Brooklyn dog parks your pup (and you) will love

Photo by Kendall Lane on Unsplash

New York is a dog-friendly city — except for the fact that most of us live in shoebox-sized apartments that are barely big enough for our own bodies, let alone an animal. Unless you’re a rare New Yorker who lives in a spacious home, getting out and about with your pup is important for both of you. Fortunately, there are several parks in Brooklyn where both humans and our canine friends can exercise, socialize, and enjoy the great outdoors.

McCarren Park
Located toward the south of the park near Driggs Ave. and N. 12th St., this fenced-in dog run allows pups to hang out and get to know each other. There are two sections: one for big dogs and one for smaller ones. Both are filled with dirt, so if your dog does some roughhousing, you may have to put her straight in the bath so your apartment doesn’t get roughed up too. The park is a short walk from the Saturday farmers’ market and from the center of Williamsburg, so go when you have time to explore afterward — if your dog isn’t too worn out from all that fun.

Prospect Park
Not only does Brooklyn’s biggest park allow dogs to run free in most areas before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., it has a dog beach. Renovated two summers ago, this area of the Pools is just a short walk down from 9th St. in Park Slope. If your pup loves to swim, take them there during off-leash hours so he or she can go for a dip before the area gets too crowded. In fact, there’s so much terrain for you and your furry friend to roam that you may feel like you’re taking a trip to the country without even leaving the city.

McGolrick Park
This small park in Greenpoint includes a great little dog run where you can hang out on a bench while your pup makes some new friends. There are sections for small and large dogs, both of which are filled with wood chips. Once you’re done playing, wander over to Greenpoint hot spot Enid’s, where you can dine al fresco while your pup naps under your chair.

Fort Greene Park

Yuna relaxing in Fort Greene Park. Photo by Mary Cella

This sizable park is good for people watching — and incredible for dog watching, especially if you go early in the morning. The park allows dogs to roam off-leash before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., so if you trust your pup to run free, take them here. Head to the big field at Dekalb Ave. and Washington Park early and get a coffee on your way, otherwise you won’t have enough energy to keep up with the dogs. This is where pups go to party (and play!) hard. There’s a farmer’s market at the edge of the park on Saturdays, so when your dog is worn out, head over and pick up some kale.

Brooklyn Bridge Park
This giant park that runs along Brooklyn’s waterfront has not one but two dog runs. The first, located near Pier 6, is filled with gravel and has plenty of seating for humans. Dogs of all sizes are allowed in the area, so if your little pup likes to play with the big dogs, this is the place for her.

The second dog run is located right under the Manhattan Bridge. It has separate spaces for small and large dogs, so it’s ideal for little pups that are scared of bigger dogs. The large dog area includes a cement mount which gives dogs plenty of room to run. The cement also cuts down on smells and ensures your dog won’t track up your apartment with dirt and mud.

Hillside Dog Park
Located at Vine St. and Columbia Heights on the border of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights, this is one of the biggest dog runs in the entire city. It takes up about two acres of land, so if you have an energetic pup that likes to run, this is the place to take them. The fenced-in park is in a nice little wooded area on a hill and the ground is a mix of dirt and wood chips, so it feels more like you’re in nature than most dog runs. There are separate sections for large and small dogs, plenty of shade, and in the summer there are even kiddie pools in case your pooch needs to cool down.

Maria Hernandez Park
Bushwick’s hippest park provides endless fashion inspiration — and a place for your dog to run free. At the north end of the park, near Irving and Willoughby Avenues, lies a gravel dog run. There are separate sections for large and small dogs, so take your pooch here and let him or her play the day away as you try to decide if you can pull off a crop top at your age (you can — no matter how old you are!).

Domino Park
Brooklyn’s newest park was designed with dogs in mind. It features a large fenced-in dog run with both turf and a concrete mound. There’s also plenty of seating for humans so you can sit and enjoy the spectacular views of Manhattan while your dog plays his little heart out.

Herbert Von King Park
This park, located between Lafayette and Greene Avenues in Bed-Stuy, has a real neighborhood vibe for both you and your pup to enjoy. There’s a dog run near the corner of Lafayette and Marcy Avenues, which includes a section for large dogs and one for smaller pups. Since there’s no size limit specified outside either section, however, some complain that it’s not a great place to take little dogs, especially if they’re easily intimidated by bigger dogs and don’t like to play rough.

Gerritsen Avenue Beach
Dogs aren’t allowed in the water at New York City’s public beaches, but leashed dogs are allowed to frolic on the sand at several, including Coney Island and Brighton Beach. This area on the edge of Sheepshead Bay allows dogs both on the sand and in the water. Though some complain it tends to be dirty (which could be said of any of NYC’s beaches but hey, we take what we can get), others insist it’s a great place to take your pup if he or she loves the beach. So if your dog is more fish than canine, lather yourself up in sunscreen and take them here before the water gets too cold.

What are your favorite dog-friendly parks? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. See more at Nooklyn Stories!