most dog-friendly parks in the US

So, you’re planning a trip to the countryside to unwind and get some fresh air with your furry buddy only to find out they’re not allowing dogs!

We know how heartbreaking it is to leave your pups at home, especially when you desperately want to bring them with you.

Let’s face it: Not all recreational spots allow dogs. 

And the truth is, dog parks aren’t just random structures and places you see in your community, according to a study.

Growing numbers of scholars have explored strategies for effective park design and management.”

Not only are these parks great for canine health, but also for you, too.

So, if you like to experience a fun and thrilling adventure with your pets, then these most dog-friendly parks in the US are a must-visit.

But before we dive in, always remember to follow park petiquette, such as BARK:

  • Bag your own waste
  • Always leash your dogs (6 feet or shorter)
  • Respect wildlife
  • Know where your pets can go

Plus, be mindful of dog park rules and regulations to avoid inconveniences.

Okay, back to regular programming.

Biggest Dog Parks in the World

10 Most Dog-Friendly Parks in the US

1. Grape Street Park

Location: 1998 28th St, San Diego, CA 92102

Contact Number: (619) 239-0512 

Grape Street Park is one of the best dog parks recommended by a lot of pup owners.

Located in a quiet residential area, this 5-acre dog haven offers the following amenities:

  • Dog library
  • Mini agility course
  • Drinking fountains
  • Restrooms for dogs and owners

What’s remarkable, Grape Street Park offers excellent relaxation to dog owners, too. 

Located in an open grassy field, you can also relax while watching your pups play.

Remember: Leash your dogs from your vehicles to the park entrance for safety.

2. Warren G. Magnuson Park

Location: 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Contact Number: (206) 684-4075 

Warren G. Magnuson Park is an 8.6-acre land where your pups can play off-leash.

Here are some dog-friendly features of this park:

  • Fully fenced playground
  • With compact gravel trails
  • Has a small and shy dog area
  • Access to Lake Washington’s freshwater shoreline

3. Little Long Pond

Location: Seal Harbor, ME 04675

Contact Number: (610) 933-8801

Located between Northeast and Seal Harbor, Little Long Pond is a 1,000-acre wonder for you and your dog with the following activities:

Important: Dogs under voice control are allowed in all areas of the park (except the Preserve Gardens) — off-leash.

4. Tompkins Square Dog Run

Location: 99 1/2 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

Email Address:

Located in the heart of New York City is the beautiful Tompkins Square Dog Run.

Thanks to its $450k renovation, dogs now enjoy the following amenities:

  • Tree deck
  • Picnic tables
  • Swimming pools
  • Dog washing stations
  • Space for small and large dogs
  • State-of-the-art running surface

5. Point Isabel

Location: 2701 Isabel St, Richmond, CA, 94804

Contact Number: (888) 327-2757

There’s no wonder why this dog haven is visited by millions of four-legged companions and their owners. It offers one of the coolest amenities on this list, namely:

  • Biking
  • Bay fishing
  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking or jogging
  • Open play space

Located in the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, this 23-acre park houses 2 popular spots in the area — Sit and Stay (gourmet café) and Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub (grooming service).

6. The Outback at Shelby Farms

Location: 6903 Great View Drive North, Memphis, TN 38134

Contact Number: (901) 222-7275

Not only can you go hiking together, but fur parents can enjoy the thrill and adrenaline, too!

The Shelby Farms offers your Fidos the following amenities:

  • Dog pond
  • Hiking trails
  • Drinking fountain
  • Dog wash station

Heads up fur dads and moms, you’ll gonna love these fun activities:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Jogging
  • Paintball
  • Laser tag
  • Horseback riding
  • Treetop adventure 

Important: Shelby Farms only caters to 1 dog per owner as a part of their pet policy.

7. Dog Mountain

Location: 143 Parks Rd, Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819

Contact Number: 1-800-449-2580

Owned by artist Stephen Hunneck, Dog Mountain is so popular for its dog chapel.

The Dog Chapel consists of walls covered with keepsakes made by visitors in honor of their four-legged friends.

