Every Dog Has Its Day at Off-Leash Dog Parks Around Tacoma

The last thing you want to find during a home inspection is a surprise visitor — especially one of the biting variety.

 

By Margo Greenman

oly orthoSee Spot run. That’s easier said than done for dog-loving city dwellers. With limited space to romp and run, dogs — and their owners — need wide open spaces where they can stretch their legs freely. Throughout Tacoma and even Pierce County’s more wooded suburbs, a handful of off-leash dog parks exist for dogs to run, fetch and even socialize with their own kind.

If you’ve never been to an off-leash dog park before, there are a few things you should know before you go. First, remember that it is required by the Tacoma Municipal Code to keep your dog on its leash until inside the designated off-leash area. Once inside the designated area of the park, dogs are free to roam, play and interact with other dogs, so long as your dog remains friendly and doesn’t get out of control. Be respectful of other park-goers and their dogs by keeping a watchful eye on your own four-legged friend, and always be sure to clean up after your dog. Most off-leash dog parks in the area come equipped with fountains, dog bags and Sani Cans, but it’s never a bad idea to bring along your own supplies.

With 7 acres for dogs to roam, the off-leash dog park at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is a popular destination for dogs and their humans. Photo credit: Sarah Leslie.
With 7 acres for dogs to roam, the off-leash dog park at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is a popular destination for dogs and their humans. Photo credit: Sarah Leslie.

The most important rule to remember while at the area’s off-leash dog parks is to have fun. With acres upon acres of grass and the occasional lake, creek or wooded trail, spending an active day with your dog in the outdoors is just a short drive away.

Wapato Park
Located in South Tacoma, Wapato Park offers three fully fenced areas for your pup to roam. Whether your dog is big or small, you can feel safe bringing fido to this dog park as there is one fenced area reserved just for your tiny toy or teacup, with two more fenced areas designed with larger dogs in mind. Wapato also features shelters and benches for when you need to take a break or get in from out of the rain.

Wapato Park
South Sheridan Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98408

McKinley Park
Boasting 7-acres fenced just for fido, downtown dwellers can let their dogs run free, knowing that they’ll be safe from nearby traffic on I-5. The off-leash area of McKinley Park is located in the lower section of the park. When you’re ready to stretch your legs and go exploring, leash your dog and hit the trails on McKinley Park’s remaining 21 acres.

McKinley Park
907 Upper Park St.
Tacoma, WA 98404

Point Defiance Park
As the largest Urban Park in Pierce County, it would only be appropriate for this massive natural area to include a place for your pup to play, no leash required. Located at the former site of Madrona Day Camp on the Five Mile Drive, Point Defiance Park offers a 7-acre off-leash dog park for dogs of all sizes, with a small area designated for small dogs. There are three parking lots located at the off-leash area, or park-goers can park at the Fort Nisqually Picnic Area for a quick, leashed stroll before entering the park.

Point Defiance Park
5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407

If you don't have room in your backyard to play fetch, Pierce County's many dog parks offer acres upon acres of open spaces for dogs to play.
If you don’t have room in your backyard to play fetch, Pierce County’s many dog parks offer acres upon acres of open spaces for dogs to play.

Rogers Park
Just over 10 years ago, Rogers Park became the first off-leash dog park in Tacoma. Today, the park continues to serve its four- and two-legged visitors. The park feature a 1 and 1/2-acre, fully fenced play area, drinking fountains, benches and a shelter. There is even a community garden!

Rogers Park
3151 East L St.
Tacoma, WA 98404

Fort Steilacoom Park
Just beyond Tacoma in Lakewood exists the massive 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park. Here, 22 acres are devoted to dogs, with fenced in areas for both small and big dogs, walking trails, water stations, scoop bags, and even an on-site porta potty for humans. Even if you don’t live nearby, the off-leash dog park at Fort Steilacoom Park is worth a visit.

Fort Steilacoom Park
8714 87th Ave SW
Lakewood, WA 98498

Clark’s Creek Park
Clark’s Creek Park, with four lighted tennis courts, one lighted softball field, exercise trails, on-site restrooms, a creek and open play area, is a local favorite. Recently, the park has expanded to include a 2/3-acre off-leash dog park, a perfect pit-stop to let your dog run wild after exploring the the park’s trails.

Clark’s Creek Park
7th Ave SW and 18th St SW
Puyallup, WA 98371

Dacca Park
With limited wild and outdoor spaces in Fife, Dacca Park is a central hub for outdoor recreation. Flat walking trails, picnic areas and two ponds make the park a great place to get out and stroll with your dog on leash, but head to the park’s fenced-in, off-leash area and your dog will be in puppy paradise.

Dacca Park
54th Ave E.
Fife, WA 98424

Let your dog have its day at one of the region's many off-leash dog parks. Photo credit: Sarah Leslie.
Let your dog have its day at one of the region’s many off-leash dog parks. Photo credit: Sarah Leslie.

Chambers Bay
University Place’s popular Chambers Bay has recently grown to include an off-leash dog park thanks to the non-profit SUNDogs. SUNDogs’ mission is to “promote socially responsible pet ownership through the creation of a Safe, Unleashed Natural dog park where well-behaved canine citizens and their owners can exercise, socialize and play in an environmentally friendly, well maintained space.” Well done, SUNDogs.

Chambers Bay
6320 Grandview Dr. W
University Place, WA 98467

Tubby’s Trail Dog Park
Named after the sole victim of the 1940 Narrows Bridge collapse, Tubby’s Trail Dog Park pays homage to Tubby, the black cocker spaniel who lost his life that fateful day. Today, small dogs like Tubby can roam leash-free in the small dog area, or his bigger canine kin can enjoy the same activities in the larger dog area. Parking, dog bags and Sani Cans are all avaiable on-site.

Tubby’s Trail Dog Park
1701 14th Ave NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Print Friendly, PDF & Email