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Best Dog Parks In The Twin Cities

November 6, 2010 1:28 PM

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Alimagnet Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

For dog owners who don’t have a huge backyard or access to walking trails, a dog park is a great option to exercise your four-legged friend. From long trails to open spaces to run, there are a number of off-leash areas scattered across the Twin Cities to make for some tired dogs and happy owners.

In alphabetical order …

Alimagnet Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

Alimagnet Dog Park

1200 Alimagnet Parkway
Burnsville, Minn.
www.alimagnetdogpark.org

Directions: From I-35W or I-35E, take County Road 42 east. Head north on County Road 11 and take a right on Alimagnet Parkway. The dog park is in the back, past the baseball fields.
Cost: $20 per year household permit – click here for permit information

Located past the baseball fields and next to the playground equipment, you’d think with all the other stuff there would be no room for an expansive dog park, but the Alimagnet Dog Park offers more than just a place to run. The park is seven acres and completely enclosed. For those canines that seem to have webbed feet, there’s a pond in the middle and plenty of access for dogs to run and jump into it. A walking path circles the pond, giving humans some exercise too. And if your pooch gets dirty — there’s a dog washing station across the parking lot for the dirty dogs (but don’t drink it!). The park is owned and operated by the City of Burnsville and supported by members of PACK (People of Alimagnet Caring for K9s).

Arlington/Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area

(credit: CBS)

Arlington/Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area

Arlington Avenue and Arkwright Street
St. Paul, Minn.
www.stpaul.gov

Directions: From I-35E, take Maryland Avenue east to Arkwright Street. Take a right to head north on Arkwright Street. You can park on the street (Arkwright Street) for a couple entrances to the park, or there’s a small parking lot near the ball field.
Cost: None

For being located in a residential area, this dog park offers the same amenities for parks located in more rural areas. From trails to open space and even some woods, this 4.5-acre park gives pooches plenty to do. And the humans, when we visited, were just as friendly as the dogs. The dog park is completely fenced in with five different entrances. Be sure to bring water, because there is no running water available. But there is plenty of shade and places to sit for either people or pooches.

Battle Creek Regional Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

Battle Creek Regional Dog Park

McKnight Road between Upper Afton & Lower Afton roads
Maplewood, Minn.
www.co.ramsey.mn.us

Directions: From I-94, exit on McKnight Road. Take McKnight Road south, to the entrance of Battle Creek Regional Park where you take a left and then take a right into the parking lot for the dog park. Another parking lot for the dog park can be found off Lower Afton Road.
Cost: None

Trails, trails, trails. If you and your dog are looking for some good exercise, this 25-acre dog park offers it with lots of wood-chipped trails. The park also offers woods to play hide-and-seek, a swampy area to get dirty in and open spaces to run. The park is completely fenced-in but it’s so big, you probably won’t see the fences while frolicking!

Bryant Lake Regional Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

Bryant Lake Regional Dog Park

6400 Rowland Rd
Eden Prairie, Minn.
www.threeriversparks.org

Directions: From 494, take Highway 62 (Crosstown) east and exit off Shady Oak Road. Take Shady Oak Road south to Rowland Road and take a right (head west). Go past the main entrance to Bryant Lake Regional Park and you’ll see the dog park on the left.
Cost: $35 annual permit or a $5 day pass – click here for permit information

Part of the Three Rivers Park system, the dog park is not located inside Bryant Lake Regional Park, but just north on Rowland Road. The off-leash park is 9.3 acres of fenced in fun — plus a separate fenced-off area for little dogs. Inside the dog park is a beautiful rain garden, which is pretty for humans to enjoy. Compared to others, this dog park is more wide-open, if you want to keep a constant eye on your dog and not let them wander into wooded areas. Thinking about visiting in the winter time? Dogsledding and skijoring (cross-country skiing while being pulled by a dog) are permitted on designated trails within Three Rivers Park District.

Dakota Woods

(credit: CBS)

Dakota Woods

16470 Blaine Avenue
Empire Township, Minn.
www.co.dakota.mn.us

Directions: Take Highway 52 south from the Twin Cities to County Road 46 (160th Street E) in Coates. Head west on County Road 46 about 1 mile to Blaine Avenue. Go south on Blaine Avenue about 0.6 miles to the dog park.
Cost: Annual Pass: $42.85 ($40+$2.85 tax) for annual pass or $5 for daily pass.

Beware for those who just washed their cars — you need to take a short dirt road to get to this gem in the woods. But once you get to the 16-acre fenced-in dog park, you’ll probably hear your dog(s) barking for joy. There are plenty of picnic tables where humans can rest and watch. Bring your own water but if you forget, there might be an extra jug around … at least there were plenty when we visited. The park has a great mix of trails, open spaces and woods.

Dale Road Open Space and Off-Leash Dog Park

(credit: City of Woodbury)

0/10/dale-road.jpg” alt=”Dale Road Open Space and Off-Leash Dog Park” width=”300″ height=”225″ />(credit: City of Woodbury)

Dale Road Open Space and Off-Leash Dog Park

11664 Dale Road
Woodbury, Minn.
http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us

Directions: From I-94 East, take Manning Avenue exit and head south. Take a right (head west) on Dale Road to dog park on north side of road.
Cost: Dogs must have a City of Woodbury dog license to use the park – Check out the Website for more on cost/application.