Besides that, this dog paradise houses the following amenities:

  • Dog chapel
  • Trails for hiking
  • Swimming pond

Note: The owner showcases his art gallery, too!

8. Phil Hardberger Park

Location: 1021 Voelcker Lane #4, San Antonio, TX 78248

Contact Number: (210) 492-7472 or (210) 207-5323

If you’re within the Texas radius, then you and your pup might love Phil Hardberger Park’s cool amenities:

  • Wash area
  • Drinking area
  • Obstacle course
  • Open play space
  • 2-story dog house
  • Separate area for small and large dogs
  • Monthly fitness classes for dogs and owners

However, many dog owners complain of getting lost in finding the park.

So for your reference, here are the park’s multiple entrance locations:

  • 1021 Voelcker Lane
  • 13203 Blanco Road
  • 8400 NW Military Hwy

9. Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park

Location: 4985 Windfall Rd, Medina, OH 44256

Contact Number: (330) 722-9364

If you’re looking for a secure place for your dog, then Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park is a must-visit. 

The 102-acre farm has a 5-ft fenced dog park showcasing the following features:

  • Nature view
  • Open turf play area
  • Gravel walking trails
  • Area for small and large dogs

10. Golden Gardens Park

Location: 8498 Seaview Pl. NW, Seattle, WA 98117

Contact Number: (206) 684-4075

Golden Gardens Park is a dog haven that boasts a breathtaking view of the Olympic Mountains nearby consisting of the following amenities:

  • Pavilion 
  • Picnic tables
  • Water stations
  • Fully fenced playground
  • Area for small and large dogs
  • Wood chip-covered play area

Dog-friendly parks with fishing area

16 Top Dog-Friendly National Parks in America

1. Acadia National Park 

Location: Hulls Cove Visitor Center, 25 Visitor Center Road, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Contact Number: (207) 288-3338

Located on the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is a 120-mile paradise for you and your dog.

And if you’re into fun and thrilling adventure, you and your furry one will enjoy the following activities:

  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding (best for dog owners)

The recreational spot is among the few national parks in the US that allow pets.

However, here are some spots in the park that are restricted:

  • Public buildings
  • Ranger-led programs
  • Wild Gardens of Acadia
  • Duck Harbor Campground

All park lakes are public water supplies, which is why swimming is not allowed for both owners and dogs.

Also, take note of trail signage that permits or restricts pets. Some park trails may not be available for pets depending on the season.

2. Congaree National Park

Location: 100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC 29061

Contact Number: (803) 776-4396

If you’re planning to explore the vast biodiversity in Southern America with your pup, then Congaree National Park should be on your list.

Here you can enjoy the following fun activities with your dogs:

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing 

Note: Visitors need to bring their own kayaks or canoes when planning a visit. 

Meanwhile, Congaree National Park allows pets at the campgrounds and the boardwalk trail, too.

Just be sure to bring repellents to protect you and your dogs from mosquitoes, bugs, and other insects.

Especially during spring, when the park usually gets flooded, expect a swarm of insects in the area.

3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Location: 6947 Riverview Road, Peninsula, OH 44264

Contact Number: (440) 717-3890

If you want to visit Ohio with a furry friend, you can drop by Cuyahoga Valley National Park and enjoy a scenic view of nature and many fun activities, such as the following:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Questing
  • Backpacking
  • Birdwatching
  • Paddling the river
  • Picnicking at the park

What’s cool is that you — pets not included — can book a train ride and conveniently explore the natural wonder of the park and the Cuyahoga River. 

Note: Schedule and book your tickets here.

And if you and your pup have a knack for music, then you’ll definitely love the park’s family-friendly outdoor concerts, namely:

  • Rhythm on the River (every summer)
  • Concerts at Happy Days Lodge (every winter)

4. Grand Canyon National Park

Location: 20 South Entrance Road, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Contact Number: 928-638-7888

The Grand Canyon National Park is a popular getaway for you and your dogs. 

Exploring the Grand Canyon involves mainly backcountry hiking. 

If you like to enjoy the scenic view conveniently, then you can ride a shuttle bus — except for pets.

