Paw Playground is a private dog area situated in Fort De Soto Park, at 3500 Pinellas Bayway, Tierra Verde, Florida. The property spans 1,136 acres of natural beauty and provides a great diversity of ecosystems, such as numerous bird species as well as beach plants, mangroves, palm hammocks, hardwoods, wetlands, and other groups of native plants.
The dog park area covers three acres of the property and opens to dog owners from 7 am until dark, in exchange for a $5/day fee pass. The only exceptions are Christmas and Thanksgiving when the dog park is closed to the public. You can find more information on park events and attractions by visiting the park's official website.
Fort De Soto Paw Playground was named one of the best dog beaches in the United States in 2006, providing owners with separate, leash-free areas for both large and small dogs. The property includes beach and water access as well as dog showers during the hotter months. This is the only dog park that allows off-leashed dogs on the beach in a designated area. You can find the entrance to the beach at the far southwest corner of the dog park.
Animals are allowed anywhere on the property, provided they are on a six-foot leash while not in the leash-free zones. A major plus for Paw Playground is that you can cool off your dog on a summer day by hosing him down and giving him access to fresh water. The cooling stations are accompanied by dog-level water fountains, as well as boat launching facilities, restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, multipurpose trails, ferry service, and a recreational canoe trail for the owners.
With the help of donations and membership fees, the community at Friends of Fort De Soto provides each owner with dog cleanup bags, to help encourage pet responsibility. Fort De Soto Paw Playground is the only place in the area where owners are allowed to swim alongside their furry companions, making it an ideal summer location for canine lovers everywhere.