This past weekend showed us just how wonderful spring in Washington, D.C. can be: warm temperatures, gentle breezes and clear skies. The perfect conditions that make you want to head outdoors.
A lot of us, when we do leave the house, don’t do so alone. Many people in this area take with them their four-legged friends. Which is perfect, because this area is littered with parks for your litter (or just the one, if that’s all you have).
Way northwest of the city, past Germantown, Maryland is Black Hill Regional Park. The entire area is dog-friendly, and with scenic views of Little Seneca Lake and rolling hills, it’s the perfect place to take your dog for a leashed stroll. But when your friend wants to stretch his or her legs, there is also a quarter-acre, fenced-in dog park in the middle of Black Hill.
Closer to the city limits is the dog park at Wheaton Regional Park. The area there is a bigger than Black Hill, and is usually quite crowded on the evenings and weekends, with plenty of dogs for your pet to interact and play with.
In Hyattsville, you’ll find one of the area’s newest parks. The Heurich Dog Park opened in November 2009 at the intersection of Ager Road and Nicholson Street. It’s almost 33,000 square feet. And it doesn’t matter what size dog you have. There is a separate, fenced-in area for dogs under 25 pounds.
Inside the actual District, there are no shortage of places to play with your puppy.
One of the most popular in the town is the Shaw Dog Park, at the intersection of 11th and R Streets in Northwest. The park is approximately 15,000 square feet of crushed stone, completely fenced-in, with plenty of space for your pet to run around. And just like Huerich Dog Park in Hyattsville, there is a separate play area for little dogs, so they don’t get overwhelmed.
Also in D.C., but much less known is Battery Kemble park. This spot is in Foxhall and has one entrance, off of Chain Bridge Road. The small park is surrounded by several large hills, which your dogs can run up and down to their hearts content. But be careful. Although it is an off-leash park, it is not fenced-in, so make sure your little buddy isn’t interested in running away.
These parks are wonderful spots to take your dog, but they are all missing one thing every puppy loves to play in: water.
Luckily, Virginia has you covered. One of the most popular dog parks around, in South Arlington, is the Shirlington Dog Park. The long and narrow park stretches for over a quarter-mile, which you can walk down. Running alongside the park is Four Mile Run. All along the fence are gates for your dog to step out and into the water. Don’t worry, the banks on the other side of the stream are steep, keeping your puppy on the proper side.
But if you really want to see you best friend swim, then Glen Carlyn Park is the place to go. One of the best-kept secrets in the area, at the intersection Route 50 and Carlin Springs Road, is a two-acre, unfenced-in dog park with a 20-foot wide creek running through the middle.
Dogs have the run of the park, and the stream is deep enough in several spots for your puppy to swim about. But just like Battery Kemble, be sure your dog is responsive to you. The park is in the middle of a large forest, with plenty of distractions, from squirrels to ducks to deer. Which they definitely will love. It’s the perfect spot for any dog that needs to burn off energy from spending the day inside while you were at work during these upcoming beautiful spring, D.C. days.
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