And with the park’s distinct land formations, there are a few things you should be aware of, such as pet restrictions in the following areas:

  • Below the South Rim of inner canyon trails
  • Park Lodge (except for pet-friendly rooms)

On the North Rim, your dogs are only allowed on the bridle trail (greenway) that connects the North Kaibab trail to the park entrance.

Meanwhile, a Grand Canyon Kennel (South Rim) is welcome to board your pets in case they need to rest.

Dog Park Etiquette

5. Great Sand Dunes National Park

Location: Visitor Center, 11999 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146

Contact Number: (719) 378-6395

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is known for its tallest sand dunes in America.

But not only that, the park welcomes pets with open arms, too!

This is another spot in America where you both can go trail hiking or splashing in the stream.

Here are some spots in the park where your dogs can roam with you:

  • The Preserve
  • Mosca Pass trail
  • Dunes Overlook trail
  • Piñon Flats Campground
  • Along the Medano Pass Primitive Road

Like most parks, Great Sand Dunes restricts a few areas from pets for general safety, which are the following:

  • Backpacking campsites
  • Visitor Center and bathrooms
  • Off of the Dunes Overlook Trail
  • North of Castle Creek picnic area
  • North of Point of No Return (including Sand Ramp trail)

6. Hot Springs National Park

Location: 369 Central Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901

Contact Number: (501) 620-6715

The Hot Springs National Park is the only park in the US that houses the greatest quality spring water. 

While you can enjoy bathing in the spring, your pups can stroll with you on all 26 miles of the park trails, plus the following areas, too:

  • Bathhouse Row
  • Grand Promenade

What’s more, your pup can eat with you at the pet-friendly Superior Bathhouse Restaurant and Brewery.

Note: Pets are not allowed inside the Federal and other park buildings.

7. Indiana Dunes National Park

Location: 1215 IN-49, Porter, IN 46304

Contact Number: (219) 395-1882

Looking for solitude and sand with your four-legged friend? 

If you’re around Indiana, this pet-friendly park is a must-visit.

Dog owners love Indiana Dunes National Park for a lot of reasons, but swimming on the beach or lake is definitely noteworthy.

But due to the park’s constant efforts to protect wildlife and plants, they have restricted a few spots from pets, such as:

  • Pinhook Bog trail
  • Nature play areas
  • Glenwood Dune trail
  • Lifeguarded area of the West Beach (from Memorial through Labor Day only)

8. Mammoth Cave National Park

Location: 1 Visitor Center Parkway, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007

Contact Number: 270 758-2180

Another dog-friendly spot and world heritage site on our list is the Mammoth Cave National Park.

Not only can you roam the park, but you can definitely stay here for several days with your dog.

Note: The Woodland Cottages are the only lodging house with pet-friendly rooms.

However, pets are prohibited in the following areas:

  • Caves
  • Park buildings

The good thing is you can board your pups in the Mammoth Cave Kennels for them to rest or if you like exploring pet-restricted sites.

Related Read: Top 100 Best Hotels That Allow Dogs (USA)

9. National Mall and Memorial Gardens

Location: 2 15th St NW, WA 20024

Contact Number: 202-426-6841

Popularly known as America’s Front Yard, National Mall and Memorial Gardens is a pet-friendly park that’s conveniently located in the metro.

Although pets aren’t allowed inside the buildings, the 170-ft wide grass lawn is literally a big playground for your Fido. 

Especially in early spring, you can watch thousands of cherry trees in full bloom while picnicking in the park with your pooch.

Going To a Dog Park for the First Time

10. Natchez Trace National Parkway

Location: 2680 Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS 38804

Contact Number: (800) 305-7417

The Natchez Trace National Parkway is a 444-mile dog-friendly park and scenic drive through 3 states, namely:

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee

Aside from driving on the Old Natchez Trace — a historic travel corridor — you and your dogs can enjoy the following activities, too:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Horseback riding

Note: The campgrounds only allow a maximum of 2 pets per site.

11. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Location: 104 Main Street, Glen Jean, WV 25846

Contact Number: (304) 465-0508

Another dog-friendly spot on our list is the New River Gorge National Park and Reserve.

