The nation’s capital is surprisingly pup friendly, with numerous trails, parks and national grounds to walk your dog. The old, beautiful parks are a great place for you to meet other dog walkers, too -- some places, like Lincoln Park in the Eastern Market neighborhood are genuine social events after work! Here are our favorite places for dog walking in the District of Columbia.
Take Your Dog On A Walk In These 8 Beautiful D.C. Places
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1. National Mall
The National Mall in downtown D.C. isn’t just a national park that attracts hordes of people each year. It’s also a flocking ground for locals and their dogs. Ideal for those who’ve already seen the monuments -- pets are not allowed in the indoor or covered areas -- the mall is about a two-mile stretch of land where folks can take a stroll, go for a run, play a game of frisbee or have a picnic. While dogs must be kept on a leash, as per National Park Service rules, the Mall attracts an exceptionally pup friendly crowd, and walkers can carry their pets to all the outdoor monuments including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
2. National Arboretum
The National Arboretum is a living museum of plants that also welcomes pets. Dogs are permitted on the rugged trails around the 446-acre arboretum, or walkers can stick to the nine miles of paved roads within the facility. Pets must be leashed, but the sights and scents of the grounds will keep Fido -- and his owner -- pleasantly occupied. Free admission and parking is another plus, as well as the fact the National Arboretum is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas Day.
3. S Street Dog Park
Let your pooch roam free in this fenced-in property on New Hampshire Avenue. The turf-covered ground is easy on the paws, and is great for keeping the dogs clean. There’s a water hose to keep the dogs cool, and benches lining the edge of the parks for the owners. It’s the perfect size to let your dogs run free without losing sight of them. A prime location for those living in DuPont Circle, Adams Morgan or 14th Street, S Street Dog Park is a small oasis in the big city.
4. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
Located in Northeast D.C., this is a place dogs and their walkers can take a scenic river trail, saunter through the gardens or stroll along the boardwalk. Open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk, this National Park Service site is abundant with beautiful aquatic gardens that will take your keep your eyes and feet on the move. Pets must be kept on a leash, for the safety of the birds that nest on the grounds. As much as pets might enjoy chasing the meadow larks or hens that romp the grounds, they’ll find plenty of ponds, marshland flowers and exotic plants to explore.
5. Meridian Hill Park
This spacious park has it all -- the longest cascading fountain in North America, interesting statues and plenty of space to walk your dog. There are paved pathways for a stroll, as well as a flat expanse of grass for romping around. Meridian Hill is an under-visited park for those looking for green spaces in D.C..
6. Bundy Dog Park
Another place dogs can roam freely is Bundy Dog Park in Northwest D.C.. Owners can bring their pups to play off-leash in a fenced-in area within the Shaw neighborhood. The park is lined with fake crass, and is long enough for dogs to get their exercise. It’s open every day at 7 a.m., and closes at dusk.
7. Lincoln Park
This popular dog-friendly park is just one mile away from the U.S. Capitol. It includes two children’s playgrounds, a looping dirt path and a large, unfenced area for dogs to play. The shady trees in the middle provide plenty of cover, while the sunny spots along the edges are ideal for sunbathers. Dog walkers are advised to keep their pets on a leash.
8. Langdon Dog Park
Langdon Dog Park boasts a community-like atmosphere that holds events throughout the year such as the Pooch Spooktakular, Pooch parade and park cleanup. There are two sections within the dog park, one for smaller dogs and another for larger dogs. Benches and picnic tables scattered throughout provide ample room for owners to sit and rest, while a dogs can cool off at the dog fountain. In addition, dog walkers have access to a skate park, recreation center and basketball court located within.
This article was written by Hanna Choi.