Pugs will be the first to tell you that bigger isn’t always better, but when it comes to these wonders of the dog world, size definitely matters. From Kansas to Paris, the world’s largest dog parks welcome pups of all sizes to run for miles without a leash to hold them back.
Posted by Billy Francis
1. Shawnee Mission Park
As featured in the 2021 edition of our Ruff Guide to the United States, Shawnee Mission Park is home to one of the largest off-leash areas in the country. This canine wonderland stretches across 44 acres of grasslands, wooded areas, and open fields that provide the perfect backdrop for a game of fetch. The highlight is the 120-acre lake, which features a dog beach and swimming hole. After a doggy paddle, explore miles of paved and unpaved trails that wind around the lake and through the woods. Dog park maps and trail guides are available at the Visitor Center.
When your pooch is dog-tired after a day of off-leash fun, he’ll find a comfy place to sleep at the Hyatt Place Kansas City Lenexa City Center. Canine guests are welcome for an additional fee of $75 per stay.
2. Richmond Park
Spanning an incredible 2,500 acres of pristine countryside, Richmond Park is London’s largest royal park. Once reserved for Charles I’s deer hunting, this beautiful natural space now offers Londoners a welcome escape from the city and is recognized for its wildlife conservation efforts. Dogs under voice control are welcome to wander the 7-mile circular pathway through woodland surroundings and grassy fields alongside inviting lakes. Keep an eye out for the park's red deer population, whose ancestors have roamed the area since 1637. Visitors should be aware that leashes are mandatory during deer birthing season between May and July.
After a long day in the park, kick off your shoes and relax at nearby Kingston Lodge Hotel. Dogs are welcome for an additional fee of 20 GBP ($28 USD) per pet, per night.
3. Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park
Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park is an off-leash area of epic proportions. Spanning 138 acres of New Mexico backcountry, this Santa Fe delight is a must-visit for local pups and four-legged visitors alike. Dogs can explore miles of trails that wind through arroyos and over sandy hills, offering incredible views across Santa Fe and surrounding mountain ranges. The park is not fenced in, but Fido can roam comfortably on the trails without approaching the outer perimeters. For more tips on Santa Fe, check out this pet-friendly weekend itinerary.
The Lodge at Santa Fe offers guests an affordable stay just minutes from the park entrance. The Lodge at Santa Fe accepts one pet up to 65 lbs $35 per stay, and two pets up to 65 lbs for $60 per stay.
4. Warrigal Dog Run
Located within the nearly 500-acre Bungarribee Park, Warrigal Dog Run is the largest dog park in Sydney. The run is a local favorite among members of the canine community, boasting open green fields and shady spots for owners to hang out. Beyond the fenced space, dogs under voice control can continue to roam leash-free on the Heart Crossing Loop and the Bungarribee Trail.
Stay within fetching distance of the park at this pet-friendly apartment just 30 minutes from downtown Sydney. If Fido has any energy left, he can sniff the flowers in the pretty fenced backyard. Dogs stay for free.
5. Sue Higgins Park
Sue Higgins Park is one of the largest completely fenced parks on the list. From the moment your pup sets a paw inside the 150-acre enclosure, she’ll find entertainment at every turn. Weave in and out of poles, hop over agility equipment, play fetch on the vast open fields, catch a quick dog nap under the shady trees, and dive headfirst into Bow River from shallow entry points or deep-water areas for experienced dock divers. The park is also home to separate fenced spaces for private training sessions. Don’t forget to swing by Nora Tuckey’s Grove for a picnic, where you can read about how she helped save the park and make it one of the coolest places for canines to hang out in Canada.
There’s so much to see and do at Sue Higgins Park, you’ll want to come back for a second day. Sleep off day one at The Glenmore Inn And Convention Centre. Dogs are welcome for an additional fee of $15 CAD ($12 USD) per night.
6. Perro Parque León
Perro Parque León is Mexico’s largest official dog park. The 6-acre urban oasis is not the biggest on our list, but it’s jam-packed with awesome amenities that make use of every inch. Fido can get his steps in on the jogging track or practice front crawl in the wading pool. The park also features an array of cool agility equipment and training areas to teach your old dog new tricks. As an added bonus, visitors will have access to veterinary services. Admission is 10 pesos ($0.50) for fully vaccinated pups.
If you’re staying in the area, this nearby city loft has a beautiful balcony overlooking León.
7. Walkhaven Dog Park
Walkhaven Dog Park is the only private park featured on our list. Located on the outskirts of South Africa’s biggest city of Johannesburg, this idyllic outdoor hangout is the go-to place for dogs and their owners to meet and play. Take a walk on the trails through green fields adjacent to the park’s centerpiece, a sparkling lake. Day passes are R40 (less than $3), and annual passes are also available. Hungry hounds can pay a visit to the on-site Dog Box Grill and Pizza Mutt for a slice of pie in pooch paradise.
The Woodlands River Cottage welcomes dogs and their owners to stay in natural surroundings just a short distance from Johannesburg, Pretoria and West Rand.
8. Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne in Paris is nearly three times the size of Central Park and, like the famous New York landmark, is full of surprises. When Fido walks leash-free through the woods that once belonged to Napoleon III, he’ll forget how close to the bustling French capital he is. Wooded trails under leafy canopies lead to creeks, stunning views of the Seine and a swimming lake that your pooch can dive into on hot days. There are even sections of the park that offer a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Due to other animals and park users, only dogs under voice control should be allowed off-leash.
Located a short walk from Bois de Boulogne and facing the Arc de Triomphe, the pet-friendly Splendid Etoile Hotel offers luxurious digs for you and your dog. Pets are welcome for no additional fee.
9. Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Dog Park
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline Dog Park boasts more than 50 acres of land to explore on the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay. 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. Dogs are free to enjoy the area off leash as long as they are under voice control. Fido can even clean up at the on-site Mudpuppy’s Tub and Scrub.
For views of the coast with your sparkling clean pooch, reserve a room at DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina, where two dogs up to 70lbs are welcome for an additional fee of $50 per stay.
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