Americas Best Dog Parks

DOG FANCY sniffs out the best of the best.


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4) City of Rome
Bark Park
500 Chestnut Street
Rome, N.Y.

Like a strong-willed terrier, the dog lovers of Rome grabbed hold of their dog park idea and wouldn't let go. Seven months after launching Operation Bark Park, the group opened its park without any city funding. A church leased the group an unused baseball field in exchange for free lawn-mowing, a local artist helped spruce the space up, and private donations met other needs. Now over 100 local dog owners enjoy the park, says Richard A. Miller, Romes director of parks, recreation, and community activities. Guests pay a $25 annual membership fee, and enjoy a host of activities, including Responsible Pet workshops and agility demonstrations.

5) Carls Dog Run
Paw Playground
East End Avenue and East 86th South
New York

City dogs escape urban stresses at New York Citys popular Carls Dog Run, which opened in 1991 and expanded a few years later to include a designated area for dogs weighing less than 25 pounds. The dog park hosts agility contests and workshops, and an annual Halloween party draws hundreds of visitors, awarding such prizes as Best Owner Look-Alike, says David D. Williams, president of the Carl Schurz Park Association. The park also closes for an hour every Wednesday to host a social for volunteers and rescues from the ASPCAs 92nd street office.

6) Ohlone
Dog Park
Ohlone Greenway at Hearst Avenue between Grant Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Berkeley, Calif. 

At almost 25 years old, this park ranks among the oldest fenced dog parks in the nation. A top-notch website connects busy park users.

7) Kenton
Paw Park
3950 Madison Pike
Covington, Ky. 

Kenton Paw Park includes two enclosed areas for off-leash dog recreation in Pioneer Park. Its fans are devoted to their park; they sent us hundreds of nominations. A close-knit group of park regulars heads to Kenton County Public Library each month where local children read to the visiting dogs.

8) Fleet Peeples
2000 S. Lakemont Avenue
Winter Park, Fla. 

This popular park sits on the shores of Lake Baldwin, and allows off-leash dogs during the week and during mornings and afternoons on weekends.

9) El Paso County
Bear Creek Dog Park
2002 Creek Crossing
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Twenty-five acres of trails and natural pools greet dogs and their owners in a peaceful mountain setting. A small-dog area built last year allows less-active pets to safely enjoy the rugged surroundings.

10) Stanleys Spot
Dog Park
Eld Street
Morgantown, W.Va. 

Locals love this fenced park, situated along West Virginias 47-mile rail trail network, for its postcard-pretty location near Deckers Creek Trail.

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