East Fairmount Park is the more diminutive of the two halves of Fairmount Park, but is still a barking large 650 acres and is full of things for four-legged adventurers and their humans to do. Like its westerly sibling, East Fairmount Park features sites of interest to history, art, and nature buffs, making it a great pick for people and pups with a wide range of tastes.
Speaking of tastes, there's a great place for chowhounds near the entrance of East Fairmount Park: the Trolley Car Café. Dogs are allowed to dine outside with you on the restaurant's charming patio. Their simple and affordable menu offers comfort food entrées for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don't get hungry until you're further into East Fairmount Park, Cosmic Café in Boathouse Row is also dog-friendly.
The 30-mile Schuylkill River Trail stretches from one end of the park to another and continues beyond it in both directions. It's a great option for a long walk when you're looking to rack up the miles, but is also a great path through many of East Fairmount Park's sites of interest. The Schuylkill River Trail passes through the Laurel Hill Cemetery, Boathouse Row (where you can see Turtle Rock Lighthouse, the only lighthouse in Philadelphia), and the grounds of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Many public works of art are placed along the trail, including Carl Milles' "Playing Angels" and Frederic Remington's "Cowboy."
East Fairmount Park is also the site of the West Basin of the East Park Reservoir, which was decommissioned as a source of drinking water in the 1950s and has since become a haven for migratory birds. This part of the park is surprisingly wild and a top choice for people wanting to escape from the buzz of city life and into the softer rhythms of the natural world. To the east of the lake, near Sedgley Woods, the Meadow of the Cliffs is rife with tall, wild grasses where foxes and hawks like to hunt. Check it out in the fall—the crumbling Cliffs Mansion and changing leaves create a perfectly Gothic fall atmosphere.
Spending a day in East Fairmount Park with your pup will have you both howling in celebration of Philadelphia, a city where both humans and dogs are free to enjoy a rich array of natural and cultural treasures.