Even though you could say this dog park is in the middle of nowhere, you’ve got 70 acres of amenities to enjoy once you get there. From walking trails to a huge area for running, running and more running, this dog park will definitely wear you and your dog out. If you forget the doggie bags or water, this park has both with a pet watering station and pet waste disposal stations. Plus there’s a shelter area with picnic tables if you and your pooch need a break.

Egan Park Off-Leash Area

(credit: CBS)


Egan Park Off-Leash Area

17105 Co. Rd. 47
Plymouth, Minn.
plymouthmn.gov

Directions: From I-494, exit on Rockford Road and head west to Vicksburg Lane. Go north on Vicksburg Lane to County Road 47. Take a left and head west where you’ll see signs for the park located on the left.
Cost: None

Playful pooch in Plymouth? This dog park has 10 acres of land to run and a new fenced in area for small dogs. Beware, the off-leash area is not fenced in but native plants have grown to create a natural property barrier. After hiking up a hill, there’s a large play area that even has tubes for dogs to run through. Be sure to bring your own water but future development in the park may include a watering pond.

Lake of the Isles Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

Lake of the Isles Dog Park

Lake of the Isles Parkway
Minneapolis, Minn.
www.minneapolisparks.org

Directions: Adjacent to the soccer field between Lake of the Isles Parkway and Lake Street on the south end of Lake of the Isles. (West 28th St. becomes Lake of the Isles Parkway)
Cost: Annual dog park permit – $35 for first dog for Minneapolis residents, $25 for second dog; $60 for first dog for non-residents, $35 for second dog

Located on the south end of Lake of the Isles, this park is one of the smaller ones, but the location is ideal for people who live in the cities or love to walk around the lakes. The 3.6-acre dog park has two separate areas — one for small dogs (under 20 pounds) and one for larger dogs. This is the place for dogs to play together among the wood chips and woods. There’s plenty of shade and benches to sit on. It’s also completely fenced in. This would be a dog park for socializing (both dogs and owners) and not necessarily for long walks.

Minnehaha Falls Off-Leash Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

Minnehaha Falls Off-Leash Dog Park

54th Street and Hiawatha Ave
Minneapolis, Minn.
www.minneapolisparks.com

Directions: North on Highway 55 (Hiawatha Avenue) from Highway 62. Turn right on 54th Street and the pay parking lot is across the street from the dog park entrance.
Cost: Annual dog park permit – $35 for first dog for Minneapolis residents, $25 for second dog; $60 for first dog for non-residents, $35 for second dog

Get your walking shoes on … and make sure they can get muddy! It’s a trek down the marked trail, down some steps and through the woods to get to the heart of the Minnehaha Falls Off-Leash Dog Park. But the journey is worth it! Located on the south end of Minnehaha Park, the dog park in the middle is 4.3 acres but it seems a lot bigger if you include the hike. Beware: the trail to the park is not completely fenced in. Once you get there, you’ve got beaches on the Mississippi River for humans and canines to cool off in.

Otter Lake Regional Dog Park

(credit: CBS)

Otter Lake Regional Dog Park

Otter Lake Road
White Bear Township, Minn.
www.co.ramsey.mn.us

Directions: Take I-35E to County Road J exit, then follow J east (a short distance) to Otter Lake Road. Take Otter Lake Road south to the dog park; there’s a boat launch (no dogs allowed) but to the right are the dog park entrances.
Cost: None

Small or big, the dog park on Otter Lake has plenty of space for both. With 10 acres of woods and tall prairie grass, it’s a great place for your dog to explore. But if you’d rather keep a closer eye on your canine, there is a separate, 1-acre fenced in area for smaller dogs. If you forget the poop bags, the park is littered with mailboxes containing clean bags to use. Just be sure to throw the bag away! Beware: this park is not completely fenced in.

Of course, it’s important to note that before heading out to your favorite or the closest dog park, your dog needs to get along with other dogs. And a dog park is not the place to do that, according to dog trainer Maureen Leach with Happily Ever After Dog Training.

Leach says if your dog has issues with other dogs, don’t bring them to the dog park.

“Some people bring their dogs because they need to run but then don’t pay attention to their dogs, using it a chance to visit with other owners,” said Leach.

She emphasized that you need to always be watching your dog — always pay attention to what’s going on.

“You can have a great dog but that doesn’t mean another dog is,” Leach said.

She also recommends going to a dog park when they’re not real busy, that way you scope it out first and get to know the other dogs and humans.

“If you go when it’s busy, say on Saturday afternoons, you’ve got a lot of dog personalities,” Leach said.

Also, don’t bring treats or toys to the dog park; that can easily create fights between the dogs.

Leach said make sure your dog comes when you call it, in case a problem does arise. And if something does happen, remove your dog from the situation.

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