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Battery Kemble Park (2700 Chain Bridge Rd., NW), near DC’s Palisades, is a year-round favorite for dog owners thanks to the expanse of hilly green terrain that will wear out even the most boisterous ball fetchers. Dogs can lap from their own drinking fountain and, in warm weather, head to the creek that runs along a wooded trail just below the ample parking lot.
Meadowbrook Park in Chevy Chase (7901 Meadowbrook La.) is best known for its 17 acres of playing fields and its Candy Cane City playground, but dogs romp on the south end, where a lovely stretch of Rock Creek provides great swimming holes.
Shirlington Park in South Arlington (2601 S. Arlington Mill Dr.; arlingtondogs.org) is perhaps the area’s most elaborate off-leash park. A long, narrow exercise area has double-entry gates to keep adventurous animals penned in, but a path outside the fence leads to a stream where pets can paddle.