Today, Castle Hill is much like any other Bronx neighborhood with streets lined with both multi-family dwellings and single-family homes. It is hard to believe now, but Castle Hill hit the bottom before it was revived into the nice simple neighborhood it is today. You will not find a lot of retail in this mainly residential neighborhood, however, there are few places to grab food along Castle Hill Ave. and on the other side of the Bruckner Expressway in Soundview just to the north.
Rocket will be disappointed by the lack of dog-friendly businesses in this neighborhood, so you may have to take them for a ride into the neighborhoods to the east - Throgs Neck and Schuylerville - to find a few of their favorite things. New York is known for hot, humid summers and snowy, cold winters, but in reality, there are no more than a few days out of the year when walking will not be possible.
The terrain throughout Castle Hill is primarily flat, but there are some gentle elevation changes, especially as you head from north to south. These changes in elevation are not enough to stop anyone from walking and if you are just out for a stroll, you will likely hardly notice them. On the other hand, if you know these gentle hills are there, just a bit of increase in intensity will make these hills a great way to get your heart rate up and help Rocket take off those few extra pounds.
You and Rocket will be walking on concrete as this area has an urban residential feel and grass is rare, except on private property. Use caution when walking during summer months as the hot weather in New York can make the sidewalks very warm and, without grass or an abundance of shade from trees, those sidewalks can burn your pup’s feet.
The small playgrounds that dot the neighborhood do not allow dogs, but fortunately, there are two large parks that do allow you to bring your pup while providing an abundance of grass and trees to enjoy.
Pugsley Creek is 84 acres of wetlands and marshes which has a trail that goes all the way around the park as well as connecting with other parks in the area. This greenway allows you to walk on a solid surface while offering grass for Rocket to walk on and enjoy. The presence of trees and a creek make this a great place to retreat to in the summer when walking on the sidewalks is not possible.
A few blocks away to the west is Sound View Park which is even larger than Pugsley Creek. Sound View Park has lots of hiking opportunities and it also has a dog run providing plenty of space for your pup to enjoy a bit of nature.