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Best dog parks in Minneapolis

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Created by Jane E, WriterAccess talent

Jane E
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Dogs are such loyal and loving creatures. They truly deserve a few hours to run free and enjoy some playtime with their canine buddies. Fortunately for Minneapolis canines, the city has a number of excellent dog parks where they can do just that, including these six awesome off-leash areas: 

Minnehaha Dog Park

Known locally as the River Dog Park, the Minnehaha Off-Leash Park is six acres of heaven for canines. The expansive off-leash area offers dogs a variety of terrain to explore, including a sandy beach on the Mississippi River and wooded trails. The Minnehaha Off-leash Dog Park is not only the largest in the city but is also considered by many to be one of the best.

Owners will want to bring towels with them as there’s a good chance their dogs will be getting wet and possibly muddy while visiting this park. And because this park is so large, it’s also important that dogs be well trained and have good recall, Otherwise, an owner may have a difficult time tracking their dogs in the woods.

The entrance to the Minnehaha Dog Park is located at East 54th Street and Hiawatha Avenue. Daily or annual permits are required to visit the dog park, which is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. 

Lake of the Isles Dog Park

This is a completely fenced-in, 1.87-acre dog park that has a separate area for smaller dogs. It is located in the 200-acre Lake of the Isles Park. In addition to the dog park, Lake of the Isles also includes an engineered lake, an ice skating rink, a fishing pier, and walking and biking paths. The dog park is located on the south side of the lake and next to the soccer field, between West Lake of the Isles Parkway and West Lake Street.

Most of the dog park’s footing is mulch. And while there are bowls in the dog park, there is no water supply. So, to be on the safe side, owners should bring their own. Daily or annual permits are required to use the park, and dogs must be licensed. Handlers can only bring three dogs each, max, to the park. The Lake of the Isles Dog Park, which is located at 2845 W. Lake of the Isles Parkway, is open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily, and it does have lights.  

Franklin Terrace Off-Leash Dog Park

Canines will love romping in the fully fenced-in Franklin Terrace Off-Leash Dog Park. It is big enough that canines can easily run and have a good time but small enough that owners can keep an eye on their dogs. While the park does have a few community bowls, it does not have a source of water. So, owners need to bring their own water for their dogs. The footing in the Franklin Terrace Off-Leash Dog Park is a combination of wood chips and gravel.  

Franklin Terrace Off-Leash Dog Park is located at 925 Franklin Terrace, close to I-94, and has a second entrance on West River Parkway. It is part of Mississippi Gorge Regional Park, which also has walking trails for owners interested in getting a little exercise for themselves. This dog park is open from 6 a.m. to midnight, and daily and/or annual permits are required. The Franklin Terrace Off-Leash Dog Park is also located next to Riverside Park, which is one of the oldest parks in Minneapolis.

St. Anthony Parkway Off-Leash Dog Park 150

Pooches in the Columbia Park Neighborhood in need of a little off-leash fun should head to St. Anthony Parkway. This 2.17-acre off-leash park is fully fenced and well-maintained. It is located in the 180-acre Columbia Park, which also has a walking path for dogs who require additional exercise. This park does provide doggy waste bags, but there is no water source at this park. So, owners will need to bring their own supply. 

St. Anthony Dog Park, which is open from 6 a.m. to midnight, daily, is located across the street from the Columbia Park Golf Learning Center at 700 St. Anthony Parkway. Annual or daily permits are required to use the park, and dogs must be licensed. There is a limit of three dogs per owner/handler at this park. Handlers must always keep a close eye on their dogs and clean up after them while using the dog park.  

Victory Prairie Off-Leash Dog Park

This 2.62-acre park is located at 4701 Russell Avenue N., with entrances on Russell Avenue North and through Victory Prairie via Osseo Road. The Victory Prairie Off-Leash Dog Park is fully fenced and has two double-gated entrances to prevent canines from escaping. Bowls are available for community use, but the park does not have a source of water. So, handlers should bring their own water to ensure that their dogs won’t go thirsty. Kind souls have left chairs for patrons to use while their dogs enjoy some free time, and doggy waste bags are typically available.  

The Victory Prairie Off-Leash Park is open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily. Annual or daily passes are required to use the park, and dogs must be licensed. Children and dogs using this park must always be closely supervised by an adult, and there is a maximum of three dogs per handler. 

Loring Park Off-Leash Dog Park

This dog park has been a great addition for canine owners living in downtown Minneapolis. The Loring Dog Park can be found in the north corner of Loring Park. It has one double-gated entrance, and the footing is a mixture of artificial turf and gravel. Although the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board operates this facility, the grounds are actually maintained by a non-profit corporation called Dog Grounds, Inc. The park has a few amenities, including limestone boulders for dogs to climb on, as well as a few chairs for the owners.   

The street entrance for the dog park is located at Maple Street and Harmon Place, and metered parking is available on the street. Because this dog park is maintained by volunteers, handlers are strongly encouraged to clean up after their canines. In addition, dogs and children using the park must always be under the supervision of an adult.  

Bassett Creek Dog Park

Bassett Creek is an 80-acre park located in the City of Crystal, which is just about 10 miles from Minneapolis. With a name like Bassett Creek, it seems only fitting that this park would have an off-leash area for canines. And so, of course, it does. Completed in 2010, the Bassett Creek Dog Park provides canines with a place to cavort with other pooches. Its footing is a combination of wood chips and grass, and there is a waterspout that can be used to fill up the community bowls. Free doggy waste bags are also available at the Bassett Creek Dog Park, which is open daily from sunrise to 10:00 p.m. 

This park, which is free for all to use, is located at 6001 32nd Avenue N. and is open to dogs that are at least six months old. Canines must also have a current rabies vaccination tag affixed to their collar. 

Gateway Dog Grounds

Gateway Dog Grounds is located in downtown Minneapolis and is a fantastic collaboration between the city, which owns the park, and Dog Grounds, which built, maintains, and funds this off-leash area. Dog Grounds is a non-profit group that also maintains the Loring Park and North Loop dog parks.

Gateway Dog Grounds is a nice oasis for canines in the middle of the city. It has gravel footing for the dogs as well as miniature grass “ottomans” for the owners. Canines must have an Off-leash Park Permit, a Minneapolis pet license, and have had all of their vaccinations to use this park. Because Gateway Dog Grounds is maintained by volunteers, it is very important that visitors to this dog park clean up after their canines. Gateway Dog Grounds, which is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, can be found at 1099 S. 4th Avenue in Triangle Park. 

Minneapolis is for Dog Lovers

Dog lovers looking for a new condo, townhome, or single-family home in Minneapolis should work with a seasoned real estate professional. An experienced agent can help new buyers to find the perfect pup-friendly property and also advise them on the different financing options that may be available to them.  


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