summer” I get lazy. Not really, but I am definitely less motivated for a long walk. I think Brya feels the same way. Being near the water always helps! Just walking down the main drag of Commercial Street is a trip. Several stores and banks allow dogs inside the store, plenty of watering holes line sidewalks, and you can even get a dog cookie like we did at Paws & Whiskers Dog Bakery.

Ptown Aug 2014-4                       Ptown Aug 2014-5

If you are feeling adventurous, head out to the breakwater at the absolute tip of the Cape. You can walk for what seems like a mile, but I’m sure is a bit less, across this stone jetty and make your way over to the lighthouse. Be warned, this trail is 4.93 miles long, so make sure you time your tides right so you don’t get stuck……that’s right it almost happened to us, yikes!

https://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XMR016-043

ptown breakwater

If you aren’t as adventurous of just feeling a bit on the lazy side, Beech Forest Trail is a cute trail that is just over a mile:  http://www.hikingcapecod.com/beechforest.html

Lastly, Try walking the neighborhoods of this hustling summer city and you never know who you will find! We walked by the Pilgrim Monument and realized we hadn’t actually appreciated the significance in a long time, probably since visiting in grade school! For those of you who live off cape, check out the story as we know it:         http://www.pilgrim-monument.org/overview-faq#.VbDB_nLbLj0

Ptown Aug 2014

I would be remiss without mentioning the Provincetown Dog Park, located at the intersection of Route 6 and Shank Painter Road     http://www.pilgrimbarkpark.org/

I didn’t see a lot of shade, so maybe not a great location for a mid day romp, but a great looking park.  Its nice for folks to have some human interaction as well!!   The dog park site also give you a great selection of hotels and restaurants that are dog friendly:     http://www.pilgrimbarkpark.org/Ptown.html

One fact remains, BRYA AND I LOVE PTOWN!!!!  Come down and enjoy!

 

Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Does it take a little extra effort to bring your pet on vacation? Yes.

But it pays you back tenfold! After my son’s recent college graduation, we decided to try and have a family vacation ON Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire before he heads off into the world.  With some on line research, were able to find a house on VRBO.com that would accommodate a dog  (there were actually many listings with different amenities).

IMG_6428

This home in the beautiful town of Meredith was smack on the banks of the quiet, picturesque Fish Cove.  Abutting a loon sanctuary and tucked away in a residential area, we had the best of both worlds!  We had quiet peace in the mornings for jumping off the dock and kayaking, and yet we were a quick boat ride out to the main part of the lake for tubing and sight-seeing. This was not our first visit to Lake Winni, but certainly our best!

IMG_6435           Brya in kayak in NH

Seeing the lake from the water was so much fun and interesting—we decided they may need some signs for navigation out there…it’s so huge!  The boating was a bit of a challenge from a newbie’s perspective as the lake is known for the massive amount of rocks to maneuver around. Our Navigation Map purchased at the local Mobil station helped immensely!  NH isn’t called the Granite State for nothing!!  Donning her life vest, Brya came everywhere on the boat with us and there was plenty of public docks to stop and walk around in each of the main towns around the lake.

Lake Winni 3               Lake Winni 1

We found many eateries when we docked the boat that would take the dog. All patio venues will allow dogs to dine and some even offer water bowls and treats. Many ice cream spots will give you a doggie cup J  When in Wolfeboro, we dined at Dockside with a covered patio and great simple but tasty summer foods.  My kids tell me the fish & chips were awesome! I was amazed at how many dogs we saw in our travels boating this enormous lake.

Lake Winni 5

The water was definitely the draw to this vacation.  Although we walked our area of Stonedam Island daily, Brya LOVED kayaking with us.  We usually get in the kayak on Cape Cod from the shore, but by day two in NH she was jumping in from the dock into her spot in my kayak ready for our next adventure. We found a few islands that were purely conservation that we got out and explored.  My favorite spot was “Sally’s Gut”, a little canal that is VERY shallow and boats must be careful and slow but is a kayakers dream!

Lake Winni 4                 Lake Winni 2

In Brya’s 2 ½ short years of life I have found that not only has traveling made her a happier dog, but she is so easy to take anywhere!  By being exposed to so many different situations, we have increased the bond of trust between us ………never mind it brings both of us a lot of joy !  Give it a try!

15 Towns in 12 Months-June

FALMOUTH in June

This month we straddle the spring/summer seasons, but here on Cape Cod summer is already in full tilt! Dogs are allowed on the beaches Oct 1-April 30, so off to the trails we went!

The Knob-Quinnaquisset Ave-One of my favorite haunts! Such beautiful landscape and places to roam all year long on the ocean! Some pluses are the many spots for awesome photos and two small beaches that allow the dogs to swim even in the summer! Minuses to this location are the limited parking spots and the trails are not very lengthy. A definite must see!!!!!     Map:   http://www.saltpond.info/pdf/trailmap_knob.pdf

The Knob Falm July 2014-4   The Knob

Crane Wildlife Reservation-Located on Route 151 this 1800 acres of property was acquired from Frances A. Crane in 1958. The landscape is so vast and starts in an open field (which can get muddy) and heads into an array of wooded trails that intermingle. If your goal is to let your dog run, this is the perfect place to make it happen! Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/Craneeast.pdf

Falm-Crane Reservation Feb 15    Falm-Crane Reservation 2 Feb 15

Shining Sea Bikeway is a bike/walking trail that extends from Route 151 all the way down to Woods Hole. Along the way, such beautiful landscape surrounds you that I got lost in it and ended up walking 8 miles…..yikes! A typical up and back you have several opportunities to sit on a bench and people watch or sit and listen to the birds. Helpful hint: when you are a walker, stay to the right of the trail and listen for bikers signaling to pass. Trail Map:               http://www.woodshole.com/documents/bikewaymap.pdf

Long Pond-This walk is awesome! Starting on Brick Kiln Road and park just before the Goodwill Park. The walk is approximately 4 miles around the pond and is gorgeous. We saw a lot of wildlife and the only downside I saw was that the dogs are not allowed to access the pond since it is a source of drinking water for the town. Trail Map:                http://www.300committee.org/documents/LongPondfinal.pdf

Sandw-Talbots April 2014

Bebee Woods-Depot Road, Falmouth. This hidden gem is located just behind the Cape Cod Conservatory at the end of Depot Road is a playground for dog walkers! There are two ponds, well marked trails and lots of shade for the summer. When the beaches are off limits, head here! You can tailor make your walk as long or short as you’d like!  Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/BeebeWoods.pdf

 IMG_2435

I can’t fail to mention the Falmouth Dog Park located on 254 Brick Kiln Road-there are ongoing events and ways you can help fundraise for the park…for more info:          http://www.falmouthdogpark.com/

Falmouth has an AWESOME main street with many patios to eat with your pooch and a large grassy common area in the center to sit for a picnic. Some ideas:

Stone L’Oven-271 Main Street     http://stonelovenfalmouth.com/

The Pickle Jar-170 Main Street     http://www.picklejarkitchen.com/

The Raw Bar-56 Scranton Ave      http://www.falmouthrawbar.com/