The Ins and Outs of Sandy Lake Park

Sandy Lake Park was one of the last year-round officially off-leash destinations on our “to do” list. An extra-long weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to check this one off. So on Monday, after our much-loved Easter guests had departed and the house was feeling a little too quiet, we headed for Sandy Lake Park in Bedford. 

A walk in the woods proved to be the perfect cure for post-holiday melancholy.

Sandy Lake Park is one of those places that can be a little tricky to figure out if you haven’t been there before. Here are some tips.

Off-Season (October – June)

Sandy Lake Park has two different modes of operation. The first mode, the one we encountered, is the off-season mode. Running from October 1 to June 30, this is the more dog-friendly time of year. During this time of year, access to the main parking lot is blocked off by a gate. Park your car at the end of Smiths Road and go from there. The off-leash zone starts right away. So from the very beginning of your walk, you and your four-legged pal can enjoy off-leash time. Which is the best time.

In fact, during the off-season Sandy Lake Park is almost entirely off-leash. The only exception is the beach. Dogs are not allowed on the beach at all, even with a leash, regardless of the time of year. But given the abundance of off-leash space, which includes access to the lake, we’re okay with that.

Summer (July – September)

During the summer months (July 1 to September 30), the off-leash space at Sandy Lake Park is smaller, but still wonderful. The space that stays off-leash year-round – the red trail on the map below – is actually a big wooded area with lake access, and it’s where we spent most of our visit.

Sandy Lake Park off-leash map

There is a rough trail through the woods, but we went off-roading for some fetching and swimming.

And chewing.

There seemed to be a few side trails at the Park – one off of the main (green trail), between the Smiths Road parking area and the main parking lot, and one from the Smiths Road parking lot. We can’t wait to go back to do some more exploring. 

P.S. Remember that basket of goodies I put together for the upcoming Dartmouth ElderDog online auction? The dates for the auction will be April 15 to 30. Stay tuned for the link so you can do some bidding. In the meantime, we’re still looking for donations of new and gently used items (things like furniture and other household goods, handcrafted items, etc.). If you’re in the area and you have something to donate, send me a quick message!


2 thoughts on “The Ins and Outs of Sandy Lake Park

  1. sybil says:

    the trails extend much farther than you have experienced so far. If you park by the gate at the Smith’s Road entrance and head up into the woods there are many trails … I love it there.


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