Located 16 miles outside of Philadelphia in the middle of Gloucester County, New Jersey, Mantua Township sits on a bluff overlooking Mantua Creek, for which it is named after. There are two veterinary hospitals in town to keep the area's canine residents and visitors happy and healthy.
Formerly known as the Sewell Playground, the Trooper Eli McCarson Memorial Park in the Sewell section of town is a nice spot to take your four-legged best friend for a quiet, leashed walk. Renamed in honor of hometown hero Eli McCarson, this neighborhood park contains a small playground, a basketball court, and picnic tables and benches where you and Fido can hang out.
To experience New Jersey's natural beauty, head to Ceres Park, also in the Sewell portion of Mantua. Home to various bird species, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, this 52-acre site boasts an extensive trail system that will take you and your pooch through upland and wetland forests, and to puptacular views of Cedar and Emerald Lakes.
The trails also lead to the Chestnut Branch of Mantua Creek and travel through adjacent lands, allowing you and Fido to explore not just Ceres Park, but also beyond it. Remember to bring food and water for the both of you!
A pawsome time awaits you and your pup at Mantua!
Covering 110 acres in Mantua and neighboring Deptford Township, the Tall Pines State Preserve was once a popular golf course. Today, it is a natural haven for numerous bird species and outdoor enthusiasts. Fido is welcome to join you in exploring the preserve's grasslands, woodlands, freshwater wetlands, and ponds. Just remember to keep him on a six-foot leash and pick up after him; a “carry in, carry out” policy is implemented at Tall Pines. There are several paved, unpaved, and unmarked trails that meander throughout the area, including former asphalt golf cart paths, so be prepared to walk a lot!
Is Fido itching for some off-leash fun? Then head down to the Washington Lake Park Dog Park in nearby Washington Township! Open from 6 am until dusk, this dog park has two fenced areas for small and large puppers, allowing dogs to play and interact with other canines their own size. The Washington Lake Park Dog Park features a dirt surface that gives the area a more natural feel, and numerous trees that provide ample shade on warm days. Before you let Fido run loose at the dog park, however, make sure that you've registered first at the Washington Township Municipal Building.
Love wine? The William Heritage Winery in nearby Mulica Hill is dog-friendly, so you can bring your furry buddy along as you sip on their award-winning wines! Named New Jersey's “Winery of the Year” three times by the Garden State Wine Growers Association, the William Heritage Winery welcomes four-legged guests in the outdoor seating area, as long as they are on a leash. Dogs are not allowed in the tasting room or on the wine patio, but there are lots of places to sit outside, so get comfortable and enjoy the food, wine, and scenery with your best friend at your feet. During the fall, you and Fido can pick your own apples from the orchards.
Spend some quality time with your pup at Alcyon Park in the nearby borough of Pitman! With paved walkways, grassy fields, and ample shade, Alcyon Park is a puptastic spot to go for a leashed stroll and spend a nice afternoon with the entire family. There's also a pavilion for picnicking and a lake where Fido can dip his paws. If you feel like eating out, the dog-friendly eateries Mannino's Cucina Italiana and A Fresh Start are only about a mile from Alcyon Park. Both places offer outdoor seating, so you can dig into a pizza or panini with Fido by your side.
If your pup is up for a hike, take him to the Woods of Wenonah Trail in the neighboring borough of Wenonah. Suitable for all skill levels, this 3.1-mile, out-and-back trail can be accessed all year round. The trail starts at the Wenonah Lake parking area, then heads southwest next to a stream. Along the way, you and Fido might get to see wildlife such as deer, red-tailed hawks, wild turkeys, and red foxes. End your hike with a swim in Wenonah Lake, which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Don't forget to bring doggie waste bags and towels!