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Park mentality 

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If you and your canine companion are anything like me and mine, your daily walk routine requires the occasional variety to combat boredom for both of you. Thankfully, summertime offers restless Rochester-area residents myriad options for letting their four-legged friends explore.

There are limited spaces available where dogs can roam off-leash, however, so make certain to follow all posted rules regarding your pet. For longer excursions you should make sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl along for Fido to rehydrate, and — having experienced the joys of stepping in dog waste — bring enough bags to dispose of what your pet leaves behind.

Where do you like to take your dog for some outdoor activity? Let us know in the comment section below this article at rochestercitynewspaper.com.

Monroe County dog parks

The county hosts three separate, fenced-in dog parks where dogs are free to sniff to their hearts' content without the normal leash restriction. All area dog parks offer well maintained spaces where dogs can romp with others of similar size, or explore without restriction.

Dogs love Corbett's Glen. - PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
  • PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
  • Dogs love Corbett's Glen.

Parks are available at Lookout Park in Henrietta, Ellison Park in Brighton, and Greece Canal Park in Greece. Note that dogs must be registered with the Parks Department in order to gain access to all of the parks; registration is $25 for the entire year.

It may be, however, that your pooch is wary of other dogs, or you just want to explore a different area. The majority of Monroe County Parks offer walking and hiking trails where the two of you can get yourselves lost.

Coyote Den Trail

Part of Ellison Park (395 Rich's Dugway, entrance on Blossom Road), the Coyote Den trailhead starts on Penfield Road and works its way down to Irondequoit Creek. The trail is well-manicured, though it can get muddy after heavier rains, making it perfect for dogs and owners who do not mind getting their paws dirty. Owners will appreciate the quiet respite the trail provides, and dogs will appreciate the varied terrain to explore.

Bird Sanctuary Trail

An offshoot from North Ponds Park (750 Holt Road) in Webster, the Bird Sanctuary Trail is a wide walking path that runs slightly less than a mile from end to end. The trail heads behind a pair of ponds and housing tracts and comes to a rather unceremonious end, though that should not deter owners from taking their dogs for a stroll to take in the variety of birds that nest in the area. The sights and sounds of the trail will give dogs plenty of sensory stimulation.

Abraham Lincoln Park

Dogs playing at the Ellison dog park. - PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
  • PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
  • Dogs playing at the Ellison dog park.

Formerly known as Irondequoit Bay Park East, Abraham Lincoln Park — on Empire Boulevard near Smith Road — contains miles of trails for investigating. The trails wind down toward the bay with plenty of offshoots to create different experiences every time they're traversed. The trails are fairly hilly, so the natural ups and downs will tire even the most energetic breeds.

Corbett's Glen Park

Corbett's Glen is tucked away by 490 in Penfield, and it winds around to Penfield Road, offering plenty of wide trails to travel in its more than 73 acres. The trails at Corbett's Glen are some of the best kept in the area, and with the various types of terrain available within the park — from wetlands to meadows to a waterfall — neither man nor beast will be disappointed in the walk.

Regardless of which park you choose to spend time in, make it a point to bring along your dog. He or she will appreciate the opportunity to break up the monotony of walking in your neighborhood, and the stimulation will work wonders for tiring them out. The phrase "a good dog is a tired dog" will have never rang more true.

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