Dog-friendly Haverford lies about 10 miles west of Philadelphia on the Main Line, an informally delineated region that includes some of the wealthiest communities in the country. Haverford has one animal hospital to look after its canine visitors and residents, with veterinary facilities in the surrounding towns being easily accessible as well.
The Haverford Reserve is a dream come true for puppers who love to spend time outside in nature. These 120 acres of preserved woodlands have it all in one location: miles of hiking trails, puptacular views, and an off-leash dog park!
Open all year round and run by volunteers, the Haverford Reserve Dog Park is a completely fenced area with agility equipment and separate sections for large and small pooches. Trees and a covered pavilion provide protection from the elements, while picnic tables and other seating allows dog parents to relax.
Be sure to check out the Haverford Reserve's trails, too. There's definitely a lot to explore, with over 5 miles of walking trails that can be used from dawn until dusk. Most of the trails meander through wooded areas and have a natural or wood chip mulch surface. Don't forget to bring water and doggie waste bags!
You're sure to have a barking good time with your pup at Haverford!
Did you know that Haverford College is home to a beautiful arboretum and dog-friendly nature trail? Established in 1933 by a group of alums and students to showcase the college's growing tree collection, the 2.2-mile trail travels along the perimeter of the 216-acre campus. It will take you and Fido through the arboretum's conifer collection, past athletic fields, and along the duck pond. Open from dawn to dusk, the dirt and gravel trail is mostly shaded and flat, allowing for an easy, leisurely walk. For a self-guided tour of the trees on campus, pick up a brochure at the Whitehead Campus Center. Always keep Fido on a leash and off the athletic fields.
The Sharpe Park and Bird Sanctuary is a quiet little spot where you and your pooch can go for a leashed stroll. As the name suggests, the Sharpe Park and Bird Sanctuary is frequented by birds, so keep your eyes peeled for them! You'll also find walking paths, benches, and pretty gardens in this 2.3-acre natural area. Just a stone's throw from the park is the White Dog Cafe, which welcomes four-legged guests at their stylish patio. The restaurant's quirky decor showcases a love of canines, with two iron dogs guarding the entrance and dog-themed artwork inside. Vegetarian and vegan menus are available upon request.
The Ithan Valley Park in nearby Bryn Mawr is pawfect for a quick nature getaway with your pup. With stately trees all around and Ithan Creek running through the length of the site, this 20-acre park offers an easy, scenic hike through the woods. Prior to being transformed into an estate in the 1900s, the Ithan Valley Park was considered to be one of the most important botanical sites in the country, with trees collected from North America and the Old World. Today, the trees that are believed to have been part of the original collection have been marked and numbered.
Pack some food and Fido's favorite treats, and head for a picnic at Saw Mill Park in nearby Newtown Square! Located along a stretch of Little Darby Creek, this 4.2-acre linear park features shaded picnic areas, open grassy space, and paved walkways. Saw Mill Park is a popular spot for fishing and hiking, with nature trails that can be used by individuals with special needs. The trails will lead you and Fido among the woods, where you'll find a historic bridge over the creek. Let Fido take a dip in the water if you don't mind a wet puppy. You can also follow the trails to get to the adjacent Skunk Hollows Park.
Looking for a place to spend a beautiful day with your pup? Roll over to Rolling Hill Park in the neighboring community of Gladwyne! This 103-acre park features an off-leash play area and designated nature trails for four-legged visitors, giving doggos the opportunity to explore the site freely. The trails lead to a creek where Fido can cool off on a hot day, with the banks dotted by old homesteads. The park's steep hills and diverse terrain make for a good workout, so be prepared to sweat a bit. Note that Fido needs a permit to go off-leash; this can be obtained via the Lower Merion Township website.