Americans own an estimated 83.3 million dogs as pets, according to statistics from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Dog parks and off-leash dog areas have become increasingly popular as dog owners are looking for safe places to take their dogs for exercise, socialization and play.
Spring break is just around the corner, and as the weather warms up, dogs and their owners are ready to spend some time outside! As you plan your spring break activities, be sure to include plenty of time to spend with your four-legged friends. Here’s a quick look at some popular dog parks in the U.S.
Beau’s Dream Dog Park — Lancaster, PA
Photo courtesy: Beau’s Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park
In 2012, Lancaster resident Angela and her dog Beau won the Beneful Dream Dog Park contest, which provided a $500,000 makeover to the existing Buchanan Dog Park in Lancaster. The park was one of three parks in the country built by DIY network star Jason Cameron, pet expert Arden Moore and Interior Design Star Nate Berkus.
Officially opened August 6, 2013, the park features two dog areas for small and large dogs, both with doggy splash pads.
Montrose Beach Dog Park — Chicago, IL
Photo Courtesy: Montrose Dog Beach on Facebook
Chicago’s first legal off-leash beach, the Montrose Dog Beach is located on the Northwest corner of Montrose Beach. Though the beach was closed for a period of time due to the pandemic, it was recently reopened on Feb. 23, 2021. The Montrose Dog Beach provides a secure space for dogs and their owners to enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan.
Arroyo Burro Beach — Santa Barbara, CA
Photo Courtesy: flickr @ Damian Gadal
Arroyo Burro Beach Park is a popular destination for dogs to enjoy the ocean views, or take a scenic walk on the bluffs of the Douglas Family Preserve. While the beach is dog friendly, dogs must remain on their leash at all times while in the Arroyo Beach Park. However, dogs may enjoy a run off leash in the Douglas Family Preserve, adjacent to the beach park. Dogs may also be off-leash on the beach just east of the creek. There is also an Evolution Dog Wash on-site to wash off those sandy pups before you head home.
Shawnee Mission Off Leash Dog Park — Shawnee, KS
Photo Courtesy flickr @ daveynin
Shawnee Mission Off Leash Dog Park provides 44 sprawling acres of off-leash area featuring a dog swim area in the lake, and multiple trails through grassland and wooded areas. If you’re looking for a place to get some exercise for you and your pup, this is the spot. The park is not enclosed, so it is recommended that dogs prone to run remain leashed.
Hugh Rogers WAG Park — Whitefish, MT
Photo Courtesy: whitefishdogpark.com
Set against the stunning backdrop of trees and mountains, the Hugh Rogers WAG Park features five acres of free space for pups to roam, an area for small dogs, an agility course and a pond for swimming. It truly is everything you could want in a dog park. The park was voted Top 10 dog park by USA Today and featured as “Leader of the Pack” in O! Magazine.
Bear Creek Dog Park — Colorado Springs, Colorado
Photo Courtesy: visitcos.com
With plenty of space to run, a picturesque creek to splash in, trees, trails and more, Bear Creek Dog Park located in Bear Creek Regional Park is every dog’s heaven. The 25 acres of off-leash area includes an agility training area and a two-acre small dog/senior dog area that separated from the general dog area to provide space for those who wish to keep the dog play to a minimum.