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8 historical dog walks in New England

Posted by Stephanie St. Martin  November 8, 2012 09:49 AM

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Love getting lost in another time? Exploring places where history has not been forgotten?

America may be young, but parts of our great nation are rich with history. And you don't have to venture far from the Common to find it. It's time to explore the rest of New England. And who's a better companion than your pup?

With a gorgeous weekend ahead of us, head out and take it all in. Check out these dog-friendly historical walks around the area. Dogs should always be on-leash at these places, out of respect for the land and for others. And of course, you should always clean up after your dog too.

Share your favorite historic dog walk in the comments section below.

Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Don't get all spooked by ghosts just yet. Burial Hill may be a seventeenth-century cemetery, but it also happens to be home to the oldest street in New England! Visit Leyden Street and step onto history, following along the path that many of the first Americans walked. At Burial Hill, you'll see lots of old headstones, many belonging to some of the original Mayflower passengers.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail, Dennis/Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Summer may be over, but since there's no traffic, now is the time to head down the Cape. Before the railroad connected Cape Cod to the mainland, this area was hard to get to. Between 1845 and 1893, the Old Colony Railroad transported visitors from all over New England. Even though the railroad is long gone, you and your pup can still enjoy the beautiful winding trail. The entire trail is paved, so you may pass bicyclists, runners and horseback riders. Keep your pup on a leash at all times to keep him and passers-by safe. There's also free parking at many locations, including Orleans Center.

Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island
Want to visit a fort that once housed both Civil War and World War I soldiers? Look no further than Fort Adams. From 1824-1950, many soldiers called this place home. You can explore the tunnel system that the soldiers used and even climb the bastions for some amazing panoramic views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay.

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site, Cornish, New Hampshire
Wander around the home and grounds of one of America's most beloved sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He is famous for designing monuments of Civil War heroes, such as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on the Common. Located about 2.5 hours north of Boston, you and Lassie can view his sculptures, walk along nature trails together, and see the 1907 twenty-dollar gold piece he designed, considered to be America's most beautiful coin.

Newport's Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island
Do you have a passion for Downton Abbey? Head to Newport and check out America's version of upper class extravagance. Walk along the Cliff Walk and gape at the mansions left over from the Gilded Age. And this walk has some bragging rights of its own -- it was the first designated National Recreation Trail in New England. It's a 3.5 mile walk along the Newport shoreline. One thing to note, as you walk further south, you'll hit some rough trails and drops of over 70 feet. Keep Fido safe and only go about two-thirds of the way.

Acadia National Park, Acadia, Maine
Maine is home to the first national park east of the Mississippi. Acadia was named a national park in 1919 and features the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. If you and Fido are daring, wake up early and hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain to catch the first sunlight in the United States. You can also see some spectacular views of Bar Harbor, Fisherman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. And don't forget your camera. You may get a glimpse of some amazing animals, such as a bald eagle. Just keep an eye on Rover –you don't want him to get caught up with any wild friends.

Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, Connecticut – New Hampshire
Known as the M-M Trail for short, this is a long distance hiking footpath, stretching 114 miles from Connecticut to New Hampshire in the Appalachian Mountains. You certainly don't have to walk it all, but you can see some gorgeous views along the trail, including Mount Tom State Reservation and Mr. Holyoke Range, which is a part of the Appalachian range. If you went to UMass Amherst and are an alum, the path will have even more meaning to you: the late Prof. Walter M. Banfield laid out the path in the 1950s.

The Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts
A historical walk list wouldn't be complete without rounding out with the granddaddy of them all: the Freedom Trail. You and Fido can pass Paul Revere's House, the Boston Massacre Site and King Chapel's Burying Ground. The most famous trail in America is 2.5 miles of history that helped to not only shape Boston, but the United States of America too.

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