West Park Estate is a small neighborhood that sits just north of the Tampa International Airport on the north side of W. Hillsborough Ave. This is a nice, quiet, well-established community with dog-friendly parks and pet stores within driving distance. The neighborhood itself is clean with well-kept yards, but like many areas of Tampa, the homes are packed together fairly tightly. Some of the streets have sidewalks running along them, while most do not. There are few fast-food chain restaurants nearby if you feel like a cold drink on your walks or need a quick snack. The good news is that there are dog parks and pet stores within driving distance.
Like most of Tampa and the west coast of Florida, the weather is amazing for walking your pup. Summers here, while temperate, are hot enough for the pavement to burn the pads on your dog's paws within just a few seconds.
From the flat ground to the large areas of pavement and the lack of sidewalks to walk on, you might think walking your dog would be boring. However, going for walks with your dog can teach you how to be very creative in your approach. Going in different directions, setting up different walking patterns, and finding new areas to walk in are all ways to keep you and your dog interested in getting outside for some fun and exercise.
There are a few parks in the area for you to take advantage of with trails you can explore, shade trees to take a break under, and even ponds to fish in. One thing to keep in mind is that the best times to go for a walk during the summer months is early in the morning and late at night. If you choose these times, be sure to wear something reflective to help motorists see you and your pup.
While West Park Estates doesn't have its own green spaces, there is one at the edge of the community. West Park is a 5-acre dog park that is fenced off into two sections. One is for larger dogs and the other is for smaller breeds. There is plenty of space for your dog to run around and a doggy pool for him to cool off in, along with plenty of fresh drinking water.
A few blocks to the southeast is Al Lopez park with several nature trails, a covered picnic area, and two ponds, one of which is for fishing. Covering 132 acres, the park has plenty of room for you and your dog to get in plenty of exercise. For those of you who really want a challenge, why not take the drive up to Lettuce Lake Park or the Lower Hillsborough Wildlife Preserve where there are miles of trails for the two of you to discover?