Monday, July 4, 2011

Winnekenni Castle: Haverhill, MA

Directions: Click here for Google map

I grew up near Haverhill, MA and have many childhood memories of this wonderful park with an enchanting castle on the grounds (what little girl wouldn't love that?). I love to revisit Winnekenni Castle as an adult and it's an especially great place to bring my dog! With over 200 acres of conservation land and 9 miles of foot-trails (which loop around a beautiful lake), your dog is sure to enjoy it, too!

"Winnekenni" is Algonquian language for "Very Beautiful". The castle was built in 1875 by a local physician using 35,000 cubic feet of glacial boulders found on the property. The summer home covers 3,500 square feet, rising 250 feet above lake level. The castle was sold to the city of Haverhill in 1895 and it became Haverhill's first public park. The grounds are now open to the public and the castle is often used for cultural and educational events. Allowable activities in the park include: hiking, X-C skiing, snow-shoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking, tennis, fishing, sledding, and skating.  You can find more great info (including a trail map) on their website:

Please note that dogs must be leashed on the grounds.

Information source: Winnekenni pamphlet and

Here are the positive features:
  • Beautiful, well maintained trails offer many options for short or long walks
  • There are many opportunities for your dog to jump in the lake, cool off, and get a drink
  • Abundant free parking is available
  • The park offers tennis courts and a great playground
  • Lots of nice green grass make for great picnic areas
  • We didn't have one mosquito or tick bite us on a humid day in July. Maybe that was a fluke, but maybe they spray for them (not sure).
  • It's close to I-495, but still peaceful and quiet in the park
  • You and your dog can walk right up to the beautiful castle
  • The walking trails are easy, well shaded and cool
Negative features:
  • No poopy bags are provided, so be sure to pack some


  1. Hi Rebecca,
    Just found your great blog. My family and I including our 3 year old Sheltie are always looking for places to hike and geocache that are dog friendly. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  2. You're very welcome! I just discovered geocaching myself; what fun!

  3. Hi Rebecca,

    I just found your blog this evening while looking for some good trail maps of the Winnekenni Castle area. My wife and I loved taking our dog there and we enjoyed the long hike around the entire lake. After 14 years he is gone, but our new puppy of 7 months is starting to explore this with us. He loves meeting dogs of all sizes and ages, so this is a wonderful place for him to socialize.

    Love the pictures of your beautiful dog Cooper.

    When we took our dog to Mount Greylock last year, he was disappointed that he wasn't able to climb the spiral staircase in the tower!

    Thanks for providing such a thoughtful list of places to go with our new pup; we look forward to checking them out.

  4. What a great write up, My Wife and I live right next to the Park and we walk our border collie/hound mix there everyday. Always going a different route. We love this park and love bumping into friendly dogs and people. I'm sure we've bumped into people who have read your excellent review of our dogs favorite park to jog and walk in.. Thanks for letting all Dog lovers know about this "hidden gem".