Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, more commonly called FDR Park, was designed at the turn of the twentieth century by influential landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers. Developed to create open space for strolling and reflection, the 348-acre park is the largest in South Philadelphia and a popular city-wide destination. It's a pawsome place for dog-friendly fun with a wide range of outdoor activities and lots of room to roam.
In addition to the indoor American Swedish Historical Museum, FDR Park features numerous outdoor amenities including a golf course, a skate park, tennis courts, and several sports fields. You can rent bicycles and boats to use on FDR Park's expansive network of trails and waterways, go fishing, or attend an outdoor yoga class in the warmer months. The walkways, paths, and open lawns of FDR Park make it a great place for long walks or leashed runs with your dog. Just remember than in addition to keeping your dog on a leash, you will need to clean up after them and bring your own waste bags and water.
The Audubon Society has recognized FDR Park as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and one of the best places in Philadelphia for birdwatching. The park is on the Atlantic Coastal Plain and includes remnants of the tidal marsh and channel system that once flourished on the land between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, so it draws different birds and wildlife species than other parts of the city and state. Park officials are working on making FDR Park an even more pristine natural space with wetland restoration, repaving, and structural improvement efforts underway.
The greatest variety of unique birds to be spotted in FDR Park are waterbirds. You and your pup might see Canada and snow geese; ring-necked, mallard, redhead, merganser, and ruddy ducks; wigeons and shovelers; buffleheads; pie-billed grebes; American coots; double-crested cormorants; and herons. Even if you're not much of a birdwatcher, the waterways of FDR Park are great places to walk to the end of a pier and watch the sun set with your dog. It's just as lovely to soak in the sun under a clear blue sky here or watch the fog roll in on a misty fall day.
Bring your dog, your camera, and your curiosity, and you'll never run out of ways to have a barking good day at FDR Park.