Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Region is full of hiking trails that are great places to hike with a dog, but dogs aren't permitted on every trail so we have created a list of Parks and Trails in the Philadelphia Region that are dog friendly.
The 10 Best Places To Hike With Your Dog Around Philly
French Creek State Park.
With approximately forty miles of trails spread out on French Creek's 7,339 acres. There are nine featured hikes on wide dirt paths that take between one and four hours to complete. The most popular walk is Boone Trail, a six-mile loop connecting all the park's major attractions, and the two large lakes make first-rate canine swimming holes.
Andorra Natural Area/Fairmount Park
America's first public park is the largest adjacent landscaped municipal park in the world, sprawling across nearly 9,000 acres. It's home to an estimated 2,500,000 trees, and on weekend mornings, it can seem as if there is a dog for everyone. If the communal dog walking on Forbidden Drive isn't for you, take to the hills and try the extensive trail system up the slopes of Wissahickon Gorge.
Valley Forge National Park
One of the most historic walking trails in the country and some of the most beautiful in greater Philadelphia. With panoramic vistas from rolling hills, long waterside hikes, and climbs up wooded mountainsides. If you're not up to mingling with the tourists, cross the Schuylkill River and try the 3-mile linear Schuylkill River Trail that connects the Pawling's Parking Area and the Betzwood Picnic Area. The flat dirt trail hugs the river-side the entire way. Dogs are welcome throughout the historic park.
White Clay Creek State Park/Preserve
The Lenni Lenape recognized the beauty of White Clay Creek and founded their most important "Indian Town" along its banks. State Park, the Penndel Trail, connects the two as it traces the meanderings of the stream. There are eight marked trails at White Clay Creek, a state park in Delaware, and a state preserve in Pennsylvania. If you can't get enough of the great hiking with your dog here, two new tracts of land have recently opened nearby under the administration of White Clay Creek State Park.
Several area colleges welcome responsible dog owners - Swarthmore's Scott Arboretum is the best walk. The collections are integrated with the stone buildings of the college, which dates to 1864. Leaving the cultivated plantings of the campus, a variety of hillside trails lead through the 200-acre Crum Woods down to Crum Creek. Dogs are welcomed at Swarthmore, but there are water bowls chained to some of the drinking fountains. In the Crum Woods, your dog need only be under voice control, not leashed.
Adjacent to the famous Brandywine Creek State Park (with 8 trails and 14 miles of hiking of its own) is more than 2,000 acres open to the public for hiking and riding. You can combine miles of informal trails to create any day out with your dog. Athletic dogs will enjoy romping across the grassy hills above Brandywine Creek. Walking back and forth on the Fire Trail along the water provides a leisurely 45-minute stroll. The Woodlawn trails serve as a mix of open meadow and mature woodlands hiking, as you're likely to find in greater Philadelphia.
Green Lane Park
The premier trail at Green Lane Park is the heavily wooded Blue Trail on the western edge of the reservoir, where you pick your way across steep ravines and narrow ridges for 6 miles. The Red Trail, designed as an equestrian trail but not chewed up like so many other such surfaces, winds through open fields and stands of trees for 10 miles, although the entire length can be aborted in several places. Dogs are not allowed on the Hemlock Point Trail, but plenty of rich canine hiking on the park's other four trails to set tails to wagging.
Ridley Creek State Park
Features over twelve miles of hiking on four main trails. The park chains water bowls around its benches along the Multi-Use Trail, and your dog will welcome the cool drink after tackling the 12 miles of hilly Ridley Creek State Park trails. If the park's four main blazed trails don't tire her out, try an unmarked trailhead just east of Ridley Creek on Gradyville Road offers one of the most extended creeksides walks in Delaware County.
Fair Hill Natural Area
Located just across the Delaware state line in Maryland, this is the Godzilla of area hiking. Traversing its 5,613 acres are over 75 miles of multi-use trails. Fair Hill was formerly owned by sportsman William du Pont, Jr. and was one of the most extensive private landholdings. The paths through the fields are typically double-track (old dirt vehicle roads), although singletrack trails dominate in the forested areas. Many roll through golden hayfields as befits Fair Hill's stature as a leading equine training center.
Wharton State Forest
The Wharton State Forest lies at the heart of New Jersey's mysterious Pine Barrens, a tapestry of impenetrable scrub pine, swamps, and bogs. The main pathway is the Batona Trail, a 49-mile pink-blazed wilderness trail that begins at Ongs Hat in the north and ends at Lake Absegami in Bass River State Forest to the south. The hard-packed sand trail, which sports some gentle undulations to break up a mainly flat walk, is a joy under paw and boot. The Batsto River through the forest is stained the color of tea by cedar sap, adding to the region's mystique. It makes an excellent canine swimming pool.