The largest city in the beautiful state of Minnesota, Minneapolis is a very pet-friendly city, as evidenced by the scores of publicly and privately-owned parks in the region, most of which include miles and miles of dog walking trails and dog-centric attractions.
Some of these parks are actually categorized as “off-leash” parks—enclosed spaces where dogs can run and play without a leash, side by side with other dogs in a safe, controlled environment.
In this article we will highlight some of these off-leash play areas as we describe some of the Best Dog Parks in Minneapolis.
While dog parks exist in every major city these days, few can compare to the off-leash dog parks that dot the Minneapolis landscape.
Here you will find every type of dog park imaginable, from small neighborhood play zones to massive woodland areas that would take days to completely traverse.
So without further ado, here are some of the best and most popular dog parks in the beautiful city of Minneapolis.
High Bridge Dog Park
The High Bridge Dog Park has all the facilities and extras you would expect at a neighborhood dog park.
The off-leash play area, which is separated into two different sections to accommodate both large-breed and smaller-breed dogs, features 7 acres of free running and playing space for dogs, agility equipment like tunnels and bridges to explore, a water feature for cooling off during the warmer summer months, and plenty of drinking water is always on hand.
Pet waste stations, complete with poop bags, are scattered throughout the park; and there are plenty of benches situated around the exterior on which pet parents can watch their pooches play and socialize with other pups.
High Bridge Dog Park is located at 59 Randolph Ave in neighboring St. Paul, Minnesota.
The dog park is on the site of a former coal plant that was gifted to the city back in 2012 to be used as a safe space for dogs to play.
After extensive cleanup efforts by volunteers in the neighborhood, the park opened in late 2012 to great fanfare.
Since that time it has served as a prime get-together locale for pet parents throughout the city, and a source of great enjoyment for all of their four-legged companions.
Minnehaha Off-Leash Recreation Area
Located at 5399 South Minnehaha Park Drive, the Minnehaha Off-Leash Recreation Area is nirvana for the canine set, a place that includes everything dogs love and more.
The off-leash play area is part of the larger Minnehaha Park.
It is situated at the south end of the park and spans six acres in total—six acres of natural paradise that are sure to keep you coming back.
The Minnehaha Off-Leash Recreation Area features plenty of naturally-occurring water, logs, rocks and other obstacles, and is right in the middle of a woodland setting.
A well-marked path will take dogs and their owners through the woods to a long barren patch of sandy beach that is ideal for practicing new tricks and burning off pent-up energy.
Waste bags and trash receptacles are conveniently placed throughout the park, but because there is no available drinking water, it is recommended that you bring your own.
Open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM, the partially-fenced Minnehaha Off-Leash Recreation Area requires users to obtain a $5.00 single-day permit, which is valid at all seven public dog parks in Minneapolis, or a $35 annual permit.
Paid parking is available at the lot on East 54th Street, and there is also metered street parking nearby.
Arlington Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area
Also located in nearby St. Paul, Minnesota, at 400 Arlington Avenue East, the Arlington Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area, or the “Olda” as it is locally known, is a favorite spot among pet parents in the region.
This fully-fenced canine playground encompasses 5 acres of rolling grassland in which dogs can run virtually unsupervised and make new acquaintances that are sure to become fast friends.
The Arlington Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area is a neighborhood dog park that features wooded trails (on the south end) and a bowl-like design to ensure proper drainage in the wetter months.
This unique design, with uphill and downhill slopes, is sure to tire out your pooch by the end of the session.
The Arlington Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset, and the adjacent parking lot is free to access.
Drinking water is not available here, so be sure to bring your own.
Additionally, make sure to come equipped with an ample supply of pet waste bags, as all guests to the park are required to clean up after their own dogs.
Users are urged to be aware of their surroundings at all time, and whether you access the park from the north or south end, always make sure to close and latch the gate behind you.
Lowertown Dog Park
Also known as Chuck & Don’s Dog Park after the founders of this space, the Lowertown Dog Park is a 3-acre fun zone for dogs located at 360 N. Broadway Avenue, very close to the downtown area.
Although this is the smallest dog park on our list, it still offers plenty of enjoyment for the canine set, and its centralized location makes it very convenient for dog owners on the go.
Open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week, the Lowertown Dog Park includes a lot of great features for dogs and owners alike.
The off-leash park boasts plenty of space to run and play, a dog-only drinking fountain, and a lighted common area with benches and shade where dog owners can gather and swap war stories about their pets. Drinking water is also available for the humans, and pet waste bags are provided.
Battle Creek Dog Park
Last but definitely not least is the Battle Creek Dog Park. Situated at 2350 Upper Afton Road, in the Twin Cities neighborhood of Maplewood, Battle Creek Dog Park is a massive parcel of land that consists of 35 acres of mixed-use space.
The doggie sanctuary, which is owned and operated by the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department and a group of dedicated, dog-loving volunteers, was recently named Best Dog Park in Minneapolis by the local publication City Pages.
This dog park includes all the amenities and bonuses a dog would wish for (if it could talk), including a large, centralized grass and gravel dog run; miles upon miles of woodland trails to explore; a number of water features that include two small ponds and a larger pond for swimming and wading; a playground area with lots of agility equipment, frisbees, balls and other toys; and two separate entrance gates that allow dog and owner to get into the park quickly no matter where they park.
Drinking water is not available at Battle Creek Dog Park, but pet waste bags and disposal sites can be found at various spots throughout the park.
Parking is both plentiful and free and the park can be used any day of the week from dawn until dusk.
Keep in mind that Battle Creek Dog Park is closed twice a year for the biannual deer bow hunt, so be sure to call ahead.