This past Sunday was a glorious spring day, sunny yet cool enough for a sweatshirt. We decided to take the three Woofuses for a walk on the Henry Hudson Trail. This trail wends its way along the bay shores of New Jersey, from Aberdeen to Highlands. Part of it is especially beautiful, between Atlantic Highlands and Highlands, and this was our planned trek for the day. This section sports views of the New York City skyline across the bay, abundant bird life and lapping waves just feet from the trail.
We got the harnesses on all three dogs and piled into the jeep. Lobo goes first, in the back seat. Then we open the “back back” and Fiona and Secret jump in. We’ve found this to be a comfortable set up, although often Secret jumps forward to join Lobo and then paw us in the front seats. She’s a problem child!
We drove all of five minutes to Atlantic Highlands and parked in the harbor lot. I was sporting my purple backpack with folding water bowl, water, treats and poop bags. This pet mom is always prepared!
The trail itself was badly damaged several years ago by “superstorm” Sandy, which devastated many area homes. The storm also tossed the boats in the picturesque Atlantic Highlands marina around like toys and heaped them up haphazardly in this very same parking lot. Now the marina is neat and orderly again and the trail is mostly back to normal. There is a sign warning of rough trail conditions but it really is over exaggerated now. A lot of work has been done and it is a pleasure to traverse the path.
The trail was busy with people, dogs, cyclists and walkers. We met a lot of dog enthusiasts and at least two other huskies! A whole troupe of cyclists stopped to pet and meet the dogs. The bay breezes were gentle and cool. The skies were blue and clear. The water was gently lapping at the rocks as we made our way along the trail.
It really was heavenly. There is plenty for both dogs and people to explore and look at, including a host of birds – seagulls, ducks, geese, hawks and even a single swan. Fiona loves to climb on things so you will see many pictures of her on the rocks looking out to sea.
From a convenience perspective, there are public bathrooms at both ends of this section of trail, a water fountain on the Highlands side, doggie waste bag dispensers in case you forgot your own, and strategically placed garbage cans along the way. Both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands sport small, free public beaches. The trail is about half in shade and half in sun, so plan accordingly with sun block for yourself and water for the woofuses.
Both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands sport many fine restaurants, although we haven’t checked them yet for outdoor seating for dogs – there is always the option of take out, eaten while relaxing on the beaches or in the Harbor. We’ve spotted seafood, bbq, Cuban, Mexican, and our favorite Thai restaurant which is Kunya Siam (they do gluten free options for me!).
As an added enticement, the Seastreak Ferry to New York City which leaves from both Atlantic Highlands and Highlands, is dog friendly – we see dogs getting on an off all the time! Wouldn’t that be fun?! We hope you check out the Henry Hudson Trail; it really has a lot to offer in the way of outdoor fun.
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