New York City is famous for its beautiful parks, where residents can enjoy a quiet escape from the surrounding bustling streets. Dogs need an escape from the tight living quarters of the city-life as well. So what better place to burn all of that stored up energy than the nearby dog park? According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, there are over 130 dog parks and runs in the five boroughs!
BellaDOG Magazine visited many of the dog parks in New York City, interviewed local residents, and looked for the most smiling faces & wagging tails. Almost all of the parks we looked at had separate areas for large and small dogs, and had nearby drinking fountains for thirsty pups. Not only were the dogs socializing, but so were the humans! Here is our Top 10 Dog Parks & Runs of New York City:
- #10 McGolrick Dog Park & Run – Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- #9 Madison Square Dog Park & Run – Flatiron District
- #8 Riverside Dog Park & Run – W 105th St.
- #7 Riverside Dog Park & Run – W 72nd St.
- #6 McCarren Dog Park & Run – Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- #5 DeWitt Clinton Dog Park & Run – Clinton
- #4 Carl Schurz Dog Park & Run – Upper East Side
- #3 Hillside Dog Park & Run – Brooklyn Heights
- #2 Washington Square Dog Park & Run – Greenwich Village
- #1 Tompkins Square Dog Park & Run – East Village
#10 McGolrick Dog Park & Run – Greenpoint, Brooklyn
With more space than Manhattan, Brooklyn boasts three of the Top 10 Dog Parks & Runs of New York City. McGolrick Park has wide open spaces and beautiful trees lining wide walkways. The dog run is a bit quieter than some of others, with plenty of space to run around!
Brooklyn resident Vida Engstrand explains, “My favorite dog run in the area – and in fact my favorite dog run anywhere – is the one at McGolrick Park. Ever since District Dog opened across the street, it’s been very well kept. The owners of the store sort of took it under their wing, building a small dog run in addition to the big dog run and making sure they’re maintained. It’s also the starting point for the Halloween dog parade they organize every year. I’m happy to say my pugs won 2nd place in the costume contest last year! It’s not too busy and McGolrick is just a gorgeous park anyway.”
#9 Madison Square Dog Park & Run – Flatiron District
Humans well out number dogs in this iconic New York City park. The buildings, sculptures, and people watching will keep you busy while your pooch runs around. It’s also centrally located in Manhattan so it is quite easy to get to!
“The dog run in Madison Square Park, in the shadow of the Flatiron building, is amazing! My dog loves it, and I’ve met a lot of fantastic people there – even had a date or two!” votes a local comedian, Dan Nainan.
#8 Riverside Dog Park & Run – W 105th St.
Riverside Park extends from 72nd to 129th St. along the Hudson River (longer than Central Park!) Along with it’s many dog-friendly trails, you can find a couple dog runs nestled in the park.
“A great dog park in New York is on 105th and Riverside. It is very large with both sunny and shady areas. Also, there is a great view of the Hudson River. Best part about it, is in the summer, there is a pop up out door restaurant that is pet-friendly. Nothing like spending Sunday afternoon walking with your dog, hanging at the dog park and then going for an ice cold beer,” says Melody Wolff.
#7 Riverside Dog Park & Run – W 72nd St.
Another Riverside Park dog run made our list! The 72nd St. Dog Park & Run is more excessible to midtown Manhattan and has spectacular views of the Hudson River.
Ahvi Spindell likes two areas best, “My dog Google and I love the Upper West Side of Manhattan where we regularly visit Central Park in and around Turtle Pond as well as Riverside Park that features our favorite dog run at West 72nd St.”
#6 McCarren Dog Park & Run – Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg, known for its art and music scene, is also home to one of our favorite dog parks in Brooklyn. This park has all types of humans (hipsters jamming out, athletes running on the track, and occasional hoodlums) as well as all types of dogs.
“McCarren is really popular among the beautiful people of Williamsburg and so it’s a good park to troll for other dog-loving singles for friendships or hookups. It has a big and a small dog run and it’s nice on Saturdays because it’s right next to the farmer’s market,” says Brooklyn resident Vida Engstrand.
