Although not as flashy as their well-known attractions, St. Louis is home to scores of recreational facilities (parks, gyms, multipurpose centers), where its citizens can exercise, relax and/or pursue any number of enjoyable sports or hobbies.
There are even many dog-specific parks in the city—parks designed to give dogs ample space to run and play without the leash.
In today’s busy world, finding the time to provide our dogs with the amount of quality exercise they need and deserve can be a tricky proposition.
Still, it is crucial that dogs receive this prescribed active time in order to remain both healthy and happy.
This is where dog-dedicated, off-leash parks (like the ones we’ve described below) can come in very handy—parks that can provide your dog with a great workout, one that does not involve you holding one end of a leash.
These are the types of facilities we will cover in detail in the article below.
Here are some of the Best Dog Parks in St. Louis and the surrounding region:
Maplewood Dog Park
Located just outside of St. Louis at the corner of West Point Drive and Rannells Street in the town of Maplewood, the Maplewood Dog Park is a convenient canine workout facility for the residents of that town.
The off-leash dog park features two distinct areas, each of which is completely gated: one larger and more expansive area designed for all dogs, regardless of size; and a separate smaller grassy pavilion designed for small dogs only—dogs under 35 pounds.
Perfect for the summertime, the Maplewood Dog Park boasts a large wading pool in the center of the larger dog play area, allowing dogs to wade in and cool off on those blistering-hot and very humid summer days in St. Louis.
Along with the wading pool, there are many other great amenities in the park.
They include water bowls and spouts for the dogs, scores of toys like frisbees and tennis balls (for a great game of fetch), pet poop bags and trash bins, lots of benches where dog owners can sit and relax, and plenty of cool shade provided by overhead trees.
Residents of Maplewood will have to pay a $20 annual fee for use of the Maplewood Dog Park.
This is the fee for a single dog only, but all additional dogs in the household can also take part in the action for an extra $5 per dog.
Permits can be purchased at the City Hall building in Maplewood or through their website.
Proof of vaccinations are required before any permits can be issued.
Dutch Town Dog Park
If you are a pet parent, and you find yourself at the corner of Liberty Street and Virginia Avenue in St. Louis, you should definitely check out the Dutch Town Dog Park.
This off-leash doggie paradise features yards and yards of the greenest Kentucky bluegrass, as well as well-marked trails that are perfect for on-leash walks and training.
Owners, including children, are allowed to play with their dogs while inside the park, so it’s important not to bring any overly-aggressive dogs to the facility.
The Dutch Town Dog Park features a lot of the wonderful amenities dog owners love in a dog park, including drinking and cleaning stations for the pooches, some basic agility equipment and obstacles, shaded seating areas and good views from anywhere, both inside and outside the gates.
Unlike most dog parks in the city of St. Louis (and the state of Missouri), the Dutch Town Dog Park is completely free, with no admission cost or permits required.
Owners are required to clean up after their dogs (poop bags are typically provided), but the rest of the park maintenance is done by the courteous staff.
Shaw Dog Park
St. Louis’ Shaw Dog Park, situated at 4101 Cleveland Avenue, is definitely not the largest off-leash dog park in the city, but it just may be the most adorable.
The dog park is located in the Shaw neighborhood of the city (thus its name) and began back in 2003 as a way to offer locals a safe place to exercise their dog, while also giving residents a chance to come together over their shared passion for the canine class.
Shaw Dog Park offers a lot of cool features, not the least of which are on-site water, locking gates, comfy benches, and plenty of green grass on which dogs of all sizes can gather, exercise and get to know one another.
Unlike some of the daytime-only dog runs, Shaw Dog Park has lots of overhead lighting.
This allows it to be open well past dark on most days of the week, thus allowing working parents to get the most out of what it offers.
There is a membership/permit fee to join the Shaw Dog Park.
Residents must pay $25 annually for the first dog and $5 for each additional pooch, while non-neighborhood pet parents are asked to pay $50 for the first dog and $10 for each additional dog.
This pricing structure has allowed the park to remain very intimate and uncrowded on most days, and prevents aggressive dogs from slipping through the cracks and possibly causing damage.
Frenchtown Dog Park
Last but certainly not least is the Frenchtown Dog Park, located at 1001 Emmet Street in St. Louis.
Now, with a name like Frenchtown Dog Park, you might expect the park to be very hoity-toity and that all the canines there (perhaps French poodles and French bulldogs) wear jeweled tiaras and drink champagne from jewel-encrusted water bowls.
This is definitely not the case.
In fact, the name of this very down-to-earth dog park derives from some of the French-named communities it serves—communities like Lafayette Square, LaSalle and the Benton and Soulard neighborhoods.
The doggie park is owned and operated by the Frenchtown Dog Park Association, a body serving all the aforementioned communities that also provides other dog-related services, including obedience training, adoptions, vaccine clinics and social get-togethers for the dog lovers in the region.
The Frenchtown Dog Park is not massive by any means, but it is just large enough to offer a great workout for any dog.
Dogs can run and play without the ever-present burden of a leash, explore the many obstacles and pieces of equipment provided, or simply sniff their way to a new friendship or two.
Water and water bowls are available for those warmer-day play sessions, as are disposable waste bags (that owners are expected to use).
While there is technically no stated admission or permit fee to use the Frenchtown Dog Park, it is well-known that donations of at least $60 annually are expected by the association from those who use the park frequently.
These donations go to the upkeep of the park and help the Frenchtown Dog Association with the many costs involved in some of the other services it provides.