Charleston is a lovely neighborhood that borders the Arthur Kill Waterway on one side and Raritan Bay on the other. North Mount Loretto State Forest cuts through it, as does the Clay Pit Pond state park preserve. Bloomingdale Park also crosses into its borders, and Sharrott’s Shoreline provides a natural shoreline escape for your dog. With all of this natural area, Charleston feels more like a natural wilderness than it does a neighborhood.
It is good that there is so much natural wilderness accessible to residents of Charleston, since walking along the city streets can be a bit restrictive. Buildings tend to be attractive, pre-planned brick houses that are set a little off the sidewalk. The divider is not wide, and is nearly non-existent in some places. Many areas also have fences that run right up against the road for a somewhat uncomfortable walk. Other areas of Charleston provide a more attractive walking experience, though, with wider sidewalks and lots of trees in the divider between sidewalk and road.
While walking down the neighborhood streets of Charleston is not unpleasant, it is hard to resist the allure of the many parks in this area. You and your dog will love exploring all the parkways available to you, from dense natural forested areas to natural shorelines. These forests are old and dense, and you and your dog are unlikely to make much progress trying to hike through the forest itself. If, however, you are tired of the typical walk, you may enjoy this experience.
By making it down to the water around Sharrotts Shoreline, you can have a completely different experience. This gorgeous shoreline offers a natural riverway that exits into the larger waterway, as well as a gorgeous sandy peninsula that your dog will love to play on. On hot days you and your dog may enjoy swimming along the shoreline here, and it will always be a good spot to hike and find new discoveries and smells.
This lovely area is more park than it is neighborhood. A variety of parks intersect into this neighborhood to provide you with plenty of natural walking opportunities here. One of the most interesting walking experiences in Charleston is Sharrotts Shoreline, a park that runs along the water to provide you and your dog opportunities to hike along the natural shoreline and see all kinds of interesting wildlife, both aquatic and terrestrial, that live here.
If you want you can follow the river from Sharrotts Shoreline up to the Clay Pit Pond state park reserve. Following the river can be fascinating, as it provides you with opportunities to see wildlife you may not get a chance to see otherwise. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear if you intend to navigate boggy areas.
If you would rather avoid the bogs, you can stick to more well-maintained walking paths, especially in Fairview Park. While you can certainly venture off the trail into the boggy areas around ponds here as well, you have the opportunity to avoid wet areas if you want to.