Craving some time in New Jersey’s great outdoors? Bring your dog along for your next hike or trail walk.
Not only will it provide a beautiful way to see some of our state’s most spectacular sights, but both you and your pooch will benefit physically and mentally from the fresh air and exercise.
Before leaving for your excursion, make sure to pack plenty of water, a water bowl, and snacks and meals for both you and your pooch. “Do not rely on natural bodies of water—creeks, rivers, ocean, etc.—for your dog to stay hydrated. These can actually be very harmful,” advises Dr. Christina Montalbano, a veterinarian who is part of NorthStar VETS’ rehabilitation and sports medicine team.
Also consider the terrain where you’ll be spending the day, and make sure to bring appropriate gear and pieces of clothing for your pet.
Planned by the famed Olmsted brothers—sons of Fredrick Law Olmsted, the famed designer of New York City’s Central Park and themselves the designers of New Jersey’s South Mountain Reservation, plus Verona, High Point and Branch Brook parks—the Watchung Reservation sits on more than 2,000 acres of preserved land in northern New Jersey. The 6.3-mile, pink-blazed History Trail traverses Union County’s parks system along a series of historic and geological sites—including the remnants of the former 1800s mill town Feltville—which are marked by signs with fun factoids. Lined by trees with lots of shade and doggy bags for easy cleanup, this trail makes for the perfect forest jaunt for an active pup. Dogs must be kept on leashes at all times. Be sure to take in the serene beauty of Lake Surprise along the way—a great spot for a rest, lunch and game of fetch.
This 664-acre park in the heart of central New Jersey is home to more than 10 miles of trails, with levels ranging from easy to challenging. Hit the paved half-mile loop connecting the Pond View and Forest Edge sectors for a relaxed walk with Fido. Another must-see spot in the park is the lovely David C. Shaw Arboretum, which is made up of 22 acres of ornamental trees and shrubs. Afterward, settle into one of the park’s picnic areas with lunch for both you and …….