Life can be tough for a canine living in a big city, but fortunately, the DC area offers several dog parks that allow pooches to make friends, run to their heart’s content, or cool down with a splash. Here are the 10 best dog parks in Washington DC for you and your furry companion to explore:
- S Street Dog Park, near Dupont Circle
- Rosedale Conservancy in Cleveland Park
- Shirlington Park in South Arlington
- Glencarlyn Park in Arlington
- Lincoln Park in NE Capitol Hill
- Langdon Dog Park
- Shaw Dog Park in Logan Circle
- Newark Street Dog Park
- Stanton Park in NE Capitol Hill/Northeast neighborhood
- Montrose Park in Georgetown
S Street Dog Park
S St at 17th St NW near Dupont Circle
S Street Dog Park provides an enclosed area for dogs to play off-leash. Located just a stone’s throw from Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, and the Connecticut Avenue scene, it’s a great way for both dogs and their owners to plan a fun-filled day. The cozy run is covered with antimicrobial turf to promote cleanliness and prevent digging, and a water fountain ensures that pooches stay adequately hydrated. Benches positioned strategically around trees provide shady resting spots for owners who need a break or who love watching the dogs’ antics.
3518 Newark St NW, between N 35th St and N 36th St in Cleveland Park
Rosedale Conservancy permits dogs to roam off-leash for several hours each day; other times, dogs must remain on leashes in deference to visitors who are unaccompanied by pets. This 260-year-old fenced-in property complements an historic farmhouse with beautiful landscaping and is preserved by the local community. Dogs love the hills, lush green grass, and shady trees. Be aware that to visit this not-for-profit corporation, you must become a member and register your dog for a fee, but these charitable contributions are tax deductible.
2601 S. Arlington Mill Dr. in South Arlington
Shirlington Park offers a long and narrow exercise run with double-entry gates. A path beyond the fence heads toward a stream where pets – and owners – can cool off with a splash; some liken it to walking in the woods, except here your dog can explore freely. In fact, many consider Shirlington Park the best Washington, DC dog spot for mixing nature walks, water play, and socialization. Plentiful shade trees keep the atmosphere cool even on hot summer days. For little doggies that might feel intimidated by such a large park, a “small dog and puppy” area provides a more intimate setting complete with picnic tables for owners. And if you feel iffy about taking your dog home after a healthy romp in the dirt and dust, the connected DIY dog bath offers a way to clean your pooch on the way out.
301 South Harrison St in Arlington)
Glencarlyn Park offers a peaceful haven for those who want to commune with nature and a dog run with a stream for active pooches. The water appears cleaner than at Shirlington Park, and a large waterfall offers to douse dogs who wander too close. A small playground gives children their own play area as well. This unenclosed, well-shaded park offers hours of fun for dogs who obey voice commands well.
East Capitol and 11th St, in the NE Capitol Hill neighborhood
Lincoln Park provides a versatile spot of greenery that’s therapeutic for people and dogs alike. Plunked right in the middle of DC activity, the park includes two children’s playgrounds and an unfenced large area for dogs to play. The park’s circumference measures one mile with a dirt path, making it popular with exercise enthusiasts looking to escape the cement. Shady trees in the middle maintain a cool and refreshing ambiance, while sunny spots on the ends attract sunbathers.
Langdon Dog Park
2901 20th Street NE, between N. Franklin St and N. Hamlin St
Langdon Dog Park is a fenced-in, off-leash dog run that opened just last year. As a spacious new playground, word is still spreading about the cleanliness, plentiful water fountains, and thoughtful design so there’s no need to worry about the park being crowded. A separate area is marked off just for little balls of fur, and numerous bags and trash cans encourage owners to contribute to keeping the park pristine.
Shaw Dog Park
1651 11th St NW, between N Q St and N R St in Logan Circle
Shaw Dog Park is one of the largest dog spots in DC. A double gated entry keeps dogs secure, and plentiful bags, trash cans, water, and water bowls keep everyone healthy and clean. Evening romps are encouraged with lights, and a separate area is designated for small dogs. Lots of trees and benches make this a people-friendly spot too.
Newark Street Dog Park
39th St NW and Newark St NW
Newark Street Dog Park offers separate play areas for large and small dogs with benches and water fountains for human visitors and water bowls for the canine variety. Located in the southeast corner of the Newark Community Garden, it also offers a Children’s Garden with monthly learning sessions, picnic table, and children’s garden equipment.
C St between 4th and 6th St NE in the Capitol Hill/Northeast neighborhood
Stanton Park generally sees an eclectic mix of dogs and dog owners as well as families who enjoy the fenced-in children’s playgrounds. A loosely enclosed area allows dogs to socialize and run off extra energy. Numerous benches and plush grass offer owners a choice of where to relax.
R St and 32 St NW in Georgetown
Montrose Park, while not strictly a dog park, is a beautiful park that’s favored heavily by locals. Many strive to keep this great Washington, DC dog spot a well-kept secret. A variety of regions, including a children’s playplace, tennis courts, picnic areas, and short trails, are tucked away so thoroughly that a simple stroll can remove you entirely from the sights and sounds of the city. Typically, however, dogs here should be kept on-leash, which differentiates this one from the others on the list.
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If you liked this post, check out our article on how to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash!