Have you ever considered how far you walk with your dog? If you walk just 15 minutes a day you will have walked far enough in your dog's lifetime to cross the United States. With all that walking ahead of you, aren't you ready for a new place to take a hike with your dog?
The Philadelphia region can be a great place to hike with your dog. Within an hour’s drive you can hike on sand trails, climb hills that leave you panting, walk on some of the most historic grounds in America, explore the estates of America’s wealthiest families or circle lakes for 7 miles and never lose sight of the water. DOGGIN' PHILADELPHIA explores the region's top trails with your best friend in mind. 50 parks are reviewed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware - all within 50 miles of Philadelphia's City Hall.
Is there any more dispiriting day for a dog owner than driving to a new park and encountering the dreaded "NO DOGS" sign? A BARK IN THE PARK-PHILADELPHIA tells you the parks that don't welcome dogs. Also packed inside these 192 pages are...
...tips on outfitting your dog for a hike
...tips on practicing low impact hiking with your dog
...and much more
What makes a great place to take your dog hiking? Well, how about a paw-friendly surface to trot on? Grass and sandy soil are a lot more appealing than asphalt and rocks. A variety of hikes is always good - long ones for athletic dogs and short ones for the less adventurous canine. Dogs always enjoy a refreshing place to swim as well. For dog-friendly parks our guides describe the trail options for your dog, evaluate park traffic from other users, tell you whether you will need a guide dog to find your way around and, of course, tell you how to get to the park.
While walking the dog around the Delaware Valley, we bring along generous helpings of local history, botany, geology, architecture and more. So what are you waiting for? Your dog will want to explore one of North America’s only three serpentine barrens (page 69), trot past the exact base point for the Mason-Dixon Line (page 151), climb on a wooden reproduction of a rare Fink Truss bridge (page 113), chance to spot a river otter (page 89)...
THE BEST OF THE BEST
BEST PLACE FOR YOUR DOG TO SWIM
Schuylkill Canal Park (Mont Clare)
Stretching for over three miles on the Schuylkill your dog can swim in the river or in the canal at many spots in this relaxed park.
BEST ONE-HOUR WORKOUT FOR YOUR DOG
Tohickon Valley Park (Point Pleasant)
As the Red Dot Trail sweeps to the top of the High Rocks it is easy to feel as if you have been parachuted into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.
PRETTIEST HIKE FOR YOUR DOG
Scott Arboretum (Swarthmore)
The Swarthmore College grounds have integrated plant collections with its buildings since 1864. Not only are water bowls chained to drinking fountains for your dog but your best trail companion can go off-leash in the adjoining 200-acre Crum Woods.
BEST HIKE TO VIEWS WITH YOUR DOG
Monocacy Hill (Douglassville)
A wide and well-marked path leads to the rocky summit and open westerly views of the countryside.
BEST BEACH TO HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Fort Mott State Park (Salem)
Below the ferry pier is a sandy beach with enough wave action to trick your dog he’s chasing that stick into the Atlantic Ocean.
BEST HALF-HOUR HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
McKaig Nature Education Center (Upper Merion)
A jewel among the region’s small parks, McKaig features three wide and well-maintained trails that work from stream valley to hilltop.
MOST HISTORIC HIKE WITH YOUR DOG
Washington Crossing State Park (Washington’s Crossing)
There are dog-walking opportunities on both sides of the Delaware River; the more historic explorations can be found on the Pennsylvania side, the more naturalistic trails in New Jersey.
BEST OPEN-FIELD HIKING WITH YOUR DOG
Valley Forge National Historical Park (Valley Forge)
The rolling countryside of the western suburbs is never in better evidence than along the five-mile Multi-Use Trail as it snakes past reconstructed huts and parade grounds.
BEST PLACE TO CIRCLE A LAKE WITH YOUR DOG
Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (Philadelphia)
The loops around the impoundments create easy trotting for your dog. If she is patient you can stop at one of the observation blinds and identify one of the 288 species of birds recorded here.
BEST PLACE TO LOSE YOURSELF IN THE WOODS WITH YOUR DOG
French Creek State Park (Elverson)
Almost 40 miles of marked trails criss-cross the property and your dog will be under a wooded canopy nearly every pawfall. The Mill Creek Trail goes over six miles and never gives a whiff of civilization.