Fall is one of the finest seasons! The air becomes brisk and cool, the humidity settles down (as does our hair) and nature has its last hurrah with a vibrant burst of warm colors before the muted tones of winter settle in. Now is the perfect time to view the earthy hues. You don’t need to travel far to experience it. Lace up your hiking boots and step into the wilderness of New Jersey (yes it exists) with Fido in tow. Not only is this a wonderful way to pass a fall day, but it is a great form of exercise and will help you and your canine companion work up a healthy sweat. We’ve got the low-down on some of the best hiking trails for you and your dog in Northern Jersey. The following places allow canines as long as they are leashed.
Morristown National Historic Park, Morristown
Not only does this park contain beautiful glimpses of the fall foliage but you can enjoy a dose of history as well. The park is made up of three sites: Fort Nonsense, Jockey Hollow and the Ford Mansion (which dogs are not allowed in). This was where General George Washington and the Continental Army camped out during the grueling and bitter winter of 1779-1780. At Jockey Hollow, you can walk around and explore the huts the soldiers built. This spot was chosen because of its vantage point high on the hill, allowing the army to catch sight of the British if they tried a sneak attack. You can also walk around Tempe Wick’s house which is where General Arthur St. Clair stayed during the winter of 1779. Though your dog may not appreciate the historical aspects of this park, he or she will enjoy the park’s easy walking trails.
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, Boonton
This reservation has gorgeous scenery and interesting and unusual geological formations to see. For instance, the park is well known for Tripod Rock
, a 160 ton boulder that rests atop three smaller rocks and has remained perfectly balanced for centuries. This rock is known as a glacial erratic because it was moved to this spot by the force of glaciers.
Hacklebarney State Park, Long Valley
The Black River runs through this park
and is good for fishing at any time of year. Hemlock trees line the winding hilly trails that offer beautiful views of the river, its estuaries and small waterfalls. Wooden tables placed throughout the park make it easy for an impromptu picnic. These trails are more difficult than the trails at Jockey Hollow.
Watchung Reservation, Watchung
In total, there are 13 miles of marked trails to enjoy throughout this reservation
. Sights to see are Lake Surprise, the Deserted Village or Feltsville which is great for a scary Halloween themed hike. You can also see Seeley’s Pond, and a large, beautiful pine forest that was planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. The reservation meanders between the ridges of the Watchung Mountains.
There is no better way to enjoy the fall season than by heading out to the woods for a hike with your dog. Just make sure to watch out for ticks. Thoroughly scan you and your dog’s body after your hike. Continue to use tick preventative products like Frontline, even in the colder months. Morris Animal Inn carries Frontline so stock up if you need to. Remember to keep your dog leashed at all times during your hikes as it is a requirement at these parks. With these tips in mind, you and Fido are set to head into nature with nothing but the crunch of leaves beneath your feet and the golden amber foliage above.