September 2016 Update: Please note due to construction work at the wastewater treatment facility, the City of Portsmouth has CLOSED the Peirce Island Dog Park for approximately the next four years. Once a replacement off-leash dog area is established, it will be posted. In the meantime, to learn more about other Dog Trails in the area, please visit our Dog Friendly Places page.
Located just minutes away from downtown Portsmouth, NH, Peirce Island has areas for dogs to run, hiking trails, and limited swimming opportunities. On the far end of the island, dogs are permitted to run off-leash, under voice control. There are trails with views of the historic South End, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and former Portsmouth Naval Prison, as well as informative signs about the history of Peirce Island, including information on Fort Washington which protected Portsmouth during the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
Please beware, the Piscataqua River is known for it's strong current, and is NOT safe for dogs to go swimming. On the opposite side of the park, overlooking the South End neighborhood, is the much safer creek area where your dogs can swim. On the day we visited it was low tide, and dogs were enjoying a romp in the cool mud.
To get to the off-leash area, drive past the boat launch and public pool, until you see a dirt lot on the far end of the park. Please note that dogs are NOT allowed at Four Tree Island, playground, or public pool, and must be on-leash in other areas of the park. Parking is free, and the park is open from sunrise to 11:00 PM during the summer season. Water fountains are available, and as always please be sure to pick up after your dogs. When spending a day at Portsmouth, this is a great place for dogs to stretch their legs while enjoying scenic views.