Distance from Boston: 20 minutes
Characteristics: playground, fields, kid friendly, swimming for dogs
Size: 35 acres
Recommended Parking: Around the neighborhood at 133 Jason St in Arlington, here.
I was looking for new places to swim with my dog. Unfortunately most of the beaches around Boston are off limits to dogs from April - October (boooo.), and the beaches that are available are mucky and polluted. Yelp led me to Menotomy Rocks Park, a "hidden gem" according to recent reviews! Unfortunately as a young active adult without a kid, I found it to be a huge disappointment.
Walking from Jason St, the entrance is pretty clear. Dogs are allowed off-leash in the field/playground part of the park, but not in the wooded area. You are immediately greeted with giant signs of "NO SWIMMING" around the pond. I took Tucker into the pond anyway, and nobody seemed to mind. There are steps going down to the pond which make it a little more structured.
Heading clockwise from the entrance, you will reach a playground where lots of kids are bound to be running around. Most of the children I interacted with were very polite and asked permission before they pet Tucker. Good job parents!!
The major major downside.. once you reach the woods, there are a lot of unsightly signs saying that you must keep your dog leashed. You can also hear a ton of traffic so it's not as secluded as say, the Fells. It only took me about 10 minutes to get through the woods and around to the playground section again.
I walked as slow as I could, and I finished the entire park in 51 minutes. I can see why less active folks with kids and older dogs may like Menotomy Rocks Park - it's close to residential neighborhoods, you can wear jeans and get your dog tired, and it's kid friendly. If you're looking for adventure though, Menotomy Rocks Park is not it. I won't return.