Van Nest is a small neighborhood located in East Bronx and very near the Bronx River and the New York Botanical Garden. Homes in Van Nest tend to be charming two-story single-family homes that are spaced flush together. The tiny front yards are generally fenced, and there is no divider between sidewalk and road, only intermittent trees. Streets tend to be narrow and busy, so you will find yourself walking your dog on a close leash through most of the area.
The best walking available to you around Van Nest is unquestionably in the Bronx River Park. This park offers attractive walking trails around the Bronx River while the Bronx Zoo is adjacent to the park. Bronx River Park is heavily shaded with mature trees and has a lovely view of the waterfall. Even on the hottest New York days, you can find a cool walk here beside the river.
You will keep your dog on a close leash through most of Van Nest, and this is not a great neighborhood to skateboard, bicycle, or rollerblade at his side. One exception is the Cross Bronx Expressway which offers a sidewalk that runs for quite a long way, uninterrupted by intersecting traffic. The sidewalk is relatively wide and tree studded throughout the expressway and there are several little parks interspersed as well. If you have very good control over your dog when on wheels, this may be a good place for you to enjoy those activities.
By far the best walking available to you near Van Nest is in the Bronx River Park. This park features lovely mature trees and beautiful views of the falls while being cool and relaxing at any time. This is a great place to expose a young puppy to running water and a natural setting which she may otherwise not get to experience around Van Nest.
Van Nest is lucky enough to be located very near a great number of beautiful green spaces. The Bronx River Park offers a gorgeous view of the Bronx River running over a waterfall, as well as nice walking paths under mature tree cover. You will love the chance to enjoy the breezes from the falls. Lots of wildlife comes to the river and especially to the falls, so you may see water birds like herons and egrets hunting nearby.
The River Park is located right next to the Bronx Zoo, and while you're unable to take your dog into the zoo, she will be fascinated by the sounds and smells coming from nearby while you enjoy the River Park. You can follow the sidewalk along the Bronx Park Street for all kinds of interesting sounds and smells for your dog to be interested in, with lots of mature tree cover for you to enjoy, unbroken by intersecting traffic.