Dogs love to run around and play outside. After all, it’s what they’re born to do. And while walks around the neighborhood are great, they’re not quite the same as being able to run freely and play around with other dogs.
Luckily for dog owners in Jax, the city has several great dog parks with amenities that will have your pup thanking you for the rest of the week – once they wake up from their play-induced nap, of course.
Here are some of Jacksonville’s best dog parks and a few details about what makes them worth making the trip with your furry friend.
DOG WOOD PARK
7407 Salisbury Rd.
Dog Wood Park is the city’s largest fenced-in dog park, with wide open space for your pup to roam freely and frolic with other dogs.
It features hiking trails as well as a lake for dogs to splash around in. And once they’re done playing, you can rinse them off at the park’s free outdoor rinse station – or take them into the office and utilize their self-serve bathing stations for less than $10.
The only downside to Dog Wood is that, unlike public parks, it isn’t free to get in. One-day visitor passes cost $11, and membership options start at $37.45 per month. (Rates are also available for those with multiple dogs.) All dogs who come to play must have proof of being up to date on vaccinations.
ED AUSTIN DOG PARK
3450 McCormick Rd.
Located just north of the Arlington area, Ed Austin Dog Park is a small portion of the massive Ed Austin Regional Park.
The park features large fenced-in play areas – one for small dogs and one for larger dogs. There’s plenty of seating and shaded space for you to rest and relax while your dog is having fun. Water spouts are also available for when your furry friend gets thirsty.
And if your pup is still full of energy after playing, you can walk him or her along the park’s lengthy trails – a unique advantage of the huge regional park.
JOHN GORRIE DOG PARK AT RIVERSIDE PARK
831 College St.
Located in the northwest corner of Riverside Park, John Gorrie Dog Park is another local favorite.
The park is separated into sections for small and large dogs. It also has plenty of seating and water fountains available.
The major advantage of this park is its location. Not only is it attached to the beautiful Riverside Park, it’s also located within perhaps the most dog-friendly area in Jax. Riverside features a handful of other great parks, as well as pet boutique BARK on Park in Five Points.
It’s also a short walk away from Riverside Arts Market, which frequently draws a large crowd of pups.
OCEANWAY DOG PARK
12215 Sago Ave.
Nestled along a side street just off of Main Street near I-295 in North Jax, Oceanway Dog Park is a true hidden gem for dog owners.
The park offers many of the same amenities as the others – large, fenced-in spaces separated by size, water stations, lots of shade, and so on. But its biggest advantage is how tucked away it is, which means some days you and your pup might even have the park all to yourselves.
This makes the park great for dogs who love to run around but have a tendency to get scared when playing with new dogs.