Waggles Favorites - Tampa Bay's Top 5 Dog Parks
Tampa Bay, the beautiful peninsula on a peninsula of Florida. It's beginning to warm up across the state; the palms are beginning to glimmer in that glow of Spring time sun, the birds are chirping, and our dogs are ready to play.
If you're gearing up for some serious play dates with your pet this summer, we have a few places we recommend you and your furry friend visit! Florida boasts a ton of local nature preserves, family parks, and dog parks for you to check out. You and your pups can run laps, hike down a trail, play around with other pups, or take a stroll down the beach.
1. Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, New Port Richey
Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park has 8,000 acres of nature trails that you can enjoy with your pet. Trails are both paved and unpaved. The paved paths tend to have more bikers but both are appropriate for working up a nice sweat with your pet. You can expect tall trees and plenty of shady nooks to stop off for water and a rest.
Since this park is so massive, you and your pet will likely not encounter anything besides some pure Florida nature and wild life.
Dogs are allowed only in day-use area only, and must be on leash no more than six feet in length. Owners are requested to pick up after dogs and there is usually at $2.00 parking fee.
Hours: Open 7 days a week from dawn ti dusk.
2. Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde
Ready for a day at the beach? Your pup is too! Check out Fort De Soto Park, located in Tierra Verde Florida. The largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, Fort De Soto park consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands. These keys are home to an enchanting variety of beach plants and wild life, and access to the warm blue lapping waves of the gulf.
This is also one of the few parks where you can walk directly on the beach with your pet and they can cool down with a nice swim in the sea. This park also features two other fenced in sections near the beach for large and small dogs to run around, that include water stations. You also don't have to keep your pet on a leash except for when entering and exiting the park.
While adventuring with your pet this Spring, don't forget to keep them hydrated! Bringing a portable dog water bowl is vital as not all dog parks provide stations for your pet to drink at. We also recommend preparing with a water filter for your pet too. One of those most common ways pet's share bacteria and disease is through communal water bowls at parks. Having your own pet dish or a water filter with you makes this a non-issue. We suggest the Go Pure - Pet Water Purifier to keep your pet hydrated and healthy during your outings! The GoPure Pod continuously purifies and enhances your pet's water on the go ensuring clean, healthy, and great tasting water.
Hours: Open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to dusk
Fort De Soto Park is located at:
3500 Pinellas Bayway S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33715
3. Enterprise Dog Park, Clearwater
This massive park features everything your pup could want for. A blend of open fields, canopied outcroppings of trees, walking trails, and places to play around with their fellow canines.
There are plenty of doggy water fountains conveniently located throughout the park, a rinse station for if your pup gets a little dirty while playing around, waste dispensers, picnic tables, and more! This is a very popular local park so you can count on seeing lots of fellow pet parents enjoying their day at the park.
- Monday - 9 a.m. to Sunset
- Tuesday through Thursday - Sunrise to Sunset
- Friday 11 a.m. to Sunset
- Saturday and Sunday - Sunrise to Sunset
Enterprise Dog Park is located at:
2671 Enterprise Road East
Clearwater, FL 3376
4. Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
This ideal little park sits on 240 acres and includes beautiful wooded picnic areas, playgrounds, bicycle and running trails, and even a fitness course. The park also has a 3,500 ft boardwalk and an observation tower. This location is perfect for a nice, long walk or run with your pup.
While you're getting some exercise you'll be able to soak up classic Florida vistas and views. You and the pup can get lost in good old Florida wilderness and soak up the beauty of Spring time.
There is $2.00 admission fee and dogs must be kept on a leash.
- Spring/Summer: 8 AM to 7 PM
- Fall/Winter: 8 AM to 6 PM
Lettuce Lake Park is Located at:
6920 E Fletcher Ave,
Tampa, FL, US, 33637
5. Al Lopez Dog Park, Tampa
This spacious Tampa Park gives your pet an opportunity to run free aimlessly as long as they like. With two areas for exploring, your pet can come along with you on-leash as you explore this gigantic park, or off-leash in one of the two fenced dog parks. Dog parks include separate area for both large and small dogs.
There are convenient shady benches for owners to sit and relax while their pups go play within the fenced in areas. They also provide 2 doggy water drinking stations for your pups to hydrate up at as well. Occasionally this park can get a little flooded and damp during the rainy season so make sure to be prepared when bringing your pet!
Hours: Open from dawn til dusk.
4810 N Himes Ave,
Tampa, FL, US, 33614
We hope you have a blast with your pet this Spring, wherever you're located but if you happen to be in the Tampa Bay area, we hope you found this list helpful and go adventure with your pet! If any of you have suggestions of other great parks in your area, let us know! We'll be sure to include it on our next list!