At the southernmost entry point into John McLaren Park—the second largest park in San Francisco—lies one of the two off-leash dog play areas that the park contains. The park is sandwiched between the Excelsior and Visitation Valley districts in the city’s southern region, and the dog play areas see friendly dog visitors by the hundreds each day.
At just under an acre, the smaller of the two dog play areas is located off of Geneva Street with parking available around the 1600 block. There are several trails of moderate difficulty available for walking, and a lot of the area is on a moderate incline. Trees to the southeast offer shady resting areas, and a lookout outcropping of rocks called “Lover’s Rock” offers a sweeping view of the dog play area.
Restrooms and a small skate park are located near the park’s soccer fields. It is important to note that the area is unfenced in several stretches and exposed to the road. Your dog should know to stay out of streets, and the city recommends that you keep your dog under firm voice control at all times.
John McLaren Park is a public park, and San Francisco Recreation and Parks refers to the smaller dog play area as “McLaren Park Geneva Dog Play Area.” To the north lies a much larger, 60-acre off-leash dog play area that is frequented by many dogs and dog lovers. The trails and pathways are equal parts paved and unpaved. Overall, the park is accessible and well-maintained.
The city requires that you pick up after your dog, and since poop bags may be spread out across the considerably large area, it may benefit you to have your own poop bags on hand. Many residents of the nearby Crocker-Amazon, Southern Hills, Sunnydale, and Bayshore Heights districts frequent John McLaren park, and it remains one of the city’s most well-kept secrets. If you are looking for more challenging and rewarding walks and play with your dog, look no further than McLaren Park.