by Mary Jasch

52 trails that are DOG FRIENDLY, DOG FUN, DOG SAFE!

• Dog-suitable trails - no matter what shape Fido's in - from five physiographic regions in New Jersey
• Canine hazard-free terrain that’s easy on the paws and provides water and shade
• Tips on how to prepare yourself and your dog for a hike
• Tips on reducing your impact on the environment while enjoying it
• Helpful Hike Summary Table lists hikes by difficulty, length, whether or not the hike is a loop trail, and if it includes swimming and backpacking opportunities

New Jersey offers a wide variety of terrain choices for hiking, with trails in the mountains, around lakes, across coastal plains, and along beaches. Mary Jasch and her canine companions have explored many of them and, in BEST HIKES WITH DOGS - NEW JERSEY, she gives us her favorite 52 hikes.

“Abundant opportunities to enjoy nature and escape a hectic world await people and their canine pals in New Jersey’s national, state, county and township parks and forests,” writes Mary. “Some private organizations also open their lands for people and dogs to experience.”

In this new guidebook, you’ll find hikes that will appeal to dogs of all ages and fitness levels. There are easy day trips for aging dogs and overnight backpacking options for fitter dogs.

Each trail description begins with helpful information on distance, elevation range, difficulty, approximate hiking time, and best season. Any particular regulations or rules are listed, best maps to use, and park contact information. Along with directions on how to get there, Mary gives a detailed description of the trail and what you can expect to enjoy along the way. She provides interesting environmental and horticultural facts, vistas that shouldn’t be missed, and canine concerns to watch out for.

At the beginning of the book, Mary offers useful tips on canine trail etiquette, New Jersey’s permits and regulations, and basic training. Additional features include, but are not limited to, what to pack for your pooch, what to include in your doggy first-aid kit, what to do when encountering wildlife, and how you and your dog can get in shape and prepare for your excursion. Plus, appendices of comprehensive, statewide lists of Off-leash Dog Parks and State-owned Wildlife Management Areas where Fido can run free, and Internet Resources for Doggie Gear.

About the Author
Mary Jasch publishes DIG IT! Magazine. She is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Njbiz, and Backpacker Magazine. For the last several years, she has been exploring New Jersey’s hiking trails with her four faithful canine companions: Petey, Little One, Farley, and Tank. They live in Northwestern New Jersey.

Excerpt: Ten Essentials for Canines
1. Obedience training. Before you set foot on a trail, make sure your dog is trained and can be trusted to behave when faced with other hikers, dogs, wildlife, or strange scents and sights.
2. Doggy backpack. Let your dog carry his own gear. Check that packs are reinforced in areas that might scrape against rocks, have reflective areas for night hiking, are padded for a comfortable fit. A bright-colored pack will make your dog more visible during hunting season or if lost.
3. Basic first-aid kit.
4. Dog food and trail treats. Keep your dog extra well fed on the trail since he will burn more calories than usual. Bring extra snacks in case you get lost and spend the night in the woods. Train your dog to carry his own food and water.
5. Water and water bowl. Don’t count on finding water along the trail. Pack enough for the entire day. A good rule of thumb is 3 liters of water for your dog’s day hike.
6. Leash and collar. In New Jersey, it’s the law. Most parks require leashes that are a maximum of 6 feet long. Nylon or leather is comfortable and adequate for easy control.
7. Insect repellent. Some animals, like people, have negative reactions to DEET-based repellents.
So, before leaving home, dab a little DEET-based repellent on a patch of your dog’s fur to see if he reacts to it. Soak a cotton ball in a natural oil, wrap it in a bandana, and tie it around your dog’s neck before you hit the trail.
8. ID tags and picture identification. Make sure your dog is properly identified should he become separated from you. Get him microchipped and give him a nice, shiny identification tag to wear. Put a photograph of your dog in your pack. If he gets lost, make flyers from the picture to post in nearby communities.
9. Dog booties. Booties can be used to keep bandages secure if the dog damages his pads, or to protect against snowballs between the toes that melt, freeze, and cut, causing lameness.
10. Plastic bags and trowel. Be courteous and leave the trail as you found it. Carry out your dog’s waste in places that require it. On other trails, dig a hole and bury it.
*Adapted from Best Hikes with Dogs: New Jersey by Mary Jasch, $16.95 paperback

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Publication: April 2007
Pages: 224
Art: 70 photos, 61 maps, elevation profiles
Price: $16.95 trade paperback original
ISBN-13: 978-1-59485-003-5
© 2017 New Jersey Dog Hikes. All Rights Reserved.