On our last international trip, we came home with a new addition to our family: our dog Tamale!
As we don't have a backyard, we are extremely grateful for the many green spaces, parks, hiking trails, and dog parks in and close to the city. As a part of our newest series, Dogsburgh, featuring all of the dog friendly places in Pittsburgh, we turn our attention to a popular spot for dog lovers and their four-legged friends: dog parks.
Our quest to find the best dog parks in the city is currently underway, and a selection of our favorites are featured below. As we explore more of the city and find unique parks to add, you can be certain this list will be updated!
Riverview Park in Perry North
Riverview Park is located on the North Side next to Allegheny Observatory, and the dog park is located right where the wooded trails begin just behind the observatory. With a view of the observatory one one side, and wood surrounding on the other, this dog park offers gorgeous scenery, a quiet atmosphere, and the occasional deer that likes to walk up to the fence- much to the dismay of the dogs.
There are two separate fenced in areas at this park, one for small dogs and one for larger dogs, but most people seem to hang out in the big dog area anyway. The big dog section is located on a fairly steep hill so expect to spend some time chasing your dog and his/her toys during a visit.
Riverfront Park in South Side
Riverfront dog park is located along the South Side Riverfront Trail, making it a great stopping point for wearing your dog out completely if a walk or run on the trail just isn't quite cutting it. The park is also located right next to an impressive steelworkers sculpture called “The Workers”, which adds a bit of beauty to the otherwise empty area.
This park features separate fenced in areas for small dogs and large dogs much like at Riverview Park, but due to its location there isn't much shade to be found during the heat of the day as well as limited seating. A perk of this park is that it is close to dog-friendly Double Wide Grill, great if you are looking to eat out after exploring the trails with your four-legged friend.
Sewickley Heights Borough Park
Sewickley Heights Borough Park is one of the most unique dog parks in the Pittsburgh area. This park is over 1,000 acres of varied landscapes including open fields and wooded trails- and it is permissible to keep your dog off-leash throughout the park! The only exceptions are that you must leash your dog within 100 feet of any parking lot or public building, and within areas designated by signs as “leash only” areas.
It is important to note that the trails in the park are shared by dog walkers, hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders, so it is essential that you have voice control over your dog at all times. During our recent visit, we kept our dog on a leash while hiking which caused some issues when off-leash dogs approached her. Therefore, we recommend this park only for those who have extremely obedient dogs that they can trust off leash (or otherwise go during off-hours or on lesser visited trails).
The trails are marked with their names on wooden posts, and the only way to get a map of the trails is from the Borough Office either in person or via mail ($5) or take a photo of the one posted map at the main parking lot at the end of Hallaway Road. Nevertheless, we were able to park along the road prior to the lot and snake our way through a few miles of trails without getting lost. The area is beautiful and we highly recommend making the trek out here.
Bellevue Dog Woods
Bellevue Dog Woods is a beautiful dog park is located in Bellevue Memorial Park that just opened in 2013 that features both a big dog and small dog area. Both areas are completely fenced in and the big dog area's interior is half wooded while the other half is open, making it a great place for your furry family member to explore but not ideal for those whose dogs are prone to go wandering out of eyesight.
In addition to the wooded roaming space, the big dog area at this park features a man-made pond with flowing water for splashing around in if your dog is so inclined, a seasonal water spigot, as well as a fairly robust obstacle course- although getting our dog to try these is nothing short of impossible.
North Side Dog Park
North Side dog park is located in Allegheny Commons Park on the North Side adjacent to Lake Elizabeth (now drained and empty) with a slight view of the downtown skyline. Although there is no fence, most dogs seem to naturally understand the area in which they are supposed to play. There are lots of regulars here and the first few times we visited it was somewhat intimidating being the outsider. But over time we've grown to love this amazing community of people and dogs, and visiting this spot is a highlight of our day.
There is no water here and no amenities, and the occasional grouchy passerby, but the dog owners are friendly and always willing to share whatever you need. The area can get quite muddy or dusty depending on recent weather conditions, so plan accordingly!
Keep checking back as we will continue to add our thoughts on other Pittsburgh dog parks, as well as entries into the dog-friendly businesses and other great things to do with your dog in and around the city!
Have a favorite dog park in Pittsburgh that you'd like to share? Comment below to let us know about it. Be sure to also share your favorite local dog photos on our #dogsburgh hash-tag on social media!
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