There is nothing better in my opinion than hanging out with your best four legged friend.  I love taking my poodle, Poirot, for long walks and picnics.  There are some great places to explore in the metro area – here are a few to get you started!

Black Hill Regional Park Dog Park


Montgomery County invites you to let your dog run free at this half-acre dog park  featuring trees and picnic tables in Black Hill Regional Park! Dogs must display current licenses and rabies vaccination tags and be older than four months. All dogs should be on a leash before entering and exiting the park.

Black Hill Regional Park has more than 2,000 acres of land for outdoor recreation and family gatherings. Come enjoy spectacular views of Little Seneca Lake from the many picnic shelters, volleyball courts, playgrounds, and trails.  You will love renting a canoe, kayak, or rowboat from Black Hill Boats  or exploring the natural beauty of the lake by following the Black Hill Water Trail.

Would you like to live near Black Hill Regional Park? There are lots of pet friendly homes in all price ranges.  Just click here to see all the homes currently on the market in Germantown!


Cabin John Park

The shady, fully-enclosed, half-acre dog park at 10900 Westlake Drive is just one of the many amenities at extensive Cabin John Regional Park, and, with its six-foot fence, is also safe even for most energetic fence leaper. Cabin John Regional Park also boasts nearly five miles of trails and access to the 9-mile Cabin John Stream Valley Trail, so a visit to the dog park is easy to tack onto a lengthy, semi-urban hike.  

My love of Cabin John Park goes back many years however to when my son was little and we would go to the park to ride the train all around its perimeter on a two mile ten minute ride.  The little steam engine is a replica of an 1863 C.P. Huntington engine with five open passenger cars.  Believe me – the children love this ride!

Another wonderful part of the park is the baseball field named after long time sports writer, Shirley Povich (Maury Povich’s father.)  This is home to the Bethesda Big Train, a summer baseball team made up of outstandng young college athletes playing in the Cal Ripken, Sr Collegiate Baseball League.  Other teams play there too and  I have enjoyed watching my cousin’s son play there on a high school summer team.

The Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Facility at Cabin John Park is named for another famous Washingtonian, the woman known as the best tennis player in the world from 1942 to 1946.  From 1942 to 1946, Pauline dominated the tennis scene — 6 Grand Slam titles (5 Singles, 1 Mixed Double), U.S. Singles Indoor Champion for four years, U.S. Singles Outdoor Champion for four years, U.S. Clay Court Singles Champion for two years, U.S. Clay Court Doubles Champion for three years, U.S. Indoor Mixed Doubles Champion for four years, and U.S. Wightman Cup Team Member. When I was growing up in Washington, she was the tennis coach at Sidwell Friends School (where the Obama girls attended.) She also is credited with starting the first tennis camp in the U.S.

Bethesda has a wide selection of homes from entry level condos to million dollar homes.  Click here to see a cross section!

Congressional Cemetery

Historic Congressional Cemetery at 1801 E Street SE is the most unusual dog park on this list but it is considered the ultimate romping ground for any capital-dwelling-canine with means. Dogs with owners willing to part with the annual fees ($225 for a yearly membership and $50 per dog) are granted access to the gorgeous 35-acre grounds and enjoy special events like ‘yappy hours’ and other seasonal celebrations. The revenue generated by dog-walking memberships actually furnishes a significant amount of the funding required for the cemetery’s upkeep, and the presence of roving canines also provides a kind of de facto security force for the historic site.  

The K9 Corps became an official organization of the preservation association in 2007, complete with a board of directors, committees and the like – an status as a 501(c)(3).  The grounds are well groomed and many of the roads and paths within have been paved or upgraded during the past few years.

The dog-walking dues have become an integral part of the organization’s budget.   Dog owners are asked to volunteer at least 12 hours per year. Among the duties of a volunteer, in addition to picking weeds and clearing trash, is policing to make sure nonmember dogs don’t use the grounds.

Each year, members are required to undergo an orientation session to make sure they follow the rules and understand, among other things, the historical significance of the cemetery and how integral their efforts are to its preservation.   Just to make everyone feel better – dog toys are not allowed. No one throws tennis balls to their dogs while they are walking in the cemetery.

If you want to live on Capital Hill you can  find them all here!

Ellsworth Urban Park

The Ellsworth Urban Dog Park occupies the southwestern corner of Ellsworth Urban Park in Silver Spring.

