By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 11/18/2020, edited: 10/26/2022
PIf you’re exploring Florida’s Gulf Coast with your pup in tow, you might be looking for a great off-leash dog park. Destin Dog Park, more formally known as the Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park, fits the bill perfectly.
This 3-acre off-leash park is the “pawfect” spot for your dog to get some exercise, play with other pups, and enjoy some socializing. Keep reading for details on how to plan your visit to Destin Dog Park.
Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park is found at 4100 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin. It’s just a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico, with Destin Executive Airport right next door and dog-friendly camping and hiking at Henderson Beach State Park also within easy reach.
If you’re planning on treating your pup to a day out at Destin Dog Park, you’ll find plenty to entertain and excite your fur-baby.
Opened in 2012, the park covers approximately 3 acres of grassy terrain. There are separate areas for large and small dogs to help pups of all breeds enjoy safe play, with ample open space for energetic dogs to stretch their legs.
Both off-leash areas feature plenty of Bermuda grass, while pine and oak trees provide lots of shade when you need to escape the heat. Fresh water is available from watering stations, while poop bags and bins are also provided so you can clean up after your dog.
You’ll find bench seating in the park so you can sit back and relax while your pup plays and socializes. Parking is also readily available, so you and your fur-baby won’t have to walk too far before you can let them off the leash.
The good news is that because Destin Dog Park has so much to offer, it’s a popular spot for dogs and their people all year round. No matter when you and your pup visit, you can expect to meet plenty of new friends.
It’s also worth mentioning that the park was a joint effort between the city and a group of local volunteers who raised funds to help get the off-leash area up and running. If you’d like to make a donation or volunteer your time to help keep Destin Dog Park in tip-top condition, please feel free to do so.
Destin Dog Park is open daily from dawn until 10 PM. Regular visitors report that the area is well lit at night, but that the park is closed until 10 AM on Tuesday mornings for maintenance.
If you’d like to visit Destin Dog Park with your pooch, make sure you’re aware of all the park rules first. For example, you’re responsible for cleaning up after your pet whenever required, and you’ll need to take your pup out of the park at the first sign of any aggressive behavior. You’ll also need to make sure to keep your dog on a leash whenever they’re not in the fenced, off-leash area.
Other key rules to be aware of include:
Female dogs in heat are not allowed in Destin Dog Park.
No food or drinks (including pet food) are allowed in the park at any time.
Drinking alcohol and smoking are not permitted in the park.
If you visit with children, they must be under adult supervision at all times.
You are legally and financially responsible for your dog’s behavior.
But if you (and your dog) can follow the rules, Destin Dog Park is the “ultimutt” doggy play zone in the Destin area. Be sure to stop by and check it out.
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