Located in West Virginia, the New River Gorge is one of the oldest rivers in South America.

With a span of over 70,000 acres of land, the park offers not just a rushing river view — the sunset and night sky, too!

The wonderful thing is pets are allowed on all hiking trails in the park.

However, take note of the following pet-restricted areas as per park guidelines:

  • Park buildings
  • Visitor centers
  • Ranger-led programs

Note: The park discourages its visitors to drink or swim in the streams as they may be contaminated with bacteria, such as Giardia.

Water-refilling stations are available at the visitor center.

12. Petrified Forest National Park

Location: Exit 311, Interstate 40, Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Contact Number: (928) 524-6228

If you want to explore a bit of the backcountry, then a visit to the Petrified Forest National Park is a must-try.

This dog-friendly park offers a lot of fun activities for you and your Fido, including the following:

  • Hiking
  • Overlooking
  • Paleo lab trip

What’s cool?

Your four-legged friend can roam and go with you on any paved trail or road and designated areas in the park, too.

Note: Only certified service dogs are allowed inside visitor centers and park buildings.

13. Shenandoah National Park

Location: 3655 U.S. Highway 211 East, Luray, VA 22835

Contact Number: (540) 999-3500

If you’re around Washington, D.C., then you might love to spend a weekend exploring nature’s bounty with your Fido.

Yup, the beautiful Shenandoah National Park is just 75 miles away from the metro. 

And apart from the location, you and your pup will get to enjoy the following scenic spots:

  • Beautiful vistas
  • Wildflower fields
  • Cascading waterfalls

Of course, the park is a certified dog-friendly zone, too. 

That being said, you and your pups can do fun activities, such as:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Birdwatching

Note: Pets are not allowed on Ranger Programs and the following trails for their safety:

  • Fox Hollow
  • Stony Man
  • Limberlost
  • Ridge Access
  • Old Rag Ridge
  • Old Rag Saddle
  • Dark Hollow Falls
  • Frazier Discovery
  • Story of the Forest 
  • Bearfence Mountain
  • Post Office Junction to Old Rag Shelter

14. White Sands National Park

Location: Holloman AFB, NM 88330

Contact Number: (575) 479-6124

Another natural wonder and a dog-friendly spot in America is the White Sands National Park.

This 275-square-mile desert is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. 

And with its glistening white sands, you and your pups can’t just take awesome pictures together — you’ll definitely enjoy the following activities, too:

  • Hiking
  • Sledding
  • Bicycling
  • Picnicking
  • Horseback riding
  • Backcountry camping

15. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Location: Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway, Copper Center, AK 99573

Contact Number: (907) 822-5234

Spanning 13.2 million acres of landscape, the Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve is America’s largest recreational spot.

It’s as big as Switzerland and 2 national parks in America — Yellowstone and Yosemite — combined.

And what’s good? It’s definitely dog-friendly, too!

Pets are allowed on park trails and in the backcountry, except in public park buildings.

16. Yosemite National Park

Location: Refer to driving directions here

Contact Number: 209/372-0200

Best known for its stunning waterfalls, Yosemite National Park is home to nature’s beauty and scenic views, such as: 

  • Deep valleys
  • Vast wilderness
  • Grand meadows
  • Calming High Sierra
  • Ancient giant California redwoods

Spanning nearly 1,200 square miles of land, this granite and glacier haven is a dog-friendly park in the US, too.

That said, you and your pup can enjoy the following fun activities in the park:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Birdwatching

Note: Pets are allowed in the following areas as per the following guidelines:

  • In developed areas
  • On fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths
  • In all campgrounds, except in walk-in and group campsites

On the other hand, pets are prohibited in the following areas in the park:

  • Trails
  • Lodging
  • Shuttle buses
  • Wildlife areas
  • Public buildings
  • Snow-covered roads

a dog at the grand canyon national park

Other Popular Dog-Friendly National Parks in the US

1. Arches National Park

Location: Refer to driving directions here

Contact Number: (435) 719-2299

Known for its massive and unique rock formations and landscape, the Arches National Park is another dog-friendly spot in America.