The dog park consists of two separate, fully enclosed and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant exercise areas: a small dog area (approximately 2,800 square feet) intended for dogs under 20 pounds, and a large dog area (approximately 17,000 square feet) intended for healthy, well-socialized dogs over 20 pounds. Each enclosure includes a drinking fountain, hose bib or quick coupler connection, artificial turf play mound, benches, shared shade structure, trash receptacles, and a variety of surfacing materials.

The dog park is fully accessible from the sidewalk along Colesville Road, through a secure, double-gated entry system.  You can walk there from many of these homes for sale in Silver Spring!

Newark Street Dog Park

Tennis balls galore (courtesy of Newark Street Park’s tennis players), shady benches, a paw-friendly crushed gravel surface, and two play areas (for dogs of varying rambunctiousness) make the Newark Street Dog Park a very appealing choice for dog owners in Cleveland Park and Cathedral Heights.  

Newark Street Dog Park includes the following amenities:

2 Separate Play Areas
As the Newark Street Dog Park website notes, little dogs think they’re big dogs, and big dogs think they’re still puppies.  However, not all dogs play well together.  Some dogs may be scared or nervous during their first visit to Newark Street Dog Park.  The park has 2 separate play areas with 2 separate entrances.  Little dogs, puppies, and new dogs are encouraged to start out in the smaller play area until they feel comfortable with the other dogs in the large play area.

Newark Street Dog Park features a crushed/decomposed granite surface that is environmentally-friendly and

comfortable on the paws.  Everyone enjoys a trip to Newark Street Dog Park. The Dog Park features 4 comfortable benches for people to sit and enjoy the park in the sun or the shade under a roofed pergola.

If you want to live in Cleveland Park and walk to the Newark Street Dog Park, you can click here to start your search.

Olney Manor Recreational Park

Located near ballfield No. 4, the Olney Manor Recreational Park is a 1-acre dog park with a mulch base and separate play areas for both large and small dogs. The dog park is completely fenced, providing opportunities for off-leash exercise and play. The facility is open for use sunrise to sunset. Please remember that all dogs should be on a leash before entering and exiting the park.

This 61-acre park features a variety of ballfields (including a lighted baseball park), as well as basketball, handball, and lighted tennis courts, a playground, a skate park for skateboarding and inline skating, a dog park, and an indoor swim center.

M-NCPPC acquired the space over time between 1968 and 1970.  Just click here to start your search for homes in Olney!

Rosedale Conservancy

The Rosedale Conservancy is at 3518 Newark Street NW.  While some dogs may not appreciate the historical significance, capital-dwelling canines with exquisite taste will certainly enjoy cavorting all over the Rosedale Conservancy’s elegantly manicured grounds.  The 280-year old property was once part of a sizeable farm and estate, and today is open to dog owners willing to pay the annual membership fee ($100 per year; additional $50 per dog). Dogs may be off-leash on conservancy grounds only during certain hours out of respect to visitors without dogs (off-leash hours are 7am-2pm weekdays; 8am-11am weekends; and 4:30-6:30 daily).  

The three acres of land at The Rosedale Conservancy are a remarkable window into a landscape of the past. The dramatic landforms known as Falls, the high stone “bank barn” wall by the Newark Street gate, the boxwood hedge, and the wonderful mature trees all bear witness to the impact of generations of efforts to beautify the land. The importance of preserving these historic landscape features is obvious, but any plans for the land must also recognize the property’s importance to the community as a place for recreation, community events, and dog walking. Rosedale is a rural oasis in its urban setting, one that is highly valued by neighbors and visitors alike.  Here are some homes for sale near Rosedale if you want to visit the Conservancy every day!

Shaw Dog Park

Shaw Dog Park is a 15,000 square foot, fenced-in public park at 1673 11th St NW where dog owners can bring their dogs and allow them to play and socialize off-leash.  This park has an active membership that have fund raisers and events for pups and owners like Halloween parties.

The park provides a safe space to raise healthy, well-tempered dogs in an urban environment, and it provides an opportunity to bring together members of the community.

The park has two fully-fenced enclosures that cater to socialized dogs of differing energy levels:

  1. Small enclosure for dogs under 25 pounds, physically challenged dogs and senior dogs
  2. Larger, more active play area for ball tossing and running.

Use of the dog park is free, but governed by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) rules for use of city dog parks.

Initiated by neighborhood dog owners seeking a place for their pups to romp, the Shaw Dog Park opened nearly a decade ago and has been a popular hangout for neighborhood pooches and their people since.  There are plenty of creature comforts for humans, too, like benches, ample shade, and plenty of water fountains.