03 Apr 11

By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Dog Friendly Trails in Nassau?

In Nassau County there are not too many parks or hiking paths that you can legally walk your dog – you cannot go to county parks with them, most town and village parks have signs stating, ‘No Dogs Allowed’ so what is a dog owner to do?  Most travel to Suffolk County Parks where all our dog parks are dog friendly, leashed of course, or they go to fenced in dog runs in Nassau – which in my opinion they are not that big in size.  While in Nassau, there are some spots that are not too well known or private beaches that if you live there, you can bring your dog too – as a Suffolk County resident I always felt bad for Nassau dog owning residents not having too many options.

One question I have gotten from Nassau Dog owners throughout the years is “where can we hike or walk our dogs in Nassau?” I would tell them that I didn’t know of any dog friendly hiking trails or parks that were not privately owned.  In Long Beach, at Nickerson’s beach you used to be able to let your dog run free on the beach from around October until April or May – but I have heard that is no longer the case.  There is a dog run there, but it is pretty small.

I was happy to find out recently that there is actually an area where you can bring your dog, legally, on a leash and go hiking through the woods and grounds there – many Nassau residents may know about it, but I know all do not, as I still get the question above from them.  Where is this wonderful place? Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, NY.  Sagamore Hill is deep in US history as it was once the home of President Teddy Roosevelt  – a big time dog lover himself, when the property was donated to the National Park Service it was made clear that the Roosevelt family made sure that pets were always welcomed on the 83-acre site.  Dogs must be leashed on a 6-foot leash at all times and not allowed in buildings (unless it is a service dog)  – this is after all a National Historic Site and part of the National Park Service.  It is also a museum too – so please respect that and click here for all information and rules regarding pets.  The Theodore Roosevelt Association acquired the Sagamore Hill property in 1950, and opened the house to the public in 1953 and then donated it to the National Park Service ten years later.

If you want a good, hilly, kick your butt hike, head too the woods to the left of the parking lot, and there is a 3/4 mile loop,  (nature trail), through the woods that leads down to the bay beach.  The loop is quite hilly, so doing that a few times will definitely wear you and your dog out.  On our visit there last week, we found the people that work there and visitors to be all very friendly and happy to see our dogs there.   So if you want a unique place to walk your dog, and if you are taking part of the 250 Challenge you will definitely want to check this place out.

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