Most pups are happy with a fenced-in area where they can run off leash, but the dog parks on this list go way beyond Fido’s wildest dreams. These astonishing canine oases show just how far we'll go to show our love for our furry companions. They're sure to get you planning a road trip with your best friend faster than you can say “fetch!”
Posted by Billy Francis
Nestled among the rolling hills of Northeast Vermont, Dog Mountain is a unique dog park that was once a 150-acre farm. Four-legged visitors love its hiking trails, agility course and ponds that are perfect for a quick dunk when the sun’s out. But what really sets this place apart is the one-of-a-kind Dog Chapel that commemorates beloved pets who are no longer with us. Park owner and folk artist Stephen Huneck designed the chapel in the style of an 1820s Vermont church and set it atop a hill overlooking the valley below. Inside are pews for moments of quiet reflection, stained glass windows with dog motifs and a wall where you can leave notes for pups who are now playing in the great dog park in the sky. After visiting the chapel, bring Fido to Huneck’s on-site art gallery and check out the wonderful depictions of animals in the artist's playful style.
You can visit Dog Mountain year round, but it’s especially beautiful when the surrounding forests turn golden-red in the fall. The park also hosts numerous events including a Golden Jubilee for Golden Retrievers and their friends, a Celebration Party for the park's founders, and Dog Parties in the summer and fall.
Dog Mountain is located at 143 Parks Road in St Johnsbury, VT. The park is open Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free but donations for park upkeep are welcome.
Dog Wood Park
The privately owned, off-leash Dog Wood Park spans an immaculately groomed 25 acres of land. Your pup can wander through pristine fields of trimmed grass and crawl through tunnels and tubes. The centerpiece of the park is a two-acre swimming lake that boasts its very own beach. It also has an agility section and a small dog area.
Even if she takes it easy, you know your pup’s going to end up covered in slobber and mud by the time she’s ready to leave. Thankfully, the folks at Dog Wood have got you covered (so your car seats don’t need to be). There’s a free rinse station on site but if you’re feeling fancy, dunk your dog in the self-service warm bath. Brushes, towels, shampoo and ear cleaner are all provided for a fee of $8-9.
Dog Wood Park is located at 7407 Salisbury Road in Jacksonville, FL. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee is $11 for the first dog and $1.25 for each additional dog. An annual membership is available for $275 per dog and includes access to members-only events and training sessions.
Bea Arthur Dog Park
It's no surprise that a PETA dog park would be among the best in the country. As the largest animal rights organization in the world, PETA knows a thing or two about keeping pets happy. Like all of us at BringFido, PETA employees can take their dogs to work. The Bea Arthur Dog Park, named after the company's honorary director and former Golden Girl, is located next to their headquarters on the banks of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. (Don’t worry, the park is open to the public as well.)
The fenced-in area has a nice stretch of grass for fetch on the waterfront, and there’s a bin full of toys in case you left Fido’s favorite tennis ball at home. Let your pup rehydrate at the water station before the main event, a nosedive into the river. An access ramp slopes nicely into the water, making doggy paddling a must-try for any furry visitor. PETA has hosted many events here, including a multi-shelter adoption drive called Poochella. Don’t believe how awesome this park is? Check it out for yourself on their dog park webcam.
Bea Arthur Dog Park is located at 501 Front Street in Norfolk, VA. Dogs are welcome daily from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m, and admission is free.
Newtown Dream Dog Park
Newtown Dream Dog Park was the first-ever winner of Beneful’s Dream Dog Park campaign. The competition, held every year from 2011 to 2015, invited dog lovers to describe what their dream dog park would look like if they had $500,000 to spend on it. Parks that were just a twinkle in a pup’s eye fast became a reality when they were selected as winners and awarded the grand prize. In 2011, John McNeely and his dog Koda took home the cool half million, and Newtown Dream Dog Park was born in Johns Creek.
The one-acre park features artificial turf for year-round use, sprinklers around a spraying fire hydrant for dogs to enjoy during the summer, and a variety of bridges, tunnels and hoops to explore. There are separate areas for large and small dogs and benches for humans to relax while their furry friends run wild. The paved pathway around the park is draped in the shade of specially planted trees to allow visitors to get their steps in even on hot days. Both people and pets can rehydrate after playing together at the water fountains.
Newtown Dream Dog Park is located at 3150 Old Alabama Road in Johns Creek, GA. Dogs are welcome daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m, and admission is free.
Pilgrim Bark Park
According to legend, an English Mastiff and Springer Spaniel were aboard the Mayflower when it landed in Provincetown in 1620. Pilgrim Bark Park was created as a tribute to these brave, salty sea dogs. More than just a dog park, the space is an outdoor art gallery filled with sculptures designed by local artists. Some have practical applications, like the dog-shaped benches and colorfully painted fire hydrants. Others are historically and nautically inspired, from giant anchors to sleeping dogs made out of rope. One of the most elegant works is a metallic sculpture of a Wampanoag tribesman casting a fishing net that doubles as a sunshade. The park has separate sections for small and large dogs, a sandy play area and stretches of grass for fetch.
Pilgrim Bark Park is located at 227 US-6 in Provincetown, MA. Dogs are welcome daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free.
Shaggy Pines Dog Park
Shaggy Pines Dog Park is the only other pay-to-play park on our list, but it’s definitely worth the price of admission. This 15-acre, fenced-in paradise is like a spa resort for dogs. Rolling hills, open green spaces and towering pines give it a secluded feeling despite being close to downtown Cascade Township. The park boasts a pristine doggy swimming pond, separate areas for small and large dogs, and an events space that also hosts agility and training classes. And then there's Doggy Mountain, a large sand pile specifically designed for dogs who can’t get enough of climbing and digging.
