Dogs love to get outside and play especially in nice weather, but not all of us have yards or space for Fido and friends to run. Here we’ve assembled a list of Boston and surrounding areas’ best dog parks, perfect for walk or tossing a frisbee.
Ronan Dog Recreation Space
133 Adams Street, Boston, MA 02122
Nestled in Ronan Park is the DRS, or Dog Recreation Space. This 6,000 square foot fenced in area gives local Dorchester-area pups plenty of room to run off leash. Similar to what one might see in a petting zoo, the space features a double gated entrance to prevent dogs that are unrestrained in the area from getting loose when someone else enters or exits. Visitors often compliment the cleanliness of the space as well as the fire hydrant shaped water fountain that can be used to refill dog dishes. Special human and doggy lounge area are available for relaxation. Visitors can access the park’s rules by visiting the Ronan Park website.
Fresh Pond Reservation
250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02138
Cambridge dog owners looking for spaces for their beloved pups to run can count on the Fresh Pond Reservation. 162 acres of land and a 155 acre pond make this a lovely choice for an outdoor jaunt. Be advised, however, that only Cambridge licensed dogs are allowed off leash. Park rangers have been known to hang out nearby to check IDs and licensure. Owners with unlicensed dogs or dogs licensed from a different city can be vulnerable to fines. Anyone can use the park’s trails if a dog is kept on leash.
Zero New Washington Street
0 New Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143
This Somerville dog park sits on a once neglected half acre plot now is home to one of the area’s newest dog parks. After its opening in 2010, Zero New Washington Street has welcomed many dogs to come utilize its agility training area, complete with tunnels and climbing elements. Two drinking fountains with water dishes as well as a spray area for cleaning and cooling dogs can be found at the park. Some reviewers do warn that the dirt in the park can make for muddy fur, but a good bath might be the perfect end to a day outside! With a covered pavillion, paved pathways, and three entrances, Zero New Washington Street is the perfect place bring your pup for some outdoor fun.
Watertown Dog Park
65 Bacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472
This relatively new park is no muss, no fuss. While there are no water fountains or complimentary poo bags, dog owners and pups alike will be surprised and thrilled by the vast open space in this local park. While only open to dogs licensed in Watertown, locals will enjoy the grassy field and double gate entrance. Like all dog parks, waste is to be picked up and disposed of by the owner, and all dogs must be accompanied by an adult. Open sunrise to sunset.
Cat Rock Park
Drabbington Way, Weston, MA 02493
Don't let the name fool you; this Weston park is arguably one of the most popular with local dog owners across the MetroWest area. Once far enough into the park, owners are welcome to take their dog off leash for either a run around, hike through the wooded areas, or swim in the big pond. Since the area is so large, there is no fence, so dog owners should only bring dogs that they are confident can be behaved off leash. Visitors are expected to clean up after their dogs. If reviewers’ nickname of “Disneyland for Dogs” gives an indication, this is surely an outing you and your pup will both thoroughly enjoy.
Thorndike Field Dog Park
99 Margaret Street, Arlington, MA 02474
The first off leash dog park in Arlington, this doggie play place has acquired a positive reputation since opening in 2012. This fenced in area is complete with some agility equipment, water stations, and benches for pup parents. Some owners warn the gravel base of the park can lead to little pebbles stuck between paw pads, but others rave that their dogs love the area so it may be to the discretion of the owner to see what situation works best for their dog. Be advised that the water stations are shut off during winter months, so owners should come prepared to keep their pups well hydrated. As with any park, keep a close eye on your dog as there are lots of unknown animals allowed inside the large space at any given time.
Richmond Street Dog Park
Richmond Street, Boston, MA 02113
This North End park is a completely fenced, off leash park that many locals claim to be the gem of the area. The grounds are maintained by a local community group and is still bright and welcoming after a 2013 renovation that included paving, gravel, fencing, flowering plants, a trash barrel, and cleaning equipment. Dog owners won’t need to bring their own poo bags since they are available on site.
Randolph Dog Park
169 West Street, Randolph, MA 02368
Open daily until 7pm, this dog park is a perfect pick for those a little further outside of Boston. One of the most mentioned perks of this particular park is the separate areas for small and larger dogs. Whether Rover is 15 lbs or 75, there will be space and friends to greet his arrival. Complete with water spout and biodegradable poop bags, visitors rave about the agility training items and cleanliness of this sanctuary in the trees.
Boston Common - Back Bay
131 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111
Noted to be a tourist destination as well as a hangout for Boston locals alike, the Common is known as one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Though likely hundreds pass through every day, furry friends are invited as well! Well behaved dogs are allowed off leash between 6-9am and again from 4-8pm. Dogs are allowed in the park on leash anytime throughout the day. While no specific city licensure is required, dogs are expected to be properly licensed, up to date on vaccines, and wearing identification at all times. No more than 3 dogs per adult over the age of 18 at any given time is permitted. Be advised, there is no specific fenced off area for dogs and owners are responsible for picking up any waste that should arise.
Mansfield Street Dog Park
Mansfield Street, Allston/Brighton, Boston, MA 02134
Another completely fenced in park, reviewers rave that this park is a great place to bring your furry family members. Enter into the park through a durable double gated fence for a pebble/gravel based space which remains dry even when it rains. While there isn’t anything fancy going on at this park, visitors have some seats available while their dogs run around. Dog owners should be prepared with water for their pups as there is not water fountain on site.
Cold Spring Park
Duncklee Street, Newton, MA 02461
Tucked inside Cold Spring Park in Newton is a special area just for your pup companions. Nestled near the edge of the 67 acre property is a partially fenced, grassy, sizable area for pups to run. Since 2009 local dog owners have been frequenting this park complete with human seating, dog bowls, and often dog water supplied by visitors. As one side of this space is unfenced and barriered only by woods, owners with pups that aren't the best listeners may want to stick to trail walking at this park.
Lincoln Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Stodder's Neck dog park is any water loving pup's dream. Chocked to the brim with hills, grass, and trees, the real highlight of this park is that pups can get their swim on in the Back River. Whether you're looking for a romp in the water or a stroll, this park has a variety of landscapes to please any family. Locals swear by the nice dog owners that can be found at Stodder's Neck, crediting them as some of the most friendly folks around. If you forget to bring water for your dog or a poop bag, odds are someone will have some extra to spare, but owners should come prepared as there aren't complimentary items available. Put the icing on a perfect day out with a picnic to be had in the grass or at one of the park's picnic tables and you're all set! Last but not least, don't forget to bring a towel to dry off your pup before he gets back in the car!
An additional option for dog owners is to participate in the Town of Brookline's Green Dog Program. The program seeks to provide usage of public spaces for pups to have off leash time. Brookline has 14 off-leash areas used across the town with specific off leash hours established. In order to participate in the program, owners must pay a fee and register their pet with the Park and Recreation Commission of Brookline so that a Green Dog tag can be acquired. The animal in question must also be up to date on baccinations, under voice control, and in sight in the parks at all times. Specific criteria, rules, and other guidelines can be found through the Town of Brookline's Green Dog Brochure.
City of Somerville. Parks and Open Space - Zero New Washington Street. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/2z4yNe.
Friends of the Public Garden. Boston Common Off-Leash Dog Program. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/z9uBS5.
Jae the Sniffer. (February 9, 2015). Cold Spring Park - A Dog Friendly Park in Newton, MA. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/zSpUZ2.
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