A Guide to Seasonal Fun with Your Dog in New Jersey


The air is cooler and it’s the perfect time for an outdoor adventure with your dog. Fortunately, New Jersey offers great seasonal outdoor activities that are pet-friendly. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and bring your pup’s necessities!

Picking apples and pumpkins is a favorite fall activity for New Jerseyans, and a handful of farms allow dogs.

Ort Farms (25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, 908-876-3351) is a fun, family-friendly place with seasonal offerings such as pumpkin picking, wagon rides, corn mazes, food trucks, and special events on many weekends throughout the fall. Dogs are welcome at Ort Farms, as long as they’re on a leash, and they can even join their parents in the pumpkin patch. (Although mutts can’t take a hay ride to the patch, they can walk there with their human buddies.) Dogs aren’t allowed in the produce areas of the farm.
25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, 908-876-3351

Ward’s Pumpkin Patch (552 Route 17 North, Ridgewood, 201-523-0918) has a plethora of pumpkins, specialty squash and squash in October, then sells Christmas trees in the winter as Ward Farms. Pooches are welcome, as long as they are kept on a leash.

windy eyebrow farms (359 Ridge Road, Fredon Township, 973-579-9657) is a Sussex County staple known for growing over 45 different types of apples. The property allows dogs on a leash on the farm, but only in outdoor areas. Dogs are not allowed inside the farm shop, but if you’re there with a friend or family member, leave Fido outside and make your way for some homemade baked goods.

Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, 908-879-7189) has been in operation since 1982 and is home to fruit and vegetable picking (including pumpkins), a petting zoo, wagon rides and many more activities for the whole family. The farm accepts dogs, provided that the canines are kept on a leash and that the parents pick them up. Dogs are not allowed in picking rows.

Bring your pup to our beloved coast. Photo: Shutterstock/Kristi Blokhin

Of course, the colder months aren’t the typical time to head down the Shore, unless you’re a pet parent. The reason? As crowds dwindle and summer winds down, several New Jersey beaches are opening up to dogs in the off-season.

Asbury Park allows pooches to play freely on the Asbury Park dog beach between September 15 and May 15, provided they are properly supervised. (In high season, mutts are allowed in the evenings and early mornings.) Additionally, between September 15 and May 15, leashed mutts can join their humans for a walk on the boardwalk.

Brigantine allows dogs on the beach between October 1 and May 29. Leashes are mandatory and must not exceed 6 feet. Pet parents are required to clean up.

Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area in Longport, a beautiful undeveloped beach, allows dogs on a leash all year round.

OceanCity the beaches are open to dogs between October 1 and April 30, provided they are kept on a leash.

Dog and campers overlook scenic view

Dogs are welcome at some Jersey campsites. Photo: Unsplash/Jimmy Conover

A number of New Jersey state parks allow pets in select campgrounds for an additional $5/night fee.

Cheesequake State Park, Bass River State Forestand Round Valley Recreation Area all pets welcome.

They’re open year-round, so you can enjoy a camping trip with your pet this fall or winter.

As far as the rules go, domestic dogs and cats are the only animals allowed outside on park grounds, with a maximum of two animals per camping permit. Guests must complete registration and certification for their pet upon check-in. But if you are staying in a caravan or motorhome, caged birds, reptiles and amphibians are acceptable. All pets must be vaccinated.

Pets are not permitted in buildings, on swimming beaches, in swimming waters, and at campsites not designated for pets. Pet parents are responsible for the behavior of their pets and ensure pets are on a leash of 6 feet or less; they can never be left alone.

Quiet hours for campgrounds are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., so barking and other animal noises during these hours should be controlled. Any injuries should be reported immediately to the National Park Police. Learn more about nj.gov.

Assortment of red and white wines behind a platter of assorted cheeses and crackers

Want some canine company while you sip? Visit these local wineries. Photo: Unsplash/Chelsea Pridham

For wine lovers, there’s nothing better on a chilly fall day than spending time outside in vineyard or winery – and New Jersey has plenty that allow pooches. However, pet owners should be careful if dogs come near grapes, as the fruit is toxic to pooches.

Bénéduce vineyards (1 Jeremiah Lane, Pittstown, 908-996-3823), a family place, offers wine tastings, live music and more. Its main grape varieties are Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Friendly, leashed dogs are allowed outside.

Auburn Road Vineyards (117 Sharptown Auburn Road, Pilesgrove, 856-769-9463) welcomes dogs on a leash to outdoor portions of the property and offers open-mic nights and shows, in addition to wine flights, tours, and great food at the Enoteca Wine Bar.

Another dog-friendly place to check out is working dog vineyard (600 Perrineville Road, Hightstown, 609-371-6000)which allows the puppies to go out on the lawn.

Guests get a history lesson at Cold Spring Village in Cape May

Guests get a history lesson at Cold Spring Village in Cape May. Photo courtesy of Historic Cold Spring Village

Cold Spring Historic Village (720 US 9, Cape May, 609-898-2300)– which is on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places – offers visitors the chance to experience Southern New Jersey’s past first-hand. An open-air living history museum, it features a recreated rural town from the “house era.” Although much of the village closes at the end of September, special events take place throughout the year. Plus, the brasserie, which is dog-friendly and has heat lamps outside, is open year-round.

Another favorite place to explore history is Batsto Village (31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, 609-561-0024), located in Wharton State Forest on what was once an iron ore and glassworks site. You’ll get an inside look at hundreds of years of American history, as well as thousands of years of land use in the region. Dogs are welcome outside the village of Batsto.

This article first appeared in the Fall/Winter issue of NorthStar VETERINARIANS‘Pet Perspective magazine. Read the full issue digitally here.

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