3 Seattle parks that will make you and your dog happy


One foot in front of the other

If you adopted a pet during the coronavirus pandemic, you are one of the many Seattle area residents who have added a furry friend to their family. I also adopted a puppy in June, a husky doberman mix named Korra. I knew having a dog would help improve my mental health, but it also helped me come out more, which I’m grateful for as the pandemic continues.

One of my favorite ways to get us out of the house is to take her to parks where we both can have fun. Korra loves to run and play, so a place where she can be off leash and meet lots of new friends is a dream for her. But taking her out also allows me to enjoy the fresh air, stretch my legs, and get a huge serotonin boost as I watch Korra and a pack of other cute dogs play hard.

Here are three of Korra’s favorite parks in the Seattle area that offer a great walk in off-leash dog park areas, but also have extra paths and trails for more exercise and exploration. Plus, all three parks have a separate fenced area for small dogs so no puppy is left behind!

Golden gardens

8498 Seaview Place NW, Seattle; 206-684-4075; seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/golden-gardens-park

The off-leash area of ​​Golden Gardens in Ballard is 1 acre and has flat, raised parts for your dog to run around freely.

The park also has obstacle course equipment like hurdles and a ramp if you want to practice agility with your pooch. However, if your dog is like mine, other dogs and people will be much more attractive.

If you want to walk outside of the off-leash area, there are a few trails around the park and a path adjacent to the beach which allows for a short scenic walk. However, dogs are not allowed on Seattle beaches, so keep that in mind when visiting.

Note that the off-leash areas and the beach have separate parking lots, so you’ll need to walk or drive between them. If you are walking from the dog park there is a staircase down to a closed street. From there, a few steps to the right will lead you to a short tunnel that opens onto the beach.

Magnuson Park

7400 Sand Point Road NE, Seattle; 206-684-4946; seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/magnuson-park

Korra splashes with a stick in the beach portion of the off-leash area of ​​Magnuson Park.  (Yasmeen Wafai / The Seattle Times)

Magnuson Park’s off-leash area is 8.6 acres and what sets it apart from others on this list is the dog-only beach! This park is flat, so you don’t have to worry about hills or stairs like the other two parks.

The park has both gravel and grass areas for playing and, because it’s so spacious, it’s good for social distancing.

While your dog can workout on their own in the main area of ​​the park, there is a short path that leads down to the beach for even more fun where dogs can splash around and swim. Keep in mind that this part of the park is smaller and can get crowded on weekends.

If you like to completely spoil your dog, this park also has a Seattle Barkery treat trailer in the parking lot from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Outside of the off-leash area, there are several trails to choose from in the park, including the Beach Walk with a view of Lake Washington.

Woodland park

1000 N. 50th St., Seattle; 206-684-4075; seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/woodland-park

As in Golden Gardens, the off-leash area of ​​Woodland Park also spans 1 acre and has an elevated portion. When we visited most of the dogs seemed to be having fun at the top of the hill, but there was also a lot of space below.

There are a lot of trees in this park, which makes it a serene place to immerse yourself. I imagine it is also a nice shady hideaway in the summer.

It is important to note that the Woodland Park parking lots are closed, so you will need to park somewhere nearby. On our recent visit we parked near West Green Lake Way North and North 63rd Street and drove a short distance to the dog park.

Due to the park’s proximity to Green Lake, it is of course possible to walk there, but it tends to get crowded, so it’s not the best place for social distancing. There are also paths in Woodland Park which were pretty empty even when we visited on a Saturday.


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