May 14, 2012 by DailyPuppyCharm
Hiking with Your Dog encourages both the dog and owner(s), perhaps even a friend or two to get out and take a hike! But before you run off to the nearest trail (where dogs are allowed) please follow these safety precautions because there is nothing better than a well-behaved dog and prepared owner on the trail.
1) Your dog should be trained to walk well and quietly on a leash.
2) You should be able to control your dog if any circumstances arise.
3) Pick-up after your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly.
4) Bring water for both you and your dog.
5) Plan ahead! Do your research or ask park officials if pets are allowed, if it’s an on-leash or off-leash trail and if trail conditions are suitable.
Mary Jasch has spent more than 10 years hiking with her four dogs throughout New Jersey, and now she shares her favorite trails that are sure to delight both you and your pet. You'll discover everything that the Garden State has to offer, from the northern highlands and Kittatinny Mountain to the southern coastal plains and beaches.
Cedar Swamp Trail (Duttonville, NJ) The Cedar Swamp Trail through the John D. Kuser Natural Area in High Point State Park offers you and your dog an opportunity to walk on a mountaintop without having to climb the mountain to get there. This is a great hike in winter—fun, fast, and easy. Your dog will enjoy trotting through the different habitats of this ancient lake scoured out of bedrock by the Wisconsin Glacier about twelve thousand years ago. A wide boardwalk traverses part of it, allowing an up-close look at life in a protected bog.
Sussex Branch: Warbasse Junction to Augusta Trail (Warbasse, NJ) This section of the 20-mile Sussex Branch Trail follows the Paulins Kill, offering your dog several opportunities for a drink and a swim at each bridge crossing. This well-maintained, popular path is cool and easy on Fido’s feet.
Merrill Creek Reservoir: Perimeter Trail (Allens Mills, NJ) You and your dog will enjoy the very different terrain at Merrill Creek Reservoir on Scotts Mountain. The Perimeter Trail passes over dikes and dams with great views of the 650-acre reservoir, in and out of deciduous and evergreen woods, over a fresh, running creek, alongside meadows, and through an old orchard. Your dog will enjoy the sight and scent of a variety of wildlife on this 2000-acre property. Keep a close leash. This is an exciting hike for a dog. If you want to see the taxidermy displays of local wildlife in the visitor center, hike during cool weather for dogs must remain in the car.
Lord Stirling Stable Dog Walk Trail (Basking Ridge, NJ) The Friends of Lord Stirling Stable dog walk happens every Saturday, rain, snow, or shine. Established in 1998, it has been canceled only once during a blizzard. When it snows, the maintenance crew plows a path to make the walk easier for all. Dog walks are scheduled for either Saturday morning or evening, depending on the season. Their length depends on the day’s leader and which group you fall into. Walkers find their own pace and spread into subgroups, always under the watch of trail-knowledgeable people. From out of the gate, almost a hundred canines and humans take off up the bridle path at Lord Stirling Stable for an hour of exhilarating fun. This fast-paced sociable hike provides exercise and laughs for all, including families with children, even grandparents, on wide carriage roads and footpaths through a mix of habitat and terrain.
Wickecheoke Creek Preserve Trail (Center Bridge, NJ) If ever there were pristine woods in central New Jersey, this is it. Clean trails, sparkling trout-stocked waters, and a sense of sanctity prevail. You and your dog will enjoy this energetic creek and wide swaths of bedrock, the solitariness of the hike, and walking down an old-fashioned country road. It takes a little bit of road hiking to get there, but it is well worth it.