Tails & Trails

May 16, 2020 | 10:43 AM

Are you and Fido tired of the same hot sidewalks and repeated laps around the neighborhood? Are you an exercise fanatic looking to log some miles with your best running bud? Whether you are looking for a short, easy walk or a more challenging trail for marathon training, these pup-approved Philadelphia trails and parks will have you and your canine exploring a whole new side of the city. 

Schuylkill River Trail - Schuylkill River

Philadelphia, PA 19103

This biking, running and walking trail spans ~30 miles leading from Center City to Valley Forge. This flat, scenic, paved path is perfect for anyone from a runner trying to go the distance or a pet that prefers to stroll and take in the views.

Pros:  Level, paved, long-distance

Cons: Crowded during peak hours, may be over stimulating for some pets


Wissahickon Valley Park - Valley Green Rd

Philadelphia, PA 19128

Immerse yourself and your pet in the forest and wilderness with over 57 trails to choose from located just Northwest of Philadelphia. You will find well marked trails with breath taking views and plenty of shade. There are different paths for different skill levels and activities so choose your own adventure!

Pros: Scenic, shady, natural, options for all fitness levels

Cons: Rocky, muddy, crowded during peak hours


Fairmount Park - Reservoir Dr

Philadelphia, PA 19119

Adjacent to the banks of the Schuylkill River, this park may be preferred for those that appreciate quiet solitude rather than the hustle and bustle. Whether you drop a line and go fishing or have a picnic with your pooch, you’ll enjoy the ~2000 acres of open fields with rolling hills, waterfront views and plenty of shade.

Pros: Historic sights, laid back, open area

Cons: Smaller park, close to traffic 


John Heinz Wildlife Refuge - 8601 Lindbergh Blvd

Philadelphia, PA 

This ~1000-acre wildlife refuge spanning both Philadelphia and Delaware County provides more than 10 miles of trails. This path is full of wildlife ranging from waterfowl, rabbits and the occasional deer. You’ll find that this wide gravel trail is perfect for running or biking as well as taking in the sights with your best bird watcher.

Pros: Scenic, wildlife, family friendly, interactive attractions

Cons: Buggy, muddy, rocky


Woodlands Heritage National Recreation Trail - 4000 Woodland Ave

Philadelphia, PA 19104 

This Historic landmark includes the Hamilton Estate (carriage house and stable) encompassed by a Victorian era cemetery and arboretum. Nestled in the heart of University City, this piece of Philadelphia history is perfect for use by students and professors alike. The cemetery includes an inner looped road as well as an unpaved path around the perimeter that provides a safe and quiet place for even the most timid of pets. 

Pros: Quiet, peaceful, easy/ level, historic

Cons: Secluded, unconventional


Belmont Plateau - 1800 Belmont Mansion Dr

Philadelphia, PA

Packed with both marked and unmarked trails, Belmont has hosted cross country races ranging distances of 3k to 8k. Whether you choose to roam the large open fields and play a game of fetch or explore peaceful woods and go for a hike, there is a perfect option for every canine.

Pros: Less crowded, peaceful, open fields

Cons: Overgrown in some parts, muddy, poorly/ unmarked areas


French Creek State Park - 843 Park Rd

Looking for a challenge? With more than 35 miles of well demarcated trails of various difficulty, this park is sure to dare even the most experienced hikers. With options ranging from 1 mile to 6-mile hikes, this park will provide a great workout! If thinking about this park, be sure to bring proper footwear and plenty of water for you and your pup!

Pros: Shady/wooded, natural, well-marked, challenging

Cons: Rocky, buggy, overgrown, elevation

In addition to the trails listed above, see here for a thorough list of the dog parks we recommend throughout Philadelphia!