Conference House Park in the Tottenville neighborhood of Staten Island is a pawsome place to hike, with over two miles of trails that wind through beautiful wetlands and past several historic sites.
If you have a car, there are several places to park, including dedicated spots near the Conference House itself, which is famous for hosting a peace conference to end the Revolutionary War. If you park at the trailhead at the end of Brighton Street, you can start the main Blue Trail through Conference House Park at its easternmost point. The trip out and back is about two miles. If you want to use public transportation, there is a bus stop near the main park entrance halfway along the trail. Just note that dogs can only board the bus if they are in a carrier. You will also need to bring your own waste bags and water.
You and your pup will enjoy lovely views of Raritan Bay as you amble along the trails through Conference House Park. Halfway through, you'll pass the "South Pole" marking the southernmost point in the state of New York. Behind the Conference House, you'll find one of New York City's "Great Trees"—a massive American Sycamore. Rolling lawns and manicured gardens add to the park's natural beauty. If you want to treat your dog to an off-leash run, you can use the fenced-in off-leash dog run near the park entrance at the intersection of Massachusetts Street and Clermont Avenue.
As you and your pup make your way along the Blue Trail, be on the lookout for the numerous species of birds that make their home in these forests and wetlands. Depending on the time of year, you might spot bluebirds, cedar waxwings, and northern flickers. Near the beach, which is also a horseshoe crab nesting site, you can see sandpipers, loons, grebes, and sea ducks. Green herons and great egrets hunt the wetlands near muskrat lodges. Several species of owl flourish in the surrounding woods.