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The Middlesex Fells Dog Owner Group Welcomes You

posted Mar 25, 2012, 3:10 PM by michele biscoe   [ updated Mar 25, 2012, 3:15 PM ]

The Middlesex Fells Reservation comprises 2,575 acres and over 100 miles of trails in Malden, Medford, Stoneham, Melrose, Winchester, MA.

Off Leash Allowed. Photo by Bill Ritchotte

Dogs are allowed off-leash according to posted rules in the designated off-leash area at Sheepfold.

In all other areas dogs are required to be on a leash no more than seven feet long (350 CMR 2.01).

The Fells Dog Owner Group advocates for a revision of the policy regarding off-leash dogs on the trails of the Middlesex Fells.  The MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has found that dogs can outnumber hikers at any given time in the Fells and that 85% of the dogs at the Fells are off leash. Annually there are fewer than five dog-related incidents at the Fells, including less than one bite or fight.  While we are actively working to reduce these numbers, under the status quo, the majority of off-leash recreationalists poses no threat.

The DCR recently completed a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Middlesex Fells Reservation.  The Fells Dog Owner Group has responded to the draft RMP with a recommendation that the DCR stipulate conditions under which dogs may be permitted off-leash on at least some part of the trail system of the Middlesex Fells. The draft RMP available on the DCR website on the Resource Management Plan page for the Middlesex Fells Reservation Planning Unit.