Best Local Dog Parks Across the United States

As a pet owner, there are few things better than a great dog park to put a smile on your furry family member’s face. Even if you are lucky enough to have a big yard for them to play in, getting to romp with dog friends off leash is just the best. Plus it is the best way for them to get exercise and socialization. We’ve asked our dog blogger friends from across the United States where to find the best local dog parks.

We love anything dog friendly, but especially parks. Read on for tried and tested local dog parks across the United States!

Header photo courtesy Pawdacious Portraits.

California Dog Parks

Best Los Angeles Dog Park: Bluff Creek Dog Park

One of the best dog parks Schnitzel has come across traveling around the USA with is Bluff Creek Dog Park in Los Angeles. And we’re not the only fans of the park, with the many dog parents from the surrounding area flocking to the park with their dogs, particularly on sunny weekends.

One of the things that Schnitzel loves about the park is that he doesn’t need to get his paws dirty. This relatively new dog park is covered with artificial turf, so it doesn’t turn into a dust bowl during the warm, dry California weather. And not needing to wash your dog when you get home is always a big plus for Schnitzel’s mom.

Other highlights of the park include the separate dog areas for small dogs (always great when you own a small dog with a big personality) and the small stream that runs for the park – a constant supply for drinks and fun! To top it off, there’s also the laid back and friendly vibe of the other visitors, meaning it’s a fun spot to hang out and meet other dog parents from the area.

Best San Francisco Dog Park: Duboce Park

Nominated by Laya’s Woof, Duboce Park is a small urban park located between the Duboce Triangle and Lower Haight neighborhoods of San Francisco, California.

This park is less than one block wide and two blocks in length. It is a family and dog park with a section for the kids to play in which is separated from the dog section.

During the year fun events are held there like DogFest a fundraiser for one of the elementary schools in the area, a full day of booths with different pet products, games for the children, food and lost of fun. Another event that is held there each year is the Fleet Week in the park plus my favorite is Cops meeting the community.

Layla spends a lot of time there as it is close to her house. She has been spending lots of time there since with the lock downs we cannot go far. One of the big pros about this park as we all have been going there for years so it is very much like a community and we all keep a look out for each others’ dogs.

Colorado Dog Parks

From friends to frolic with to diverse mountain terrain and views, Snow Mountain Ranch dog park is a winner with dogs and owner’s alike.

Best Grand County (Granby) Dog Park: Snow Mountain Ranch

Rosa with Wags and Woofs and Insider Families nominates a Grand County, Colorado dog park as her all time favorite.

Hands down, the best dog park that Rosa has ever experienced is at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA of the Rockies. The property itself offers lodge rooms, yurts, campsites and cabins and many of these are pet friendly as is the entire property. We brought our pooch hiking, to archery, ziplining, s’mores roasting and of course to the dog park.

The dog park at Snow Mountain Ranch is the largest fenced-in dog park that we’ve ever visited. There’s a shaded area with seats and tables for the dog parents, as well as a water fountain for both people and one for dogs too. A sand area for dogs to run, grass beyond and a mini pine forest beyond that. Benches are scattered throughout the park. And, the park has 360 degree views of the surrounding spectacular mountain landscape.

The park offers two fenced in areas which is brilliant. One is for the big dogs, and the other the small dogs. But I have to think that it is a great set up for the rare occasion where dogs may not get along at the park.

Note: This dog park is for the use of YMCA of the Rockies guests only, though you may be able to get a day pass.

Estes Park Dog Parks

Fritzi of Colorado’s HeidiTown nominates two dog parks in Estes Park as two of her favorite Colorado local dog parks.

local dog park at ymca of the rockies during winter
One of Clorado’s best local dog parks, as nominated by Fritzi. Photo courtesy HeidiTown.

Murphy’s Mountain Dog Park

Fritzi, HeidiTown’s German Shepherd was still a little pup when she visited this dog park. There was deep snow on the ground which put her in puppy bliss. As she bounded around in the snow, we noticed a herd of deer just outside the dog park fence. Fritzi didn’t even notice them. She was too busy climbing over the agility obstacles in the park.

There is a pyramid for pups to run over and a tunnel for them to run through. Fritzi displayed her confidence in physical activity by doing all of it without a moment’s hesitation.

The dog park is 150’ x 150’. It is completely fenced and has a water fountain for the pups. There is also a shade shelter for anyone who wants to use it.

YMCA of the Rockies has a border with Rocky Mountain National Park, but remember, dogs are not allowed in the park. However, the YMCA welcomes dogs in their 2 to 4 bedroom cabins and on their trails. There is a new 5-mile loop that follows the property boundary that includes some quintessential Rocky Mountain views.

Note: This dog park is for the use of YMCA of the Rockies guests only, though you may be able to get a day pass.

Estes Valley Dog Park

With awesome views of nearby Lake Estes, Estes Valley dog park has two dog areas. It is operated by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District.

This is a large dog park and when we were there, Fritzi enjoyed the dynamic landscape, that includes hills to climb and bushes to sniff. It has gated access to the lake, where dogs can enjoy jumping around in the water. The park includes some agility equipment and it is large enough to play a long game of fetch.

There isn’t a dog fountain so dog owners should bring their own water. There are pet wastes bags available and guests of the park are asked to please clean up after their dogs.

Estes is a dog-friendly town with dogs allowed on the patios of local breweries and inside The Barrel, a beer bar. The Estes Park Riverwalk is an excellent place to walk the dog, especially a young dog that is still learning her manners, like our Fritzi was when we visited. It is an ideal place to practice walking in a heel and not pulling or licking strangers or playing with other dogs.

Eagle (Vail) Dog Parks

Rosa’s second favorite local Colorado dog park is in her neighborhood. Yes, she is a bit biased as she goes here all the time.

Eagle Ranch Dog Park is huge with two entrances and a stream bordering one side. There are plenty of Voles and ground Squirrels to chase, a stream to splash in and usually lots of dog friends with which to run and romp. There is also a smaller fenced in area in the center of the park for dog training or just letting your dog off leash while still being contained.

The Eagle Ranch dog park does have two drawbacks — no water fountain and no fence around the perimeter.

Michigan Dog Parks

Sunset at the Norman F Kruse dog park, best local dog park in Michigan. Photo courtesy Pawdacious Portraits.

Best Michigan Dog Park: Norman F Kruse Park

Michigan is home to more coastline than any other state except for Alaska, with over 1,000 miles. One stretch of coastline is especially perfect for dog lovers. Just south of Muskegon, along the shores of Lake Michigan, you’ll find Norman F Kruse Park- Michigan’s best official dog park, unanimously nominated by all four furry family members of Pawdacious. Here’s why this dog park is so special:

1 – No leashes: So many beaches require dogs to stay on a 6’ leash, making it difficult to swim or play fetch. While your dog still needs to be leashed while getting to the water, once they are there it’s play time.

2 – The sand: The sandy bluff makes a natural barrier to prevent dogs from escaping, but most dogs will be so busy playing in the water that they won’t even think about going anywhere else. This long beach offers plenty of space to spread out and claim your own spot.

3 – The water: The water along the shoreline is shallow for a long distance, perfect for dogs who want to run and play. And for the humans that want to wade in with them.

4 – The views: Bring a blanket and stay for the stunning sunsets with the Muskegon lighthouse in the background. Don’t forget your camera!!

2020 status- due to high water/erosion, the boardwalk leading to the dog beach is closed and there isn’t much “beach”. You can still access the park via a short walk over the dunes and enjoy the shallow water.

Other Local Dog Parks

Do you have any favorite dog parks? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below. This list is a starting point and we’d love to add our reader favorites to the list!

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