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Does your dog seem lethargic and lonely? Does he or she have droopy eyes? We might have the answer: a dog park. Whether you live in an apartment or house, work in an office or at home, odds are your pooch spends a great deal of time cooped up and lying around indoors. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, the best reward is always a trip to the park.
The following parks are a sampling of the area’s best spots for dogs to make friends, play, and run.
Know of some dog parks that we forgot to include? Leave 'em in the comments!
Battery Kemble Park
2700 Chain Bridge Rd., between MacArthur Blvd. and Nebraska Ave., NW
This park consists of several hills that flatten out into a parking lot where dogs and their owners congregate. The park, open dawn to dusk, includes picnic tables and walking trails. Owners typically let their dogs run off leash.
1801 E St., SE
The cemetery requires dog owners to register for $200 and pay an annual $50 fee per dog for usage privileges, but the fenced grounds make up one of the largest and most populated dog parks in the District. The fees go directly to the upkeep of the cemetery grounds, which are open all hours of the day. For registration info, visitcemeterydogs.org.
Glover Park Dog Park
39th and W sts., NW
Next to Glover Archbold Park, this meeting spot for canines is completely surrounded by trees and includes several trails that lead into the woods. It’s open during daylight hours, and leashes are suggested while walking on the trails.
11th St. and North Carolina Ave., NE
This grassy Capitol Hill refuge is open from 6 AM to 10 PM but gets most popular around doggie rush hours: 6 to 9 AM and 5 to 7 PM. Just make sure your pooch is leashed—police have been known to issue tickets.
Sixth and E sts., SE
Another Capitol Hill staple for dog owners, Marion’s playground also makes it a kid-friendly destination. But as at Lincoln Park, leashes are suggested.
Meridian Hill Park
Between 15th and 16th sts. and W and Euclid sts., NW
The paved pathways and flowing waters of Meridian Hill Park—also known as Malcolm X Park—are a change of pace from a typical city park. The best area for dogs is one the top level, where there’s a large, flat expanse of grass.
Montrose Park and Dumbarton Oaks Park
32nd and R sts., NW
These two adjacent parks include grassy fields, playgrounds, and trails through the woods. During warmer months, dogs can often be seen splashing in the stream that runs adjacent to the trails.
27th and Dumbarton sts., NW
Georgetown’s unofficial dog park is a stretch of grass on 27th Street next to the park’s basketball court. The children’s playground is the only fenced-in area, but despite the foot and bike traffic on the paved path, dogs run carefree and unleashed without issue. Owners and their dogs also congregate by the park’s baseball diamond on 26th Street.
17th and S Park
17th and S sts., NW
This small triangle-shaped patch of land is a meeting ground for U Street and Dupont-area dog owners. The grass is worn thin, but dogs revel in the opportunity to run and socialize off leash. For untrained dogs, leashes are necessary—heavy traffic borders all sides of the park.
Shaw Dog Park
11th St. between Q and R sts., NW
The best dog park in DC? For Shaw and Logan Circle residents, the answer is yes. This area was recently fenced in on all sides and is the perfect spot for pooches to run unleashed. The ground is gravel, which takes adjusting to, but there’s also a long patch of mulch, lined with a few trees, where dogs tend to congregate and play. The entrance is double-gated, so while you should always keep an eye on your pet, there’s little need to worry about escape. There’s also an area sectioned off for smaller dogs to play. Make sure you follow the rules: There’s a three-dog maximum per person and a 33-dog park limit.
Walter Pierce Park Dog Run
1967 Calvert St., NW
Supported by the Adams Morgan Dogs group, this fenced run is perfect for dogs needing to burn some energy off leash. Rules stipulate that choke collars must be removed, and dogs must be at least four months old to enter the run. The run is also limited to three dogs per owner.
Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Dogs are welcome to run on the vast cathedral grounds any time of day.
Black Hill Regional Park
20030 Ridge Dr., Boyds
Montgomery County’s Black Hill Park includes a half-acre fenced dog park fitted with picnic tables. Additionally, numerous trails head off into the woods toward the nearby Little Seneca Lake.
Dogtopia Indoor Dog Park
4920 Wyaconda Rd., Rockville
This doggie-daycare center’s state-of-the-art park is an indoor haven for energetic canines. To bring your dog to a free scheduled play time, simply register and RSVP at Dogtopia’s Meetup.com listing. For additional information, visit dogdaycare.com.
King Farm Dog Park
Piccard Dr. and Gaither Rd., Rockville
Just off of King Farm Boulevard in Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, this fenced-in dog run includes two separate areas for small and larger dogs, canine water fountains, a 20-by-20-foot shade shelter, and a picnic area. The dog park is available only to Rockville residents, who must sign an agreement to enter the park.
Ridge Road Recreational Park
21155 Frederick Rd., Germantown
Located at the corner of Highway 355 and Ridge Road, the park is a popular meeting area and exercise spot for pooches. It’s open from sunrise to sunset year-round.
Wheaton Regional Park
2000 Shorefield Rd., Wheaton
Wheaton’s dog park is about a half acre in size and is enclosed by a chainlink fence, making it a popular destination for owners to let their pooches run free.
Baron Cameron Park
11300 Baron Cameron Ave., Reston
This fenced off-leash area is great for canines to romp to their hearts’ delight. The park includes water containers and a separate area for smaller dogs. It’s open from dawn until dusk.
Chandon Dog Park
900 Palmer Dr., Herndon
Sponsored by the Herndon Dogs group, Chandon is a fenced park, open from dawn to dusk, that’s a friendly meeting ground for dogs of all sizes.
13th and N. Hartford sts., Arlington
This off-leash, fenced park, sponsored by the Clarendon Dogs group, has a dedicated following. It’s open from sunrise to just after sunset every day.
Del Ray Dog Park
500 Monroe Ave., Alexandria
This park is located at the intersection of Route 1 and Monroe Avenue in Simpson Stadium Park. The Del Ray Dog Owners group helps to manage this fenced area, which sits next to two baseball fields.
Fort Ethan Allen Community Canine Area
3829 N. Stafford St., Arlington
Equipped with drinking fountains, picnic tables, benches, and a playground, this off-leash, fenced park has as much to offer to dogs as it does to owners.
Four Mile Run Park
3100 South Glebe Rd., Arlington
Complete with separate fenced-in areas for small and large dogs, a creek for swimming, and a running path, this park works wonders on rambunctious canines.
801 S. Scott St., Arlington
Open from early morning until 10 PM every day, Towers Park’s community canine area is sprinkled with trees, picnic tables, and—of course—a large dose of man’s best friend. Dogs must be leashed upon entering and exiting but can reign leash-free inside the fenced grounds.
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