The air is crisper, and it’s the perfect time for an outdoor adventure with your dog. Luckily, New Jersey has terrific seasonal, outdoor activities that are pet-friendly. Just remember to wear appropriate clothing and bring your pup’s necessities!
GO APPLE OR PUMPKIN PICKING
Apple and pumpkin picking are favorite fall activities for New Jerseyans—and a smattering of farms are dog-friendly.
Ort Farms (25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, 908-876-3351) is a fun, family-friendly spot with seasonal offerings such as pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes, food trucks and special events on many weekends throughout the fall. Dogs are welcome at Ort Farms, as long as they are leashed, and they can even join their pet parents in the pumpkin patch. (Although pooches cannot take a hayride to the patch, they can walk there with their human pals.) Dogs are not permitted in the fruit and vegetable areas of the farm.
25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, 908-876-3351
Ward’s Pumpkin Patch (552 Route 17 North, Ridgewood, 201-523-0918) has a plethora of pumpkins, specialty gourds and squash in October, and then sells Christmas trees in the winter under the name Ward Farms. Pooches are welcome, as long as they are leashed.
Windy Brow Farms (359 Ridge Road, Fredon Township, 973-579-9657) is a Sussex County staple known for growing over 45 different types of apples. The property allows leashed dogs on the farm, but only in outdoor areas. Dogs are not permitted inside the farm store, though if you’re there with a pal or family member, leave Fido outside and make your way in for some homemade baked goods.
Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, 908-879-7189) has been running since 1982 and is home to fruit and vegetable picking (including pumpkins), a petting zoo, hayrides and more activities for the whole family. The farm is dog-friendly, as long as canines are leashed and pet parents pick up after them. Dogs are not permitted in the picking rows.
BOND AT THE BEACH
Sure, the cooler months aren’t the typical time to head down the Shore—unless you’re a pet parent. The reason? As crowds thin and summer ends, several New Jersey beaches open up to dogs in the off-season.
Asbury Park lets pooches play unleashed on the Asbury Park Dog Beach between September 15 and May 15, as long as they are properly supervised. (During high season, pooches are allowed in the evenings and early mornings.) Also, between September 15 and May 15, leashed pooches can join their humans for a stroll on the boardwalk.
Brigantine allows dogs on the beach between October 1 and May 29. Leashes are required and should not be longer than 6 feet. Pet parents are expected to clean up.
Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area in Longport, a beautiful and undeveloped beach, allows leashed dogs all year.
Ocean City beaches open up to dogs between October 1 and April 30, provided they are leashed.
A number of New Jersey state parks welcome pets to select campgrounds, with an additional $5/night fee.
Cheesequake State Park, Bass River State Forest, and Round Valley Recreational Area all welcome pets.
They are open year-round, so you can enjoy a camping trip with your pet this fall or winter.
As for the rules, domestic dogs and cats are the only animals allowed outdoors on park grounds, with a maximum of two pets per camping permit. Guests must fill out a pet registration and certification during check-in. But if you’re staying in a trailer or motor home, caged birds, reptiles and amphibians are OK. All pets must be vaccinated.
Pets are not allowed in buildings, on swimming beaches, in swimming waters and in campsites not designated for pets. Pet parents are responsible for their animals’ behavior and making sure pets are on leashes 6 feet or less; they can never be left alone.
The campgrounds’ quiet hours are between 10 pm and 6 am, so barking and other pet noises during these hours must be controlled. Any injuries should be reported to the State Park Police immediately. Find out more at nj.gov.
KICK BACK AT ONE OF JERSEY’S WINERIES
For wine lovers, nothing is better on a crisp fall day than time outside at a vineyard or winery—and New Jersey has plenty that allow pooches. However, pet parents must be careful if dogs get close to grapes, as the fruit is toxic for pooches.
Beneduce Vineyards (1 Jeremiah Lane, Pittstown, 908-996-3823), a family-owned spot, offers wine tastings, live music and more. Its main varieties are chardonnay, riesling and gewürztraminer. Friendly, leashed dogs are allowed outside.
Auburn Road Vineyards (117 Sharptown Auburn Road, Pilesgrove, 856-769-9463) welcomes leashed dogs to the outdoor portions of the property and offers open-mic nights and performances, in addition to wine flights, tours and great food at the Enoteca Wine Bar.
Another dog-friendly spot to check out is Working Dog Winery (600 Perrineville Road, Hightstown, 609-371-6000), which allows pups outside on the lawn.
TAKE A TRIP BACK IN TIME
Historic Cold Spring Village (720 US 9, Cape May, 609-898-2300)—which is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places—offers visitors the chance to experience southern New Jersey’s past firsthand. An open-air living-history museum, it features a recreated rural town from the “homespun era. Although much of the village closes at the end of September, special events take place year-round. Plus, the brewery—which welcomes dogs and has heat lamps outside—is open all year.
Another favorite place to explore history is Batsto Village (31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, 609-561-0024), located in the Wharton State Forest on what was once a site for iron ore and glassmaking. You will get an inside look at hundreds of years of American history, plus thousands of years of land use in the region. Dogs are welcome outside at Batsto Village.
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