West Poplar is small residential community located in Lower North Philly. Up until the turn of the century, the homes here were mostly Richard Allen Homes which was a vast public housing project. Having fallen into disrepair, leading to high crime rates and drug issues, much of this housing was demolished and replaced with duplexes and suburban-style single-family homes. There are still a few of the original row houses standing south of Fairmount Ave. Beyond the small section of ill-kept public housing projects, the rest of the area is clean, well-lit, and well-kept.
Beware of walking during the heat of a summer day as the sidewalks can quickly reach temperatures that can severely burn your dog's paws in just a few minutes. Summer weather is warm and sunny with highs in the mid-80s, however, winters tend to be a combination of icy, snowy, rainy, and downright cold with January lows in the mid-20s.
The only variation in the flat terrain in West Poplar is between the crumbling sidewalks south of Fairmount Ave. and the new, carefully laid out sidewalks of the new housing areas to the north. Going for walks here involves creating new routes for you and your pooch to go walking. You and your pup need to make your strolls as exciting as possible, so try going further abroad or add more distance to your walks.
There are few green spaces where the old housing has been demolished and the vacant lots were left to return back to nature. There is, of course, the John F. Street Community Center with plenty of grass to roam around on as long as you clean up after any messes your pup makes. Beyond this, if you want more challenging terrain, you have to cruise over Fairmount Park. This great park was first established in 1876 for the Nation's Centennial Celebration.
Where once there was nothing but concrete and row houses, so much of the area has undergone a complete makeover complete with large yards and plenty of grass. As the new homes were being built, the developers left room for green spaces between the homes and around the community center. But, overall, there isn't much here in the way of greenways that you and your pup can play on, let alone get in any serious exercise.
For this, your best bet is to get in your car with the hound and head west to Fairmount Park. Covering over 2000 acres, this park offers you an extensive network of trails to hike along and vast acres of grasslands and wooded areas for the two of you to explore. This is the largest nature park in Philadelphia and straddles the Schuylkill River, encompassing many significant landmarks and historic buildings that are worth checking out.