The township of Saddle Brook was originally a farming community. In the early 20th century, farms were replaced by housing, as highways and train service made it easier to get from Saddle Brook to other cities in New Jersey and New York. In spite of this, Saddle Brook is in the enviable position of being surrounded by natural resources that are dog-friendly and accessible, including a few off-leash dog runs.
The pup-friendly Saddle River County Park lies on Saddle Brook’s eastern border, following the track of the Saddle River and its run-off brooks. Its 577 acres are divided into 6 distinct but connected Park Areas, each with its own features and amenities. Have a walk or romp with your fur-buddy, then enjoy a sit and picnic at one of the shelters, hang out at one of the 3 ponds, or visit the impressive waterfall in the Dunkerhood Park Area. All of the areas have restrooms, so drinking water is available, and shaded, grassy areas are everywhere if you just want to throw down a blanket and take a snooze with your fur-baby. Be sure to visit the Easton Tower Historical Site in this park, too. Built on an 1889 mill property, its quiet grounds are a pleasant respite for you and Fido.
Interested in a bite? And a brew? Fido can join you at Midland Brew Pub while you enjoy both! Their patio and outdoor tables are the perfect spot to eat, drink and watch the world go by. From typical pub fare to more unique dishes like Short Rib Tacos and pizza topped with fig jam, there’s sure to be something to please you and your dog-faced date. Fur-tastic!
The neighborhood of Passaic Junction is home to the dog-friendly Saddle River Area Bike Path – Bergen County, as it passes through Saddle Brook from Ridgewood to Rochelle Park. The 7.5-mile long trail is surfaced with asphalt, and accommodates bicyclists, in-line skaters and walkers. Bring your fur-pup for a walk or ride along the wooded and pastured landscape. The path follows the Saddle River, circles ponds, and crosses brooks. Water and bathrooms are available along the way, but remember to keep your pup on her leash and bring waste bags, too. When you’re hungry enough, head over with Fido to Que Pasta, sit at an outdoor pup-friendly table, and chow down on pastas, seafood, classic Italian soups and more. Don’t forget to save a morsel or two for your furry bestie!
About 5 miles to the west of Saddle Brook is this neighborhood of the town of Paterson that features a park that has long been a part of the city’s legacy. East Side Park is a moderately large city park that features rolling greenways with paths perfect for strolls with your fur-buddy, athletic facilities, a small rose garden and gazebo. It was developed during the industrial surge when Paterson was known as “Silk City” because of its production of that textile, and it has remained stately, peaceful and a great place to hang out with the family and its furry members.
Just 8 miles southwest of Saddle Brook lies Montclair, a dog-friendly town that hosts Brookdale Park. Featuring over 120 acres of wide open green spaces, the park offers trails for walking and running, and a rose garden for quiet sitting with your furry bestie. It is also home to the Brookdale Dog Park, a large off-leash fenced space with separate large and small dog areas, and a double gated entrances. The surface is crushed gravel, and there are paved walkways to and from each of the play areas. For ambitious doggos, the park features various exercise apparatus, but for those puppers who just want to hang out and meet new and old friends, this park is sure to please, too. Drinking water, convenient waste bags and receptacles, and even rinse-off stations make this one of the premier dog parks in the area. Don’t miss it!
This neighborhood in Montclair is home to the Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife Preserve, a 20-acre park that features trails for hiking and bird watching for the dog lover and his leashed canine companion. The area consists of wetlands that surround Third River which are ideal for viewing waterfowl and amphibians. Known locally as Montclair’s Paradise, a visit to this Preserve is a don’t miss experience. Yantacaw Brook Park is in this neighborhood too. This 12-acre dog-friendly area hosts a pond and interesting features like a dam and a bridge. Its paths and bikeways offer pastoral views of wildlife, and in the winter, there is ice skating on the pond and sledding on its gentle hills. Woof-derful!
Just 7 miles north of Saddle Brook is the town of Ridgewood, home to the Ridgewood Bark Park. This fenced, off-leash run features separate small and large play areas and safety gates. It’s a great spot for Fido to make some friends, burn off some excess energy, and spend time with his human at the same time. The park offers drinking water, toys and agility equipment, and is adjacent to the Wild Duck Pond Area of the Saddle River Park, in case you’re in the mood for a walk or picnic after all the play. If what you’re in the mood for is yummy food, take your pup and yourself over to one of the dog-friendly eateries in the Village Center, such as Latour, where you can sample classic French cuisine in the fresh air. Or try Raymond’s where you’ll find casual American fare for breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of their dog-friendly outdoor tables. Bone appetit!