For anyone with a canine friend-beast, the neighborhood dog park can be an important social hub. Like a beloved neighborhood bar, each park offers different amenities (but make sure you bring water to keep your furry friends hydrated), and has its own distinct culture. Some Pittsburghers swear by Frick Park, while others go only to parks by the rivers. Friendships and love, both pooch and human, blossom between the gates, and advice on everything from dog training to the real-estate market is exchanged. Here are a few of the Pittsburgh parks where doggos can run free.
Allegheny Commons Dog Park, North Side
This park is the only off-leash area listed that doesn’t have a fence, so owners of spunkier canines be warned. Located on the south side of Lake Elizabeth and a popular spot for regulars, this dog park feels like being part of a club.
Bernard Dog Run, Lawrenceville
This park is named for late Lawrenceville resident and abandoned-dog advocate Jay Bernard, and the community spirit is alive and well here. Get dog tips, let Fido play, and then hop on the Three Rivers Heritage trail for a leashed walk. Only street access is from 40th Street.
Frick Park, Squirrel Hill
Doggos can roam in two separate runs in the city’s first off-leash exercise area. The edges are wooded, so pups can enjoy some shade and woods time. Then take the pooch for a dip down at Hot Dog Dam on the Lower Tranquil Trail.
Olympia Park, Mount Washington
This fenced-in hillside play area overlooks a playground, baseball diamond and basketball courts, making it a good place for dog owners with kids. Lush grass is abundant, and dogs of all sizes frolic together. Stop by for a slice of park life for both dogs and their guardians.
South Side Riverfront Park, South Side
This sizable dog run is right off the Three Rivers Heritage trail and provides quick access to the riverside and miles of running and walking trails. The park has separate fenced areas for large and small pups (25 pounds and under), as well as plenty of water bowls and friendly faces.