While the park is a stunning beauty, it only allows the following pup activities for general safety:

  • Hiking on established roads
  • Picnicking and camping in designated areas

2. Glacier National Park

Location: 64 Grinnell Drive, Glacier National Park Headquarters, West Glacier, MT 59936

Contact Number: (406) 888-7800

Best known as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park is another natural wonder that showcases scenic views of the following:

  • Calm lakes
  • Carved valleys
  • Melting glaciers
  • Alpine meadows

Despite its 700-mile trail, pets are not allowed to hike with you due to safety reasons.

But don’t worry, you can still bring your Fido as the following spots are recommended for pets:

  • Picnic areas
  • Frontcountry campgrounds
  • Lakes (where motorized watercraft is allowed)

3. Grand Teton National Park

Location: Refer to driving directions here

Contact Number: (307) 739-3399

The Grand Teton National Park is home to pristine lakes and wildlife. 

And if you like to bring your pup with you to experience the alpine terrains in Wyoming, then here’s where you can take your Fido in the park:

  • Backcountry
  • Picnic areas
  • Developed campgrounds
  • Bridger-Teton National Forest trails

4. Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Location: 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Contact Number: (865) 436-1200

Famous for its wildlife diversity, the Great Smokey Mountain National Park is America’s most visited by far.

The park has strict rules on pets, however.

As of this writing, pets are only allowed in the following areas:

  • Picnic areas
  • Campgrounds
  • Gatlinburg Trail 
  • Developed roads
  • Oconaluftee River Trail

Related Read: Camping With Dogs: Tips, Guidelines, Do’s And Don’ts

5. Rocky Mountain National Park

Location: 1000 US Hwy 36, Estes Park, CO 80517

Contact Number: (970) 586-1206

Spanning over 260,000 acres of mountain ranges, the Rocky Mountain National Park only allows your four-legged buddies the following activities:

  • Picnic areas
  • Along established roads
  • In established campgrounds

Because the park is a designated natural area, pet restrictions are meant to protect and preserve wildlife and plants.

6. Yellowstone National Park

Location: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Contact Number: (307) 344-7381

Spanning 2.2 million acres of hydrothermal and geologic features, Yellowstone National Park is a popular getaway for families and pup parents.

Although it’s one of the famous dog-friendly parks in the US, there are a few area restrictions to take note of, such as:

  • Thermal areas
  • In the backcountry
  • Park trails and boardwalks

But don’t worry, you can still make the most of your time with your dog at Yellowstone National Park in the following spots:

  • Parking areas
  • Campgrounds
  • Developed areas

7. Zion National Park

Location: 1 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, UT 84767

Contact Number: (435) 772-3256

With a stunning view of massive sandstone cliffs, Zion National Park is another dog-friendly spot in America.

Besides its marvelous scenic view, you and your Fido can enjoy hiking on the Pa’rus Trail, too.

And for properly restrained pets, you can explore the following spots as well:

  • Picnic areas
  • Campgrounds
  • Zion lodge grounds
  • Developed park grounds

Note: Keep your pets out of the water at all times.

For general safety, take note of the following pet-restricted areas:

  • Shuttle buses
  • Park buildings
  • Other park trails
  • Wilderness areas

Related Read: Biggest Dog Parks in the World

dog at the glacier national park in the US

Before You Go…

A lot of fur parents take time looking for the most dog-friendly parks in the US in hopes of bringing their pooches while exploring nature.

Not only is it a wonderful time to bond, but it’s also a great way to de-stress and allow your pups to socialize.

We know it can be challenging to search for dog-friendly parks near you. So, we’ve compiled a handful of recommendations for you to get started.

We hope you’ve found the ideal dog park for your four-legged buddy in this article.

Remember: Be sure to pay attention to dog park rules and regulations at all times for their safety as well.


Compassion for pets is fuel to Lenin's lifelong mission. As a fur mom to a Havanese dog and 6 stray cats, Lenin sees the joy in rescuing and giving pets a chance at a forever home. Even in her career as a freelancer, Lenin focused on writing everything about pets — from breed profiles to nutrition down to some of their interesting facts.