The U.S. loves its dog parks.
No matter where you find yourself in all 50 states, you can be sure there is an off-leash park perfect for your pooch nearby. While some might be nothing more than a fenced-in space for your dog to safely run and play, many dog parks are designed with enrichment elements to engage your dog’s mind.
Either way, we think the most essential features of any dog park are access to clean drinking water and a place for your pup to cool off on a hot day.
To celebrate this year’s National Puppy Day, here are a few of our favorite parks across the United States!
Dog Park with the Best Squirrel Hunting
If you have a pup with a strong prey drive, this is the perfect spot!
Timber Creek Dog Park, located in Blackwood, N.J., is home to eight acres of fenced-in woods dedicated to pups. While the humans walk the park’s perimeter, their dogs can dash and dart through the interior, jumping logs, flushing critters from bushes, and treeing squirrels and chipmunks. There’s even a pond for them to cool down in, just a short walk outside the fenced area.
Dog Park with the Most Room to Romp
If you ever find yourself in northern Vermont, be sure to stop by Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury. This mountaintop park is 150 acres of fun! Nope, that’s not a typo—it really is 150 acres. There are walking trails aplenty, an agility course, and ponds where the pups can cool off. In addition, this park has an art gallery and a chapel to remember the furry friends who are no longer with us.
If you stop by in the winter, bring your snowshoes and take in the beauty of this unique mountaintop dog park. Dog Mountain is open every day from dawn to dusk.
Most Refreshing Park (for Humans & Dogs)
The Hannah Daye Ridling Bark Park, located in Montgomery, Ala., knows how to treat your fur friends. Of course, it can get mighty hot in the summer, but that’s not a problem for Bark Park visitors.
In addition to drinking fountains for both people and pets, this park also has wash stations in the small and large dog areas—excellent for cleaning up those muddy paws before getting back in the car.
Dog Park with the Best Views
The 5-acre Hugh Rogers Whitefish Dog Park in Whitefish, Mont., has stunning views of Glacier National Park. Free to the public and a self-described recreational mecca for pooches and people alike, this park includes benches, drinking fountains for dogs and people, an agility course, a pond and dog beach, a dog wash station, and lots of shade trees.
We give it bonus points for also having fully accessible paved paths!
Dog Park with the Best Name
PETA’s Bea Arthur Dog Park in Norfolk, Va., is named after PETA’s late honorary director. Like every good dog park, it features a water station so pups can stay hydrated and also has a toy bin in case your pooch forgot hers at home.
What we like most about this park, though, is it’s a place for pups to play before getting spayed or neutered aboard PETA’s mobile SNIP truck. This service offers low-cost or free spaying and neutering services to low-income families. So please, spay and neuter your pets!
Best Park for Humans
Atlanta’s Fetch Park was created on the premise that you shouldn’t have to choose between hanging out with your best friend or heading out to happy hour after work. At this Buckhead dog park, you can do both!
Daily, monthly, and annual membership options are available. Don’t have a dog? That’s okay—You’re welcome to come anyway and enjoy a tasty beverage at the bar, no membership necessary.
Up-to-date vaccinations are required, and animals over eight months of age must be spayed or neutered. There are even Bark Rangers on staff to ensure members are getting along with one another.
Best Use of Uninhabitable Land
We think Arlington Dog Park, currently under construction in Nebraska, is pretty special. The folks behind it are repurposing a piece of land that’s been made uninhabitable due to flooding.
You can track their progress on Instagram, where it looks like it could be opening very soon!
Dog Park with the Best Dock Diving
The Decarsky Dog Park in Derby, Kan., opened in the fall of 2020 and features the standard separate small and large dog areas, an agility course, lots of shade, and water bubblers and wash stations for the pups.
In addition, you’ll find the park is ADA accessible and includes restrooms for humans. What we love most, however, is the pond and dock for retrieval training. You certainly don’t see that at most dog parks!
The Poshest Dog Park
The Kickapoo Ranch Pet Resort in Waller, Texas, is a luxury hotel for pets, but it’s also a great place to go for the day to play… but only if you are a dog. Sorry, humans, no belly rubs for you.
This 40-acre property gives pups a safe place to run around and explore, and if your canine is into swimming, this is the place to be! Kickapoo Ranch has not just one pond but two to splash around in.
Biggest Urban Dog Park
Warren G. Magnuson Park covers 350 acres in the heart of Seattle and features a fully fenced-in 8.6-acre dog park for urban pups. It features a large, flat play area and a winding trail, most of which is wheelchair accessible.
Situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Washington, this is the only off-leash area with water access inside the city limits. As you can imagine, it gets pretty busy there, so be prepared for a canine crowd. Want a second opinion? Watch James the poodle’s review of Magnuson Park!
Best Dog Park to Catch a Wave
Fort De Soto Beach in Pinellas County, Fla., isn’t just America’s Top Beach, according to Trip Advisor; it’s also dog-friendly.
Not only can dogs play in the sand and body surf in a designated area, but there are also two fenced-in areas nearby for large and small dogs. And, of course, this park is equipped with water stations to keep you and your dog hydrated.
Uh-oh! Does your favorite dog park NOT have year-round access to drinking water for you or your pup? Be sure to pass this flyer along to your park managers.