THE BEST (DOG) PARKS IN AMERICA

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What makes a dog happy? Other than food, just saying “want to on a waaa…lk?”or some variation will get the tail wagging. Taking your pup out doesn’t just provide a morale boost (as if they needed one) – it actually has health advantages. In fact, “being outdoors helps reduce boredom, anxiety and depression,” says Animal Wellness Magazine.

So, in honor of National Take a Walk in the Park Day, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite doggo-friendly parks in America. Without further ado:

NORTHEAST

Central Park – New York, New York

Central Park is a diamond in the dirty, crowded New York City rough. It’s huge–spanning 2.5 miles long and ½ a mile wide, this is the best place for a quick pup-cation to get away from the city chaos. There are over twenty off-leash areas, and the whole park is dog-friendly (OBVI) if your pup is on-leash…Central Park = dog mecca.

Two dogs on leads sat in front of a park sign with the words "Freedom Barks"
Freedom Dog Park

Freedom Dog Park – Medford, New Jersey

A huge area for your dogs to run free, tons of benches for hooman relaxation, AND a dog-park dedicated parking lot–this park truly has it all! What really put Freedom Dog Park on our list, though, is the creek. BC what doggo isn’t down for puddles n’ swimming!

A dog being encouraged to walk across a balance beam
Pilgrim Bark Park from Facebook

Pilgrim Bark Park – Provincetown, Massachusetts

With a name like “Bark Park,” you know we had to highlight. With an entire acre, there’s loads of space for your dogs to run as well including a sectioned off area for smaller doggos under 25 pounds. Pilgrim Bark Park is basically an outdoor museum for your pooches–with, local artists having designed EVERYTHING from the benches to the dog house, and even the poop-bag stations. Hipster pups not included.

THE SOUTH

A dog in water wearing sun glasses

Dog Beach – Fort Myers Beach, Florida

A beach… for dogs? #winning. This secluded dog beach (!!) lets your furry friends run free from 7AM until dusk. Surrounded by mangrove trees, tons of free parking, and a free doggy bag dispenser–it’s basically pup paradise.

PAW-TIP: there’s a free rinse station, so your car won’t get sandy post doggy-paddle.

A dog in a harness stood on a large rock

Raven’s Cliff Falls – Helen, Georgia

Hikers, rejoice! The most unique park on our list, Raven’s Cliff Falls Trail is an almost-five-mile hike that’ll take you through a waterfall-filled park with gorgeous views for both hoomans n’ K9s alike. Leash up, and take in the vista until reaching a huge waterfall cascading over a 40-foot cliff. Both you n’ your pup will get those endorphins pumping!

A dog standing on a ramp in a dog park
Phil Hardberger Park, photo courtesy of San Antonio Parks & Recreation

Phil Hardberger Park – San Antonio, Texas

Phil Hardberger Park is filled with tons of activities to keep your pup entertained. Featuring a two-story dog house, an obstacle course, and plenty of space to run–it’s the perfect place to test out those agility skills or shed some LBS. There are even monthly fitness classes for both pups n’ their parents… BC who better to be a work-out buddy than, well, your best bud?

MIDWEST

4 dogs having fun in water
Montrose Dog Beach, photo courtesy of Muttjackson.com

Montrose Dog Beach – Chicago, Illinois

Who knew there were so many dog beaches around our US of A? Well, we’re super into it. Montrose Dog beach sits on Lake Michigan and has unbeatable city views. It’s Chi-town’s first off-leash beach, and the fence lets you rest easy knowing that your pups are safe. They also have a wash-off station for a quick rinse off before the ride home. Though free, DFA (Dog Friendly Area) tags are required, but no worries – they’re as easy as a call to your vet.

A German Shepard playing in water

Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park – Medina, Ohio

Your pup will never want to leave this oasis! With a side for big n’ small doggos, and 100% enclosed, Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park is super safe for your fur baby. But worry not, hoomans! Each side features its own trail so you can do some serious exploring. There are also watering holes and wooded areas for puppy play time, giving you some much needed relaxing time to learn about the park’s rich history.

WEST COAST

Fort Funston – San Francisco, California

4 dogs posing for a photo
Fort Funston Doggie Beach, photo courtesy of Pinterest

Fort Funston may be the best dog park in all of California. There’s more space than your pup will ever need with top-notch views, a dog park, plenty of trails, and even a watering hole to keep your dog happy and in tip-top shape. Make sure to stay alert BC the park is HUGE! We don’t want you to worry about your pooch running into the hills!

A dog in a harness stood amongst trees

Golden Gardens – Seattle, Washington

Outdoorsy pup? Golden Gardens is perfect for you! There’s a separate section for smaller pooches, but don’t worry – there’s enough space for them to run and completely tire themselves out. Multiple watering stations give ya more options for playing (and fetching) and there are picnic tables scattered throughout so you can read, eat, or do whatever it is that floats your boat while your doggo is playing.

Did we miss any of your favorite puppy parks? BARK BACK on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram n’ let us know.

Happy playing outside!