Dogs are lovable. Unfortunately, not everybody loves dogs, hence the law requiring dogs to be on leashes. City living can make it hard to own a dog because of the lack of space for dogs to get exercise (hello! you should see the apartment that I live in and the size of my Siberian Husky).Thankfully, San Francisco is full of dog lovers, which is why the city has designed a number of off-leash dog parks for our furry friends. Off-leash dog parks allow owners the opportunity to spend time with other dog owners, be outdoors, and give their dogs an open space for physical activity. If you are a San Franciscan like myself that loves to spend time running in the parks with your dog, then you will understand why these three dog parks are the most dog-friendly in all of San Francisco:
Bernal Heights Off Leash Dog Park
At Bernal Heights and Esmerelda
By far the largest and most popular dog park, Bernal Heights dog park is great for dogs and their owners to get exercise! Located on a rocky, steep hill, this park is accessible by single track trails that can be hiked uphill for an hour without having to retrace any steps. It’s perfect for cross-country runners and their dogs to get a great uphill workout. In addition to the nature trails, there are paved trails, grassy knolls, and amazing views of the city. There is a parking lot located at the Folsom street entrance on Bernal Heights Avenue.
Crocker Amazon Off Leash Dog Park
At Geneva and Moscow
In the Northern section of the 1.8 acre Crocker Amazon park lies an unfenced, no-leash required dog park. It sits next to the inspiring community garden which houses more fruits and vegetables than one person can handle. The dogs that frequent this dog park are a part of a tight knit community and they ask that newcomers have a strong voice command with their dog. With that said, the views are wonderful and the area is large and open for dogs to play fetch with or interact with other furry friends.
Alta Plaza Off Leash Dog Park
At Steiner and Clay Street
One of the favorites in the city, this dog park integrates a love for exercise with the camaraderie of same-breed dog owners. The first Sunday of every month is Pug Day, which celebrates the little monsters by inviting all pugs and their owners to come and have a great doggy day. Alta Plaza is a multi-tiered park that takes up an entire city block and dedicates the east portion of the park to off-leash dog interaction. The other half allows dogs, but with the leash on. This is a favorite of many, as it offers panoramic views of the city, is central to most neighborhoods, and has an array of non-doggy activities too (think tennis and basketball courts).
While these three are the most popular and dog friendly off-the-leash dog parks in San Francisco, there are over 50 off-the-leash dog parks in the city. Check out the dog parks in the Golden Gate, Mission, and Cole Valley regions too. They provide ample running space, trails, gardens, and open grass for dogs and people to coexist happily.