By Aurus Sy
Published: 08/15/2022, edited: 08/18/2022
Portland regularly ranks among the most dog-friendly cities in the US. Go around PDX with your canine companion and you’ll find that they’re welcome in a myriad of places, including parks like Washington Park and Cathedral Park, trails like the Marquam Trail and Wildwood Trail, and eateries like Tin Shed Garden Cafe and Deschutes Brewery.
And with more than 30 dog off-leash areas, Portland has the second highest number of dog parks per capita in the country—that’s 5.81 dog parks per 100,000 residents! There’s certainly no shortage of places to go for off-leash play and canine socialization in the City of Roses. Whether you’re new to town or just passing through, here are the five best dog parks in Portland that you and your best friend shouldn’t miss!
Neighborhood: Council Crest
Council Crest Park in southwest Portland is a quiet and beautiful park frequented by folks who wish to take a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown. As the highest point in Portland, it offers puptacular views of the city, its surrounding towns, and five mountains in the Cascade Range on a clear day. Dogs are welcome throughout the park on a leash, and well-behaved pups can enjoy an unfettered romp in the off-leash area.
Covering 2 acres in the southeast corner of the park, the Council Crest Park Off-Leash Area offers canine visitors ample space to play fetch, roll in the grass, and scamper between the trees. The trees provide plenty of shade on sunny days and act as natural barriers for this unfenced dog park, though it’s still a good idea to make sure your pooch has a reliable recall. For leash-free fun and unbeatable views, Council Crest Park is the place to be!
With its beautiful location on the banks of the Willamette River, Sellwood Riverfront Park attracts all sorts of visitors, including joggers, picnickers, and kayakers. Luckily, four-legged visitors don’t have to miss out on this pupular spot in southeast Portland, as it has an area where they can run and play without a leash. The grassy Sellwood Riverfront Park Off-Leash Area spans 1.5 acres, giving hounds of all sizes plenty of room to zoom to their heart’s content. Canines are also allowed to doggy paddle in the river—pawfect for cooling off on hot days!
Like most of the city’s dog parks, this one isn’t fenced, so it’s most suitable for pooches with a solid recall. If your woofer is still working on theirs, you can go for a leashed stroll on the walking paths instead. With space to roam and access to the water, it’s not hard to see why the Sellwood Riverfront Park Off-Leash Area is a favorite hangout among many furry Portlanders!
Neighborhood: St. Johns
Once the site of the city’s incinerator, Chimney Park is now the favorite haunt of many local canines. The 5.5-acre park, which got its name from the incinerator’s chimney, is home to one of the larger fenced dog parks in Portland. Inside the Chimney Park Off-Leash Area, furkids and furparents will find a wood chip walking path, shade trees, picnic tables, and open land in a rustic and natural setting.
This dog park is big enough for even the most energetic mutts to get the wiggles out, and pet parents can also get some exercise walking around the area with their furbabies. While there is no separate enclosure for small or shy dogs, there’s enough room for introverted pups to get away from other canines if needed. For those who want to socialize, there are usually lots of friendly dogs to play with. No wonder regulars keep coming back to the Chimney Park Off-Leash Area!
Neighborhood: Mt. Tabor
Active pups will have a tail-waggin’ good time at the Mt. Tabor Park Off-Leash Area. Located on the southern edge of the expansive Mt. Tabor Park, this pupperdise is basically a forest with tons of room for furry visitors to explore and play in (4 acres, to be exact). There’s also a short trail that meanders through the trees and around the area, as well as a couple of water stations to keep the four leggers hydrated.
Both canines and humans can get a good workout at this park since it’s completely on an incline. There are often plenty of dogs for your pooch to socialize with, but at the same time it seldom gets crowded. Note that this wooded hillside park isn’t completely fenced, so be sure to always keep an eye on your pup. For a dog park that will tucker out a high-energy canine, look no further than the Mt. Tabor Park Off-Leash Area!
Neighborhood: Rose City Park
Dog parents from around the city bring their furkiddos to this 1.5-acre dog park in northeast Portland for its fully fenced areas. The Normandale Park Off-Leash Area features not one, not two, but three separate sections for pups of different sizes. One is reserved for pooches 25 pounds and under, so if your little dog doesn’t feel comfortable mingling with the big boys and girls, they’ll feel right at home here. All three sections offer lots of space for four-legged visitors to burn off energy, as well as adequate shade to keep them cool during the summer.
Normandale is also a grrreat place for meeting new canine pals, as the dogs and people who come here are generally friendly. With off-leash fun in a beautiful and secure environment, it’s not surprising that the Normandale Park Off-Leash Area draws visitors from various parts of the city, and it just might become your pup’s favorite spot too!
For the best pawssible experience at Portland’s dog parks, keep in mind the following rules and petiquette:
And if your furry pal needs to brush up on their recall or manners before visiting one of Portland's furbulous dog parks, book an in-home dog training session with Wag! today!
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