You don’t have to be a dog whisperer to know canines like the outdoors, most especially if they’ve been cooped up in a tiny, hot apartment all day. Even for those who have a dogwalker, who can resist the the unbridled joy one gets from watching Fido frolic, sans leash, with his little poochie colleagues in the open?
New York City is full of great dog walks, runs and parks. City parks have four designations for dogs: no dogs allowed, dogs on leash, off-leash and dog runs. There also are many great running courses for you and your best friend. Nevertheless, given all the different types of dogs and dog owners, preferences vary widely.
Manhattan Dog Run Picks
Tompkins Square Park Dog Run
9th St. path in Tompkins Square Park (between Avenues A & B)
New York, NY 10003
This extremely large area has three bone-shaped doggie pools, a crushed granite surface and a very convenient dog wash near the exit so Fido won’t track any schmutz back to your apartment. It’s open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days-a-week.
Sir William’s Dog Run
Inside Fort Tryon Park
Broadway & 192nd St.
New York, NY 10040
One of the oldest dog runs in the city, this site has close to an acre of fenced-in open area for dogs to roam under shady trees. There is a separate area for small dogs. On the first Sunday of each month, owners share coffee and doughnuts in a special gathering. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.
Tom’s Dog Run
Chelsea Waterside Park
11th Ave and West 24th St.
New York, NY 10011
The rock formations and fallen tree bridge really work to make this run unique in New York City. It was originally located at 22nd St., but was moved due to the renovation of Chelsea’s Waterside Park.
Madison Square Park
East 24th St. at Fifth Ave
NY, NY 10010
Named “Best Place to Ogle Others’ Dogs” by the Village Voice, this is one makes everyone’s favorite dog run list. Recently renovated, the run is rarely crowded, always clean and the dog owners here keep to themselves.
Dog Run 105
105th St. in Riverside Park (near Riverside Dr.)
New York, NY 10025
With water for people and pets, this well-designed area has a crushed-stone surface. Volunteers organize events throughout the year. During summer months, there’s a wet bar across the promenade at the Hudson Beach Cafe. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.
Best City Park in Manhattan for Dogs
Dogs are welcome in Central Park. Though there are no enclosed dog runs, there are 23 particularly dog-friendly areas scattered throughout the Park.
Dogs are prohibited from many areas like the ballfields, Sheep Meadow or Strawberry Fields; see centralparknyc.org/assets/pdfs/dogfriendlyareas.pdf for more details.
Dogs and their owners can enjoy much of the Park off-leash before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m. For more: centralparknyc.org/visit/general-info/dogs-in-the-park/
Brooklyn Dog Run Picks
Hillside Dog Park
Columbia Heights & Vine St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Natural wood chips made from recycled tree pruning plus 24 large trees to keep this 2-acre run shady in the summer. Owners can lounge on circular benches or at picnic tables. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.
Owl’s Head Park
68th Street and Shore Road.
Brooklyn, NY 11220
Almost 10 years old, this run was co-created by the Parks Department and a group called “Friends & Neighbors of Owl’s Head Park.” It’s not extremely large, but it’s located near one of the city’s best views overlooking New York Harbor.
Best City Park in Brooklyn for Dogs
Prospect Park is a dog’s paradise, with wide-open spaces to roam. There’s even a place for dogs to swim: the Long Meadow Dog Beach at the Pools.
Off-leash hours are now established, and to preserve this privilege we ask that you keep dogs leashed at all other times.
For more: prospectpark.org/visit/activities/dog_walking
Bronx Dog Run Picks
Canine Court at Van Cortlandt Park
Van Cortlandt Park
W. 252nd St. & Broadway (enter on the path on 252nd St. and go left)
Bronx, NY 10471
Not only does this park provide a spacious running spot, there’s a canine agility playground with teetertotter, hurdles, tunnels and, for puppies to use, a hanging tire. While up in Van Cortlandt Park make sure to take advantage of the great hiking trails. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.
W. 232nd St. & Independence Ave.
Bronx, NY 10463
The location is very good for medium-size dogs and gives them room to roam in the fenced in run. There’s also plenty of sunshine on summer days and not so much shade. Seton Park’s isn’t just an exercise yard for dogs — it offers soccer and baseball fields, plus tennis and basketball courts so owners can stay in shape as well. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.
Queens Dog Run Picks
Little Bay Park Dog Run
Cross Island & Utopia Parkways
Queens, NY 11360
This mulch dog run is certain to become a hot spot for pets. Another truly scenic dog park, one side of the park is bordered by water, so it’s spectacular view of the Throgs Neck Bridge that people & dogs alike can wonder at. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.
Shore Blvd and Astoria Park South.
Queens, NY 11102
Though it seems to be part of Astoria Park, this spacious dog run is actually just outside the park. Maintained by its users, not by parks officials, it’s located in the shadow of the Triborough Bridge. This run has nice views of Upper Manhattan and Wards Island.
Staten Island Dog Run Picks
Silver Lake Park
Victory Blvd. (below the pavilion, across from Parkview Apartments)
Staten Island, NY 10301
A large open area with benches for owners, there are water fountains close, so bring a container for Snoopy. Besides the run, Silver Lake Park includes a reservoir, tennis courts and a public golf course. The run’s hours vary with the sun: Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to dusk, and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to dusk.
Wolfe’s Pond Park Dog Run
End of Huguenot & Chester Aves.
Staten Island, NY 10312
Benches for owners and lush woodlands surround this lovely park on the south side of Staten Island. There are tons of of trees, and like Prospect Park, there’s also a Fido beach. The park is open from sunrise to 1 a.m.