Northern New Jersey may have a wide variety of attractions to offer, but everything is more fun with man's best friend by your side. To mark the official start of summer, put down your cooler, pack up your grill, and grab that mongrel’s leash! It’s time to give into that adorable pout, and throw your dog a bone.
Luckily, despite New Jersey’s dense human population, the state has made sure to designate room for some serious green. That is after all, why we're called the Garden State. So quit your howling, get outside, and make your way to one of these dog-friendly meccas this weekend!
The Livingston Dog Park
The Livingston Dog Park first opened its gates to canine companions in October of 2003. The park offers two fenced areas where furry friends are welcome to sniff each other's butts to their doggie-heart's desire off-leash, with the supervision of an adult. One area is designated for dogs 25 pounds or lighter and the other is for dogs of all sizes. Both spots include benches and shaded areas, so bring a book and let him or her play on. Your dog can join you on your work out, albeit leashed, in East Hills Park, which boasts a 1.5-mile nature trail with various fitness stations.
Check out the map if you need help navigating. Shrewsbury Dr and N Baums Court, Livingston; A dog park pass is required for entry.
Lake view? Check. Plenty of benches for relaxing and ample space for picnicking? Check. The grave of a dog-celebrity? Check. Yes, this dog-centric park offers you the chance to visit the grave of Lad, the first collie of novelist Albert Payson Terhune – the man whom owned the estate in which the park is now situated upon. The grave reads, "Lad, Thoroughbred In Body and Soul, 1902-1918". In fact, all of Terhune's dogs are buried on the grounds. On a lighter note, Terhune Park also has several paths that will immerse you and your dog in an abundance of arborescence.
Terhune Drive and Lamoureux Lane, Wayne
Brookdale Dog Park
Originally a modest space where locals would walk their dogs, Brookdale Dog Park officially opened as its own entity in 2007. Totaling 1.2 acres, the park offers just under an acre of its land in fenced-in area for larger dogs with additional room for smaller dogs. Amenities include complimentary doggie poo bags for easy cleanup, several mechanisms for dogs to play and exercise with, water fountains for your parched pooch, a dog washing station and even a single occupancy area for unruly dogs to have a time-out—come on, how cute is that?
We love the safety enclosures to ensure no runaways. The park is open from November 1 to March 31 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from April 1 to October 31 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 20 Bellevue Ave, Montclair
South Mountain Dog Park
Located within the 2,112-acre South Mountain Reservation in Maplewood, the South Mountain Dog Park most notably houses a memorial for the rescue dogs lost in 9/11. There are two off-leash, fenced-in areas for smaller and larger dogs alike. For those hot summer days, the park offers water fountains for humans and pups, and a washing station to cool down. The dog park rules and regulations include a 2-dog limit per person. 10 Bear Lane, Maplewood
Church Square Dog Run
Due to strict laws, dogs must be leashed in all public areas in Hoboken with the exception of dog runs, so canine owners, you’re in luck! This charming park features niceties such as a basketball court, a playground, water fountains, and benches. There is a separate dog run for small dogs only. Check out this list of more Hoboken dog parks, for residents whose pups need some exercise! 401 Willow Ave., Hoboken
Montville Dog Park
Whether you are a resident of Montville or just a visitor, you can enjoy this dog park for a small fee. Montville’s marvelous park has something to offer for every size of dog from obstacles to test dexterity to water fountains for refueling. This park also features a multitude of gazebos as well as free doggie bags. Apply for dog park membership. Kramer Road, Pine Brook; Dogs without a dog park pass will not be admitted; hours are sunrise to sunset.
Ramapo Valley County Reservation
Though there is no certified dog park within the Ramapo Valley County Reservation, the wooded area has become a local favorite to take their mutts for a stroll. Visitor favorites include hiking around Scarlet Oak pond, MacMillan Reservoir, or other marked hiking trails with stellar views. If your pup is a patient one, consider spending the afternoon fishing! Route 202 (2 miles South of Rt. 17) Mahwah; Dogs must be held on a 6-foot leash at all times within the reservation.
Lewis Morris County Park
Looking for an off-leash park on in the Morristown area? Head on over to Lewis Morris County Park! The dog park, located in the Old Army Area, is open from 9 a.m. to sunset. Additionally, the 2,196-acre park has a hiking trail where dogs are permitted – on-leash – which is about 5 and a half miles. The path features opportunities to swim and or bike and is largely considered one of the most enchanting places to take your hound in northern New Jersey! 270 Mendham Road, Morristown
Hamilton Park Dog Run
Jersey City was recently named one of the top cities to own a dog. Hamilton Park, located in historic downtown, helps the cause, with two pristine off-leash runs, one for 25-lb. and under dogs, and one for the bigger pups. Throw in a playground, gazebo, and fountain, and you've got a pup-ular spot for the whole family to enjoy together. 25 W Hamilton Pl, Jersey City.