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The 4 Best Dog Parks in Raleigh

To serve all of the dogs and dog owners in Raleigh, the residents of the city have erected a number of both public and privately-owned pet parks, places where dogs can sprint out all of their stifled energy without the annoyance of a leash constantly constraining them.

It is these parks—off-leash parks—that we will examine further in the article below.

So, if you are a dog owner who lives in, or is planning to visit the City of Oaks anytime soon, be sure to check out these canine paradises, the best dog parks the city of Raleigh, North Carolina has to offer.

Carolina Pines Dog Park

Located at 2305 Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh, the Carolina Pines Dog Park is akin to nirvana for the Fidos in your household, a place with three independently fenced zones.

The first of these zones, which is also the largest, is reserved for larger dogs, those weighing over forty pounds.

This zone measures about 1.5 acres in total area and is perfect for running full speed with new friends.

The second zone at the Carolina Pines Dog Park is for puppies and smaller-breed adult dogs who weigh less than the 40-pound threshold.

This part of the park is about half as big as the first, but it still offers a heap of room to stretch one’s legs and lots of toys and obstacles to keep the little guys busy and happy.

Finally, while most off-leash dog facilities stop at 2 distinct zones, the Carolina Pines Dog Park has added a third.

This area is reserved strictly for training and obedience classes, giving handlers plenty of room to try out new tricks with their pooches.

All three of the zones at the Carolina Pines Dog Park are covered with a decorative mulch material that is very low impact on your dog’s paws, while still providing enough grip for hearty galloping.

Open from dawn until dusk, seven days a week, Carolina Pines Dog Park is free to use.

If you are new to town, you can find the park just off 1-40 and south of the very easy-to-find North Carolina State University.

Lake Johnson Park

Not all canine-owner fun in Raleigh is of the off-leash variety.

Take Lake Johnson Park, for example, an on-leash park that offers three and a half miles of paved trails and nearly two miles of unpaved trails to explore.

Collectively, these trails wind their way through an expansive 300 acres of woodland forest, with sparkling lakes and rivers and some of the most beautiful natural flora you will ever see.

The trails can be found beneath the Centennial Campus of NC State.

As you walk along these picturesque trails, you’ll have many opportunities to stop and rest along the way, thanks to the covered picnic areas dotted along the route.

These are ideal for having a quick snack and recharging your batteries.

Near the lake and streams, you can take advantage of the free fishing pole and reel loan program, and then test your luck as an angler.

Boat rentals are also available—and, yes, dogs are happily permitted on these watercraft.

If a walk through nature is your idea of a great time, Lake Johnson Park is the perfect place to make memories with your dog.

Millbrook Exchange Dog Park

Moving back now into the realm of the traditional, we arrive at Millbrook Exchange Dog Park, the oldest dog park in the city of Raleigh, one that dates back to the spring of 2003.

This park is guaranteed to have your dog jumping with joy.

It features two distinct and completely fenced areas, one for large dogs and one for smaller dogs and puppies.

There is also a fun agility course within the confines of the park, a course with bridges, tunnels and beams; and a refreshing fountain from which dogs can drink and splash around.

There is also a drinking fountain for thirsty owners.

Completely free to the public, the Millbrook Exchange Dog Park is a great way to spend a few hours with your best friend.

It includes a shaded seating pavilion for the pet parents, picnic tables and benches, and pet waste stations that assist owners in cleaning up after their pets.

The ground cover at both parks consists of a very clean wood chip base; and during nighttime hours the course and the parking lot are both illuminated by overhead lights.

The Millbrook Exchange Dog Park is located at 1905 Spring Forest Road in Raleigh, and is open daily from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM.

Oakwood Dog Park

Oakwood Park has long been a favorite of Raleigh residents, but now with the addition of the Oakwood Dog Park the place is truly booming in popularity.

There is nothing fancy or spectacular about this dog park, but its two separate areas (for large and small dogs) offer just the right amount of space to run and socialize.

The park is located at 910 Brookside Drive in the quiet community of Oakwood.

It is open year round from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

Oakwood Dog Park features lots of benches and picnic tables, all of which sit beneath tall oaks that provide shady relief from the noontime sun.

Waste bins and baggies are provided for cleanup duty, and admission is absolutely free.

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National Canine Research Association of America