Pups who decide to dig or go for a dip can be cleaned off in the provided self-service dog wash tubs. You can then treat them to a bite at the on-site Coffee and Treat Bar, which serves human goodies, too. The park also solves the problem of hectic human schedules with the Shaggy Shuttle. For a fee of $35-$42, the shuttle will pick up your dog, take him to the park and return him after a 90-minute romp.
Shaggy Pines Dog Park is located at 3895 Cherry Lane Ave SE in Ada, MI. Operating hours are Tuesday to Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A day visit costs $15 for one dog plus $10 for each additional dog. Membership plans range from a monthly fee of $37 for one dog (plus $20 for each additional dog) to a lifetime membership of $1,278 per dog.
Beau’s Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park
Beau’s Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park was the 2012 winner of Beneful’s Dream Dog Park contest. Angela Bauman and her dog Beau brought their design to life at Lancaster's Buchanan Park, and the $500,000 makeover looks like something straight out of a Roald Dahl book. Pups can race across the 40-foot rollercoaster bridge, socialize in separate areas for small and large dogs, and get wet at splash pads. But the main feature that has won many a dog’s heart over the years is the tennis ball tree that flings balls in all directions. If your pooch loves to fetch, it’ll be hard to take her anywhere else after she's gotten a taste of this place. Humans can enjoy the show from comfortably shaded Adirondack chairs on a whimsically designed deck that looks like a dock on the edge of a lake (complete with a diving board into the imaginary water). The park runs meetups and events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for homeless dogs and other pet-related causes.
Beau's Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park is located at 901 Buchanan Ave in Lancaster, PA. Dogs are welcome daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.
Hugh Rogers WAG Park
The five-acre Hugh Rogers WAG Park is etched into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. Location isn’t everything but it’s certainly helped this scenic dog park make our list. While your pooch plays and makes new friends, you can enjoy panoramic views of the soaring peaks (dotted with skiers in the snowy months) and watch for the occasional train trundling by on the nearby track. Named after the Whitefish Animal Group, the WAG park contains separate areas for small and large dogs, an agility course and a large pond with an adjacent dog beach. Furry swimmers can paddle to their hearts' content, pausing for a lie down on one of the many resting rocks on the water. The clubhouse provides humans and dogs alike with ample shade, and everybody can cool down at the water fountains on hotter days. At the end of the day, dirty dogs can clean off in the doggy wash station provided. Among the many events held here throughout the year are the WAG Race to raise money for the park and WAGfest, because dogs deserve to be celebrated.
Hugh Rogers WAG Park is located at 1720 East Second Street in Whitefish, MT. Dogs are welcome daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and admission is free.
Willow Creek Dog Park
Willow Creek Dog Park wasn't always this awesome. Prior to 2014, the perennially popular place for dogs to run and make friends was starting to look a little shabby. Then, thanks again to Beneful’s injection of cash, Linda Nichols’ winning idea of "Sirens and Hydrants" transformed the park into a firefighter-themed playground for pups. Furry friends can tackle the fire truck agility course, completely fail to pose for a pic on a bright red fire engine, race through fire hose tunnels, and hang out with their humans on the covered firehouse lounge area. Of course, the theme wouldn't be complete without a splash pad with fire hydrant hoses ready to spray your pup on those hot desert days. The park also features a stretch of antimicrobial and non-toxic K9 Grass, which enables you to visit year round and helps keep Fido dirt-free.
Willow Creek Dog Park is located at 3181 Willow Creek Road in Prescott, AZ. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and admission is free.
Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area
Seattleites frequently refer to Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area as the best dog park in the Emerald City. At a whopping 8.6 acres, this fully fenced-in area is the only park inside city limits that has water access, and it's no mere splash pool. You and your dog get to enjoy Lake Washington, the second largest lake in the state. Stroll the paved trails with your pup, let her burn off some energy in the park's open spaces, and take her to the sloped shoreline where she can dip her paws in the water. The park has a separate area for small dogs who prefer their own company to the raucous bunch in the large dog area.
Thanks to one entrepreneurial couple, Magnuson Park offers a special treat for visiting pups. Dawn and Ben Ford, owners of the Seattle Barkery dog food truck, set up "Hammy" the Treat Trailer in the off-leash area. Their hand-crafted menu includes a peanut butter and banana bone, a beefy carrot bagel and the award-winning Wagalong cookie. Humans can refuel with a cup of coffee and a snack.
Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area is located at 7400 Sand Point Way NE in Seattle, WA. Dogs are welcome daily from 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and admission is free. The Seattle Barkery rolls up Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Dog Park
We saved the best, or at least the biggest, for last. Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Dog Park is the largest dog park in the U.S., with more than 50 acres of land to explore on the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay. Dogs are free to enjoy the area off leash as long as they are under voice control. The park is divided into two sections parted through the middle by Hoffman Channel. There are several looping trails that hug the channel and offer scenic overlooks of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County and Brooks Island. After sniffing everything in sight and rolling around in the mud, Fido can clean up at the on-site Mud Puppy’s Tub and Scrub before enjoying a well-earned treat at the park's Sit & Stay Cafe. The gumball dispenser full of chicken and oat dog snacks is sure to please! If you're visiting in late October, make sure to attend the park's annual Barktoberfest. Dogs are invited to dress up in their best Halloween costumes and join in the parade.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Dog Park is located at 2701 Isabel Street in Richmond, CA. Dogs are welcome daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and admission is free.
Which is your pup's favorite dog park? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
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