Grab Your Running Buddy: 11 Great Spots to Run and Walk With Your Dog Near Philly



Can we take a minute to talk about how wonderful this fall weather is? It’s breezy, but not blistering cold, and it’s sunny, but not sweat-your-face-off sweltering hot. It’s perfect. And the mild temps are especially wonderful for exploring all the beautiful trails and running spots that Philly has to offer with your pooch by your side. My dog refuses to move beyond four feet from our front door in the summer heat and in the winter snow, so autumn is when we get most of our trail-time in. But after four consecutive falls spent trudging along the Kelly Drive path, I’ve come to the conclusion that we need a change of scenery, stat. But where?

Well, that’s where this post comes in: To help find some new trails to tackle, I asked five folks who love to explore Philly with their pooches where their favorite spots to run and walk are. And boy, did these lovely people provide an arsenal of go-to spots for me and my dog to get our sweat on—from Ridley Creek State Park, where dogs can cool off in the water post-run, to the new Washington Avenue Green and more. So if you and your pup are tired of pounding the same pavement fall after fall, read on to see which spots these Philly folks suggested—you’re bound to discover some new dog-running and walking inspiration. And we’d love to hear about your favorite pup-friendly running spots in and around the city, too! List ’em off in the comments section below.

Amber Adamson, #BWPSelfie star and Director of Advancement for the Delaware County SPCA

“Our favorite spot is Ridley Creek State Park in Media. It’s a quick off shoot from 476 and there’s a great 5-mile paved path with 13 miles of trails going off of it, so we can really choose our own adventure. It’s especially great in the fall when the leaves start to change.”

Sara Hirschler, Marketing and Membership Manager at the Fairmount Park Conservancy

Boxer’s Trail in Fairmount Park is great: it’s so close to Kelly Drive and you get some really nice views of the river. Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon is also a great spot for dogs, because the path is nice and wide—and, I mean, it’s the Wissahickon. The Roxborough Reservoir is a great place to run, and there’s so much fun stuff for you and your dog to look at as you make your way around. And last, but not least, FDR Park in South Philly is great. There are beautiful lakes, lovely new restrooms and water fountains, which are always a plus.”

Carrie Maria, Monster Milers founder

“If you haven’t checked out Washington Avenue Green, run on down. River water literally laps the banks there—it’s really quite special. All of the infographic signs, on everything from watersheds to birds you might spot while you’re there, will probably cause you to pause your run the first time you make the trip. If you’re used to running along Penns’ Landing, just head further South and you’ll get there.”

“I also love Ridley Creek State Park. I take my dogs running on the Orange Trail which is absolutely beautiful. It follows the creek and there is a nice loop runners can take. I always see lots of dogs and their owners along along this trail, and my dogs always end up in the creek. A few other great spots that my fellow Monster Milers love are the 14-mile Haverford Heritage Trail, Smedly Park in Springfield, and the Manayunk Towpath.”

Abby McKenna, Consultant and runner

The Radnor Trail is 2.4 miles of peaceful, paved trail just off the hustle and bustle of Lancaster Avenue. On a nice Saturday, it’s always full of walkers and joggers with friendly dogs. Finn and I always make a friend. It’s flat except for the very end, so neither of us gets too tired. There’s even a water fountain and a dog bowl in the middle if you need it—plus, poop bags and trash cans along the way.”

Holly Waters, Personal trainer at Holly Waters Fitness

“My dog Franklin does his sprints in Dickinson Square Park and in the new trails behind Columbus Boulevard. He does his drills in CrossFit PHL (editor’s note: She’s totally serious.) and he does his long distance like Rocky in the streets of Philadelphia and in the Wissahickon.”

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