In Newton, New Jersey, there's tons of activities to try no matter your interests. Whether you've got a couch potato or a dog that won't sit still, Newton's parks, trails, and other attractions are sure to make Fido bark for joy.
Minutes away from the town of Newton is the county's sole dog park. Wantage Dog Park is the largest in the tri-state area, covering over eight acres of off-leash space. The park has sections not only for small and large dogs, but also for shy or older dogs. With toys and an agility course available, the Wantage Dog Park is a must-visit for any four-legged companion!
Want to get out of town and spend a quiet day in the woods surrounding Newton? Luckily, there's miles and miles of trails for adventurous owners and on-leash dogs. The Sussex Branch Trail (18 miles long) winds alongside the Paulinskill River and dense forests full of maple trees, hickories, and tulip poplars. The trail is noted as a haven for over 200 different bird species, as well as many different types of mammals, reptiles, and other creatures.
The slightly longer (27 miles) Paulinskill Valley Trail is perfect for those looking to explore the local attractions. Hikers can see Lake Susquehanna, farmlands, and old railroad signs along the path.
What better way to reuse an old railway than turn it into a scenic hiking trail! Dogs and humans alike will enjoy the Paulinskill Valley Trail where you can even see the remains of some of its railroad history. From old stations to mile markers to bridges, there’s plenty for you and your dog to explore. Make sure to be on the look-out for horses, as they also frequent the trail and can give your little dog quite a fright. The trail wind its way along the Paulinskill River for quite a while, so make sure to dip your toes in and give those paws a splash!
The Swartswood State Park located in Stillwater also spans the Hampton Township neighborhood, and was New Jersey’s first state park for outdoor recreation. Hike, canoe, swim, or just lay in the grass with your leashed four-legged friends in this gorgeous outdoor area! There are ten hiking trails, including one that takes you to the historic Grist Mill. The 1.2 mile trail has rocky terrain with plenty of elevation changes, so you’ll get a killer view of Swartswood Lake. If your furry friend has sea legs, you can rent canoes or sailboats for a nice afternoon with your adventurous pup. Just don’t expect to stay overnight – dogs aren’t allowed at the campsites. And be sure to check the website that the lake is open, as issues such as algae can sometimes shut things down.
Bordering Lake Aeroflex, the deepest natural lake in NJ, Kittatinny Valley State Park is the perfect place for a pupperific day. There are many trails of varying difficulty, but you can also go on your own Geocaching adventure (a GPS-fueled scavenger hunt) and sniff out over 200 cache locations within the park. Want to turn your trip into an over-nighter? Head down the road to The Great Divide Campgrounds for traditional camping sites, or for less outdoorsy pups, snuggle up in one of the Cabin Trailers for a glamping experience. There are plenty of campground sponsored activities throughout the year, as well as a large dog park with plenty of furry friends for those tireless pups!
If you and your pup prefer a more “town-center” vibe, take a stroll through Newton, NJ’s historic downtown district. While your pupper might not appreciate the rich history, he’ll definitely enjoy the busy streets and friendly pats he’s sure to attract. As he’s loving that popular life, you can check out the Revolutionary War sites and 19th century architecture on Main Street and along Liberty, High, and Division Streets. At the end of the walking tour, stop by Between the Bread and sit at one of their dog-friendly outdoor tables or grab food to go from Hayek’s Market to enjoy the town as you and your pup chow down.
Just 30 minutes northwest of Newton’s city center is Buttermilk Falls in Branchville. Tucked away in the Delaware Water Gap, you’ll find a workout with a view for those pups that like the exercise. Climb the stairs and take the short hike to witness a feat of nature in these tumbling falls. There are plenty of places to get a great view, and no matter what time of year, you’re sure to see something special. This climb is not for the faint of heart, but if your furry friend is the athletic and adventurous type, this is the perfect trip to have a doggone good time.