Dog Parks! Where to Take Your Best Friend for a Local Romp in Raleigh

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association over 38% of households have a furry family member. Thanks to this rising statistic, dog parks have become some of the most popular additions to cities around the country. They provide a safe, enclosed area for dogs to exercise and socialize with other dogs – you might even do some socializing yourself! The Triangle area has several enclosed, off-leash dog parks to bring your pup, and we’ve highlighted some of our favorites below. Remember, some towns require registration and fees to use the parks, so be sure to do your research before venturing out. *Some dog parks close down water spigots during the winter to preserve the pipes, so come prepared with your own “woof-reshments”!

Millbrook Exchange Park

*Favorite of The Amy Bonis Mortgage Team member Madison Bryant*

Notable: human and dog water fountains, picnic tables, benches, shelter, agility equipment, lights, woodchips

As Raleigh’s oldest dog park, Millbrook Exchange opened in April 2003 providing a place where dogs can run around leash-free. This dog park is located inside the Millbrook Exchange Park and has three separated areas for dogs of all sizes and abilities: a large/energetic space, a small/elderly area, and a fenced, double-gated picnic shelter area between the two. This park is also lit up at nighttime for safety and convenience.

Carolina Pines Community Dog Park

Notable: dog climbing platform, wood chip base, natural shade, picnic tables, water tap for dogs, lighting at night

Carolina Pines Community Dog Park has three separately fenced areas- one for large dogs, one for small dogs, and one specifically for training. This park has lots of natural shade to stay cool in the summer, and it’s easy to find parking. The play-spaces are large and open with almost four acres of land for your pup to run around and get out some energy before laying at your feet when you get home.  

Flaherty Dog Park

Notable: picnic tables, water stations, pet cleanup stations, double gated entry, grass cover 

With two acres of space for you to run your pup, Flaherty Dog Park is a local favorite. There is a small walking trail that goes by a pond, and parking is a cinch. This park recently underwent major renovations including new fences and gates that are self-closing, grading to ensure smooth surfaces and adequate water drainage, hardwood chipping of surfaces as needed, and a new configuration to include tree-shaded areas.  

Piney Wood Dog Park

Notable: all dogs must be registered with the DPR annually, benches, kiosks, dedicated parking lot, waste bag dispenser, water fountain, shaded areas

A local favorite, Piney Wood is a huge park giving your pup plenty of room to run around and play. There are separated areas for small and large dogs with plenty of friendly locals to chat with while your pooch makes their own friends. There is also a separate “program area” that is open to all but can be utilized for special playgroups or organized activities.

Ashley Wilder Dog Park at Knightdale Station Park

Notable: well-maintained grounds, large rocks for extra sniffs, water available right outside the gate

Ashley Wilder Dog Park underwent recent renovations to repair the drainage system, fixing the muddy situation that many dog owners were dealing with. There are two areas for both small and large dogs in the spacious park so that dogs of all sizes and energy levels can enjoy themselves. Many owners and dogs have formed friendships and set regular playdates at this park.

Oakwood Dog Park

Notable: water tap for dogs, benches, picnic tables, natural shade, wood chips, well-maintained by volunteers

This is a neighborhood off-leash dog park with provided toys, plenty of fresh water buckets, and friendly dog owners to chat with. There are two fully-fenced areas for dogs of any size and energy level – even a play space for the elderly, small, and shy pups.

Northgate Dog Park

Notable: all dogs must be registered with the DPR annually, benches, water access, waste bag dispenser, dedicated parking lot

Located on the north side of Northgate Park off Lavender Avenue, this dog park features two enclosed areas – one for small dogs and one for large dogs. This dog park is located in a flood plain, so if you go after a particularly rainy time, be sure to bring towels in the car for your muddy pup after playtime.