#5 DeWitt Clinton Dog Park & Run – Clinton
Across the street from where The Daily Show tapes is Dewitt Clinton Park, very cute and well kept.
Dr. Kevin Nadal is a parent of a chihuahua living in Midtown West, “My favorite dog park is the one at Clinton Park on the corner of 52nd and 11th Avenue. I like it because it is clean! There is a section for small dogs and big dogs. It’s concrete, so you know what you’re stepping in and what you’re not stepping in. Plus the people are so friendly and it’s a great place for singles to meet other singles!”
Sarah Westcott adds, “This park is great in the summer when they break out the kiddie pools. Since the ground is paved, the dogs can cool off without becoming a muddy mess.”
#4 Carl Schurz Dog Park & Run – Upper East Side
For residents on the Upper East side, this is the place to take your pooch! You can even go jogging with your dog along the East River with great views of Roosevelt Island and Brooklyn.
“Carl Schurz Park hands down!” Jennifer Chiongbian proclaimed when asked which dog park in New York City is the best. “It has a small and large breed dog run that fits the comforts zone of both pet and owner. The small dog run is cemented and elevated, making it the perfect perch to watch the little ones play. Both runs were just renovated over the last couple of years. It is clean and adequate in space for big and small dogs. Plus the location also gives the added bonus of being able to walk along the river or sit at a bench and take in the unique scenery together with Fido!”
#3 Hillside Dog Park & Run – Brooklyn Heights
This completely fenced in dog park is HUGE! A-Rod probably couldn’t even hit a ball out of this park. If your dog loves to run and run far, this is definitely your park. The only down side is that the traffic noise is pretty loud, lying right next to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Brooklyn dog owner and trainer Sarah Westcott explains, “My favorite New York City dog run is in Brooklyn Heights, called Hillside Dog Run. It’s large, so it rarely feels crowded. There is also a separate section for small dogs so people who are afraid my 80 lb Labrador is too big for their teacup puppy can escape and feel safe.”
#2 Washington Square Dog Park & Run – Greenwich Village
One of the most famous parks in New York is Washington Square, home to street performers, food stands, studying NYU students and more. Away from the center of the crowds (but close enough to hear some great musical performances) is the Washington Square dog run. It is surprisingly large, a good mix of dogs, and the scenery cannot be beat.
Lindsay Rondeau explains why this park is her favorite, “My boyfriend and I take our dog Henry to the Washington Square Park dog run. We like if for a number of reasons. For us, there is a great energy in Washington Square Park. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a live band playing in the park, NYU tours or guys hustling to play some chess. The dog run itself is enjoyable for us because there are a lot of “regulars” you see at the park and they are friendly. There is plenty of seating for everyone. Even during peak times there is always a bench that you can sit at, if you so choose. There is also benches with shade, for hot summer days.”
“For Henry our dog, it’s a good size for him to run. He just turned 1, so he still has a lot of puppy energy that he needs to get out. There is a separate area for smaller dogs. Plenty of dog bowls and water for him. Likewise with regular owners, there are dogs that are regular that Henry has made friends with and plays with them on a regular basis. It’s a good social environment for him. Some city parks are paved over which can tear up the dogs feet. But this surface is dirt and gravel which is much kinder to their paws as they bolt around the park.”
#1 Tompkins Square Dog Park & Run – East Village
BellaDOG Magazine has picked Tompkins Square Dog Park & Run to be our #1 Best Dog Park in New York City for 2011! With small and large dog runs, this park has tons of seating, large shaddy trees, and tons of action going on. Humans and dogs can socialize and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Bethany Mallett a resident of the East Village explains, “My fiance and I take our bulldog to Tompkins Square dog run, which was the first dog run opened by the cities parks department. It is a great dog run with a strong community that takes pride in the dog run. The East Village is also a great neighborhood, because there is East River Park as an alternative to Tompkins. Although it does not have a dog run, it is an excellent park to run or ride your bike with your dog on leash.”