Top 10 Vancouver off-leash dog parks
NATURALLY URBAN UNLEASHES THE TOP 10 VANCOUVER OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS
Reported by Alyssa Daniells
This post was originally published in June 2018 and we have added this awesome video June 17, 2021.
Vancouver's own Naturally Urban whistled for the help of its loyal customers (well, the two-legged ones) to find out which are Vancouver’s best off-leash parks. What better group of dog authorities to hound down? The overwhelming response gave us some very fetching answers.
The result? The largest poll of its kind, making this the most comprehensive list of best off-leash parks in Vancouver you’ll find. Never before have so many people voiced their opinions about the top dog parks in the entire lower mainland, all in one forum. From that, we created this top ten list (we considered calling it our Lab Report, but Retrievers aren’t the only dogs that love the picks. Hardy har har.)
So, park it right here folks to discover Vancouver’s best spaces and places for your canine companions. Which ones made us wag our fingers and which are worthy of a tail wag?
Do you disagree or want your voice heard? No problem, vote for your favourite dog park in our poll!
10) Charleson Dog Park | 99 Charleson Street
Our list starts off strong with Charleson Park’s sprawling off-leash area. Furry friend fans who chose Charleson cited the views of False Creek, its scenic seawall location and aquatic area with waterfall (not to be confused with the duck pond which is off limits) as among the reasons they love taking their playful pups (and pups at heart) here.
Off-leash hours for Charleson’s grass bowl are from 6am to 10pm. The waterfall pond off-leash hours are 5pm to 10 am June to September, and all day October to May.
9) Queen Elizabeth Dog Park | 4600 Cambie St
Open spaces reign supreme in Queen Elizabeth dog park, our penultimate pick as we count down to the number one dog park in the entire lower mainland, chosen by Vancouver dogficianados. Give your furry friend the royal treatment in this richly abundant park, conveniently located in the middle of the city. Other features our poll respondents cited, besides location and size, were the panoramic views and beautiful setting. (Given the park’s namesake, we can’t help but chuckle ironically when we spot a corgi there.) Off-leash hours at Queen Elizabeth are 6am to 10pm.
8) McDonald Beach Dog Park | 3500 McDonald Road, Richmond
Doggone it, McDonald Beach’s off-leash is technically outside of Vancouver, but this Richmond favourite ranked high in our poll so we’ll give it some puppy love. What do people and their pooch pals enjoy most? The long stretch of beach along the winding Fraser River, as well as trails, field and lots of dogs ready to play. The sparkling Fraser is also fun for dogs to splash in, or playfully chase the colourful river traffic. McDonald Beach Dog Park is perfect if you’re looking for something different outside of your dog or catchment area.
7) Everett Crowley Dog Park | 8200 Kerr Street
Why does this South Vancouver dog park deserve a round of appaws? According to our respondents, it’s the various off-leash trails, hands -- and paws-- down. Everett Crowley Park’s trails are comprised of varied terrains, a welcome break from the monotony of your regular dog walking route. Not only do the different paths make a jaunt here more interesting, the selection usually means the trails don’t get too busy. And Fido will find the many sticks to play with particularly fetching.
6) Fraser River Dog Park | 8705 Angus Drive
Bring your top dog to this top dog park. The Fraser River Park’s pooch paradise is also woman and man’s best friend. Why? Well, we dog-eared these findings: elevated platforms that facilitate long walks along the river, the sandy beach, ample space and a great vibe within a beautiful setting. What’s not to love?
Note that while the West side of the park is off-leash all day and year-round, the East side is off-leash only from October 1 to April 30. During the busy season from May 1 to September 30, dogs in this eastern area of the Fraser River Park must be on a leash.
5) Trout Lake Dog Park | 3300 Victoria Drive
If it’s “location, location, location” in real estate, it’s “water, water, water” for the many pollsters who chose Trout Lake as their preferred park. During those dog days of summer, it’s the perfect place for canines to cool off and lap up fresh water after running laps. It’s a busy spot, with lots of dogs for your best friend to play with, or make new friends. There’s plenty of space on land for large water dogs to enjoy. This beloved dog park is located at the north end of Trout Lake.
4) New Brighton Dog Park | 93 New Brighton Road
Taking Spot to New Brighton Dog Park is a bright idea, according to Vancouver dog owners. Make no bones about it, this is what an off-leash Vancouver dog park should be. New Brighton boasts a large, fenced in expanse of grass for the many dogs to frolic, beach access for doggie paddles and what most respondents who picked New Brighton collectively mentioned, “amazing views.”
3) Pacific Spirit Dog Park | 5495 Chancellor Boulevard
Dogs and owners alike can lift their spirits in the off-leash area of Pawcific, er Pacific Spirit. If you are feeling the call of nature, this is your dog park. (If said call of nature is similar to your dog’s, we suggest you keep your leg down.) Pacific Spirit’s dog trails meander through a forest of soaring trees; a true breath of fresh air from city life where you can paws and reflect. There’s no such thing as barking up the wrong tree here. A lovely wood boardwalk refines the rustic and rugged feel. (Photo credit: Karolyn Jackson, @beachcomber_dogs, @walkwithmax.)
2) Hadden Park Dog Park | 1905 Ogden Avenue
Deciding between which of the top two dog parks to go to? A coin toss (on tails, of course) may bring you to the waterfront vistas of Hadden Park, home to an off-leash oasis for dogs, where they can frolic on land and in the inviting waters of English Bay. May to September, leash off times are from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm. October to April, leash off times are 6am to 10pm. Outside these times, your dog must have its leash on. And what do those who were polled love about Hadden Park dog park? It’s both a beach and dog park, pleasing each party at either end of the leash. There’s loads of room for romping in the sand, or swimming alongside your furry friend. In short, it’s the fun for everyone that makes it grand, with a view of the North Shore Mountains, to boot.
1) Spanish Banks Off-Leash Dog Park | 4801 NW Marine Drive
You made it! It’s time to shout out the number one dog park in Vancouver (as long as no one gets husky from shouting). Our prime destination to walk dogs in YVR is the popular, pretty and pup-filled park of Spanish Banks. If you’re ever feeling ruff, the dog park in Spanish Banks is sure to delight. But, you don’t have to take our word for it! Here is what Naturally Urban customers said about the best off leash park in Vancouver: Beach access and the beach itself:
- Easy parking
- Dogs love running around the tide flats at low tide,
- Tons of off-leash space without being fenced in
- Ocean swimming in summertime
- Beautiful scenery
- Friendly people and dogs
- Fun for both parent and dog
- Ample wood sticks for dogs to fetch
- Green space
- Trail for running or walking
- Great views
- Long expanses of grass and sand for dogs to run and play
- Bounded by green space on one side; ocean and mountains on the other.
Enclosed Dog Parks in Vancouver Honourable mentions:
- Lynn Headwaters dog trails
- Ambleside dog park
- Buntzen Lake dog park
- Cooper Park Yaletown dog park
- Sunset Beach dog park
- Musqueam dog park
- Olympic Park dog trac
Well that’s all fur now, friends. Don’t see your pick for the best Vancouver dog park? Think your favourite should be closer to number one? Naturally Urban would love to hear from you!
Join BC's animal lovers and register for Naturally Urban’s pet food delivery service, catering to your schedule and your pet’s palate and health. For a limited time, get 5% off your first purchase by clicking here, or enter bestdogparks in the coupon code box. And Naturally Urban will always donate 5% of each purchase to a local charity of your choice. Winner, winner, doggie dinner!