Thursday, September 18, 2014

Your Guide to Pet-Friendly Apple Orchards and Corn Mazes in New England

Calling all pet lovers! Are you looking to share your favorite fall traditions with your furry pal?
It isn't always easy to find New England Farms that are pet-friendly in their orchards and mazes so New England Fall Events has done the work to create a guide for the farms where your dog will be welcomed.

A few things to know—most orchards and corn mazes are not able to accommodate dogs so you should start with the assumption that most will not (which is why our pet-friendly guide will be precious to you!).

Dog friendly orchard apple picking Drew Farm New England Fall Events
Dogs are welcome in the orchard at Drew Farm, Westford, MA
Some places are dedicated to the dogs...well, at least one is. If you can, swing through Vermont this Columbus Day weekend for the annual special Fall Dog Party at Dog Mountain in October you and your pup will be treated to a truly one-of-a-kind place.

There are a variety of reasons why a farm may not allow dogs. Most farmers and farm staff are pet lovers themselves but certain towns may actually have laws prohibiting dogs on an orchard and this can vary from town to town. Don't hold it against the farm--many are required to comply.

Some pick-your-own orchards may have permitted this in the past but sadly the privilege was abused by a few, er, bad apples.   As orchards are frequented by hundreds of families in any given fall weekend, some farms opt out of being dog-friendly in case young children are fearful, even of your friendly Fifi.

As pet-friendly orchards and mazes are VERY rare, if you do plan to bring your furry friend along with you, please exercise great consideration, awareness, and etiquette so that these handful of orchards will be able to continue their open door policy towards dogs. 

Pet Friendly Orchard Etiquette
  • Leashed - Your dog must be on leash at all times. As tempting as it is to allow your dog some freedom in the orchard, this is a non-negotiable point for every orchard we spoke to.
  • Behavior – All farms were quick to mention that dogs must be well-behaved around adults, other dogs, and especially children.
  • Vaccinated – Your dog must be fully vaccinated.
  • Clean up – The fastest way to ruin this oh-so-delicate pet-friendly arrangement is not cleaning up after your dog after he does his business. Don’t even think about it. If someone sees dog poop they will surely complain and you will earn the fury of your fellow dog-owners for putting the open-pet policy in jeopardy with your irresponsible care--yikes! Be prepared and bring what you need to clean up after your dog.
  • Be respectful or you will be asked to leave – All farms were very clear that there are times where a dog may be asked to leave (perhaps just to the car if the weather is cool enough). They are dog lovers too but they also have the responsibility to make sure the orchard is safe and comfortable for everyone. Please cooperate and do your part to be a mindful dog owner so that farms can continue to offer this option.
The following farms were personally verified as being pet-friendly at the time of publishing. Some are always pet friendly; others have designated days only. Please note the difference and don’t be afraid to call ahead if you’re unsure.

Pet-Friendly New Hampshire
Dog friendly orchard pumpkin patch New England Fall EventsDeMeritt Hill Farm          
66 Lee Rd.  Lee NH
(Click for farm info)

Pet-Friendly Massachusetts
Clearview Farm
4 Kendall Hill Rd. Sterling, MA
(Click for farm info)

Drew Farm                        
31 Tadmuck Rd. Westford MA  
(Click for farm info)

Fairmount Fruit Farm 
887 Lincoln St. Franklin MA      
(Click for farm info)

Long Hill Orchard
520 Main St./Rte 113 West Newbury MA
(Click for farm info)  

Nashoba Valley Winery & Orchard
100 Wattaquadoc Hill Rd. Bolton MA
(Click for farm info)
Your leashed pooch can even chill on the porch while you are inside enjoying a glass of wine!

Monthly Twilight Hikes at Sholan Farms
1125 Pleasant St. Leominster, MA
(Click for Twilight Hike info)
Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome to tag along on these monthly Friday night hikes.

Pet-Friendly Rhode Island
Escobar Farm and Corn Maze
255 Middle Rd. Portsmouth RI
(Click for farm info)

Pet-Friendly Connecticut
Treat Farm                    
361 Old Tavern Rd. Orange, CT
(Click for farm info)

Pet-Friendly Vermont
Percy Farm Corn Maze  
Route 108 Stowe VT                         
(Click for maze info)

Mad Tom Orchard
2615 Mad Tom Rd.
East Dorset, VT
(Click for farm info)

Offering Designated Pet-Friendly Corn Maze Events

Marini Farm Corn Maze
259 Linebrook Rd. Ipswich MA      
Hosts a pet-friendly corn maze weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Sept 10th and 11th, 2016.
(Click for event info)

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