The city by the bay is crazy about their dogs, so it’s no wonder that San Franciscans have the privilege of bring their furry friends to some of the nation’s best dog parks. If you’re new to San Francisco, paying the city a visit, or simply looking for a new playground for you and your dog, here are ten of the finest dog parks in San Francisco
1. Bernal Heights Dog Park (Bernal Heights Blvd.)
A popular destination amongst both residents and non-residents of the Bernal Heights neighborhood, this scenic 35-acre, off-leash dog park is set at the peak of an old rock quarry and provides visitors with world-class panoramic views of the city. If you’re dog isn’t into that, he’s sure to enjoy fresh air and spacious room to roam through and investigate. Waste bags are usually available at park entrances, but bringing extras is always a good idea.
2. Fort Funston Dog Park (Skyline Blvd.)
Never has there been such a park as aptly named as Fort Funston Dog Park. Highly regarded as one of the best places to walk a dog in the Golden State, Fort Funston allows dogs to roam and investigate the grounds off-leash. The park is also popular amongst hang gliders, bicyclists, and horseback riders, so it’s a must that owners keep a watchful eye on pooch at all times. A group named the Fort Funston Dog Walkers has dedicated itself to protecting recreation at the park.
3. Alamo Square Dog Park (Fulton Street and Scott Street)
Located right across from San Francisco‘s famous Victorian Homes known as the “Painted Ladies,” the western section of Alamo Square provides well-socialized city dogs and their owners with an extensive area to get to know their neighbors. Since this park is usually well attended by members of San Francisco’s canine community, often off-leash, it’s a good idea to know whether your pooch can handle all the stimulation. Waste bags are usually available throughout the park, but as always, it’s a good idea to bring your own.
4. Pine Lake Dog Park (Vale Ave. and Crestlake Dr.)
Noteworthy for its place as a rest stop for hundreds of species of birds during their annual pilgrimage to and from warmer climates, San Francisco‘s Pine Lake Park is also prized by city dogs and their owners for their exquisite hiking trails, picturesque lake suited for swimming, and an off-leash area on the park’s west end that lets dogs run free.
5. Glen Canyon Dog Park (Bosworth St. and Elk St.)
Located in the city’s Diamond Heights neighborhood, the 35-acre Glen Canyon Park is held in high esteem by San Franciscans as a rural reminder of pure natural bliss. While dogs must remain on-leash during their visit, they’ll be sure to take great pleasure in their time spent with owners wandering wooded trails that stretch across the canyons. The park features stands offering waste bags, but they are often empty so be sure to bring your own.
6. Duboce Dog Park (Duboce Ave. and Noe St.)
Nestled neatly between Duboce Triangle and Lower Haight, Duboce Park provides the ultimate in dog-friendly recreation. The park is prized amongst vocational dog walkers and features both on-leash areas and off-leash sections where pets and their owners can meet and play with neighbors. Duboce Park holds an annual DogFest to celebrate all of man’s best friends.
7. St. Mary’s Dog Park (95 Justin Drive)
A grassy respite that puts the wow in bow-wow, St. Mary’s Dog Park provides dogs in the Bernal Heights neighborhood with a roomy fenced area to play off-leash. Teaming with trees, this park offers visitors with plenty of shade, benches for kicking back and relaxing, and water to cool off on warmer days.
8. Corona Heights Dog Park (Roosevelt and Museum Ways)
Often visited by residents from all over the city because of its close proximity to the Randall Museum, the rustic Corona Heights Dog Park offers pets and owners breathtaking views, after a steep hillside climb, and a fenced dog area that allows dogs to let loose off-leash. Owners will also enjoy the playground, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
9. Buena Vista Dog Park (Haight St. and Buena Vista Ave.)
At 146 years young, Buena Vista Park is San Francisco‘s oldest park and its lush tree canopies and righteous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and St. Ignatius Church make it a must-see destination for city residents and visitors alike. Dogs and owners with excess energy will love burning it on this park’s steep paths and winding staircases. Dog owners should have good control over their dogs, as it’s quite easy for dogs to get separated when navigating Buena Vista’s many twists and turns.
10. Dolores Dog Park (18th Street and Dolores Street)
The grounds of Dolores Park once served as a refugee camps for those who were left homeless by the 1906 earthquake, but now serves as a much a happier destination. Often visited by the throngs of Mission District residents, Dolores Park is just as popular amongst the city’s canine set, which can roam carefree off-leash while making friends with other members of the doggie community.
Photo credits: Flickr