14 Apr 11

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Hiking with your dog, Blydenburgh

The next park in our series of dog friendly parks throughout LI, as part of the 250 Challenge, we bring you Blydenburgh County Park in Hauppauge.  While many people may have heard of this park or past by it on their way to Suffolk County office buildings – most have yet to venture into the park itself.  This is one of my favorite places to take my dog for a good 6 – 7-mile hike through the woods.  The full hike around Stump Pond takes about 2 or 2.5 hours depending on which path you take and where you entered the park.  There are skinny, very hilly trails right along side the “pond” for a large part of the hike or a wider less hilly trail that is quite sandy due to the horses that frequent the park on a daily basis. Long Island is still horse country, if you didn’t know!   Recently we hiked there on a busy Saturday and I think we passed maybe 3 or 4 other people with dogs, on leashes, at most.  The reason the trails are not over run with dogs, like some of the other Suffolk County Parks is because of the large enclosed dog run that is there.

A few years ago the Long Island Dog Owners Group (LI-Dog) lobbied to get more dog runs built on Suffolk County land, and one of those great dog runs is located right inside of Blydenburgh Park.  In my opinion this has made a huge difference of a lot less off leash dogs running in the trails (and safer for horses, hikers and dog walkers alike).  Now the vast majority of people that want their dogs to run off leash go into the dog run.  It is a nice size too and there is a large dog and small dog area separated by fences.  There is also a water pump near by and open bathrooms too.  (The bathrooms by the row boats are not open until Memorial Day weekend I believe).  I was pleasantly surprised to learn from many dog owners at the dog run that they have had really nice experiences, and come back often to it.  When I stopped by there must have been like 50+ dogs in there, but it’s large enough that there is plenty of room for the dogs to run around and it didn’t look crowded.  (As a quick tip, you should always watch your dog’s body language and make sure he is having fun and not feeling overwhelmed by other dogs in the dog run.)

So if you are looking for a gem of a place to hike with your dog or to meet other dog owners Blydenburgh is the spot – centrally located on Long Island and very easy to get to. Why not try a different park to walk your dog, he will thank you!  You should bring with you water for you and your dog while hiking and be sure to check for ticks afterwards.  For directions and more information about Blydenburgh click here.  See below for pictures.

Max is a veteran hiker at Blydenburgh - on one of the many little bridges on the trail.

Horses walking by the Grist Mill.

Dog run

Coco enjoying her first hike at Blydenburgh

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