Dorchester Center is one of Boston’s most populous neighborhoods, and home to many diverse nationalities and cultures. It is primarily residential, and while it doesn't contain a park of its own, it provides access to Codman Commons, at the intersection of Talbot and Washington Streets. Pet-friendly Codman Commons is a small neighborhood park that features walkways, benches and a skating rink. It's a great place for a stroll with Fido, or for a sit on a bench to watch the skaters. The walks are tree-lined, and grassy areas provide much-needed play and rolling space for Fido.
Nearby is the crown jewel of Boston’s famed Emerald Necklace Park System: Franklin Park, which Dorchester Center shares with the neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. With over 527 acres, there are many reasons to take your fur-pup there for some healthy recreation. It is the city’s largest park, and it features areas for active sports such as golf, tennis, and soccer as well as a wooded preserve and 15 miles of walking paths. The scenery is lush and interesting and includes stone bridges, stone outcroppings and a pond. Fido must be on a leash within the park, but there is ample open green space to romp and play or just hang out and relax. Picnic areas welcome the doggos as well, as do the areas surrounding the many historic buildings, although they can’t accompany their humans inside.Should your dog suffer an illness or injury while in Dorchester Center, be aware that there are at least 4 veterinarians and animal hospitals in neighboring Quincy and South Boston. They’ll have your pup up and wagging again in no time!
This section of the Dorchester neighborhood beside Dorchester Center is home to Victory Road Park, a very dog-friendly and popular area for dog walkers. Although it is not technically a dog park, many dog owners and handlers let their fur-buddies off-leash when it’s safe to do so. Dogs love running free in this small island park, and can even swim in Boston Harbor on warm summer days. The park is nicely landscaped with lots of open green space and benches for the humans. Please be aware there are no amenities here such as drinking water or waste bags, so be sure to bring some with you for your outing in this sweet little park. If all the exercise is making you and your fur pup hungry, head over to The Blarney Stone, a dog-friendly restaurant with outdoor seating where you’ll find a variety of American cuisine to make your mouth water and your pup’s tail wag. Bone appetit!
Another park in Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” Park System is located in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. Dog-friendly Dorchester Park is comprised of 30 acres of parkland and woodlands perfect for long meandering walks with Fido. Equipped with tennis courts and a playground as well, this is a perfect spot to bring your family, including your fur-baby. It features paved paths through the woods and along the edges of the fields, which are lined with trees and benches, and the open expanses of green lawn lend themselves to doggo play or training, or just lolling about on a blanket with a picnic lunch. Pawsome!
The Cedar Grove neighborhood in nearby Dorchester is home to the Neponset River Reservation, a waterfront park with winding packed dirt walking paths along the river, through marshland and wetlands along the Neponset Inlet. This is a dog-friendly park, and Fido is welcome on leash to join you for boating, paddling, biking, fishing and hiking. There are also playgrounds and wading pools for the human youngsters, so bring the whole family along! Many of the walkways are raised above the wetlands to keep your feet dry. This neighborhood is also home to the dog-friendly Lower Neponset River Rail-Trail, which is accessible from Hallett Street and travels 5 miles from Dorchester into neighboring Milton. Finally, also accessible from Hallett Street is the Pope John Paul II Park Reservation, a 66-acre park which was converted from a landfill that now features walking trails, opportunities for viewing wildlife, and fishing. A leashed Fido is welcome to join you as you stroll along the paved trails or enjoy a picnic at one of the areas provided.
The Boston Harborwalk begins in this Dorchester neighborhood section. It is a dog-friendly, public walkway along Dorchester Bay and the Harbor and is contiguous with the Dorchester Shore Reservation. It features many amenities including cafes, shops and public art installations. Benches are placed along the Harborwalk where you and Fido can stop to rest and view the spectacular Boston skyline across the harbor. Nearby you’ll find Fiskie’s Café, a popular eatery that offers an eclectic cuisine prepared with only the freshest ingredients and served at one of the outdoor tables if you and Fido wish. They also package for takeaway, in case you and your fur-pup would rather eat water-side gazing at the lights of the city. With everything on the menu from Italian to American to Asian, there is sure to be something you and Fido can agree is irresistible! Bone appetit!
This Dorchester neighborhood is home to the Ronan Park Dog Recreation Space, which is part of Ronan Park. This spacious, clean fenced area is perfect for the socializing and un-leashed exercise that are so important to a healthy dog. The play surface is pebbles, and the park provides a paved walking path around the perimeter for more controlled exercise. Benches are provided for humans, and the doggos have play boulders to climb for a “Dog King of the Mountain” games. There’s a doggie fountain and waste bags and waste receptacles. You can get to this gem through Ronan Park, or find a space to park on one of the small side streets on that end of Ronan. Ronan Park is a lovely area with athletic fields and wide expanse of lawn, trees and walking paths, but if you’re looking for a place for your furry bestie to have the time of his life, the Dog Recreation Space is the right destination! Woofderful!