The weather being what it was today (sunny and breezy and not too warm or too cold) and our time being what it was today (limited) we opted to go for a short hike. Checking out my sources, I found that there was a trail in Bloomfield at Penwood Park that could be hiked in just over an hour. Since I was assured that it was a fairly easy hike, and there was a fully paved trail Harvey and I decided to bring the old man.
After an extremely frustrating drive, a GPS that insisted that I enter the park via a private drive and abruptly deposited me in the middle of nowhere with a cheery "You have reached your destination" despite the fact that I was somewhere between two residences with nowhere to park and no trail to hike, and poor Harvey crammed under the dashboard on the passenger's side so that our hundred-plus pound guest of honor could have the entire back seat to sing and dance and fret as he does in the car, we were finally there! (My frustration would increase 100fold upon leaving when I realized that were directly across the street from the Hublein Tower Trail. A trail with which I am very familiar and know a MUCH shorter route than that which my dear GPS selected for us!)
Our companions on this hike were Otis (a 9 year old Rottweiler/Malamute mix) and Affa (a 4 year old Border Collie mix). It was a good place to take the geriatric. Although he's pretty spry, he tends to overdo it and regret it later. Both of his ACLs were repaired when he was younger and he gets tired and sore pretty easily. We stuck to the paved road and it was about a half-hour hike to the picnic area.
There were several picnic tables set out in a grassy knoll near some buildings (we didn't check them out to see what they were, since time was a little tight) but we did stroll up the hill and take a water break by a pond and a nice pavilion with four tables inside. Grills were also available, although we didn't take advantage (Harvey is reluctant to carry his backpack as it is, I'm sure he would rebel if I added steaks to his load of water bottles!).
Several signs periodically remind you to leash your dog, but one of the two other dogs we encountered on our hike who was coming down from one of the unpaved trails was off-leash and the foot traffic on this particular day was pretty light. Affa enjoyed a romp off-leash in the picnic area while the boys rested.
We happened to pick the first nice day after days and days of rain to take our hike, so it was good that we chose a paved hike. The edges of the trail were a little squishy and there were lots of little streams and puddles for the dogs to try to drink from. Everything was green and beautiful though!
The one complaint that the dogs had was that the big beautiful swimming pond we passed was definitely off limits. It took Harvey quite a while to come to terms with this.
Overall I really liked Penwood Park. It was the perfect choice for the day. I definitely plan to come back on a day where I'm not limited by time constraints and the ability of my hiking companions and explore the other trails to see what else Penwood Park has to offer!