7 Best Dog Parks In Raleigh

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Written by Emilio Brown

Updated: January 24, 2023

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Raleigh is one of the biggest cities in North Carolina, with a variety of things for you to experience. For your furry friend, the city has many dog parks nearby, great for letting your pooch have some off-leash fun. This article will cover 7 of the best dog parks in Raleigh, and the fun amenities each one has to offer. 

A good dog park has plenty of space for your pup to run around and is filled with other friendly pooches ready to socialize. Before going to a dog park, it is recommended your pup is fully vaccinated and well trained, which helps keep other visitors safe. The rules put in place by the dog park should also be respected, as they are there to help create the visit enjoyable for everyone. 

Going to a good dog park can tire out any high-energy dogs, and gives them a fun experience for the day. Let’s take a look at 7 of the best dog parks in Raleigh, so you can decide the best one for you.  

1. Dix Park Dog Park

Dog Park Series - Lake Hollywood Dog Park

Dorthea Dix Dog park is one of the largest parks in Raleigh, which is where this dog park is located.

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Dix Park Dog Park
Location 1800 Umstead Dr., Raleigh, NC 27603
Hours 7 AM- 9 PM
Price Free 

Dix Park Dog park is a large space great for any dog to play in. This dog park has 3 fenced sections dedicated for your pup to run off-leash. Two of the sections are for larger dogs, and one area is just for small breeds, giving them a safe place to run off-leash. The fields rotate their use, allowing for time for the dog park to stay maintained. The surfacing is grass with dirt, meaning it may get a bit muddy during the wet season. 

This dog park is located in Dix Park, and all dogs must be on a leash unless they are in the designated area. In the off-leash area, there is a water fountain to help fill up your dog’s bowl for when your pooch gets thirsty. Dix Park is the park the off-leash area is located in and is the biggest city park in Raleighs, around 308 acres large. It is found near the heart of the city and is a fun attraction for you and your dog to visit. 

2. The Alley Dog Park

The Alley Dog Park
Location 511 N Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27604
Hours 24 Hours
Price Free 

The Alley is a small dog park for letting your pup run around and burn some excess energy. It is a community dog park useful for those living in the City Center apartments. This dog park is located near downtown Raleigh and is a great way to safely exercise your pup in the city. It is open 24/7, allowing you to take your dog out at any time. The Alley is a simple dog park with dirt surfacing. There are a few trees and benches in the area. At night it is lit with the surrounding street lights so you can still keep an eye out for your pooch after dark. 

3. Millbrook Park Dog Park 

Prettiest / Cutest Dogs - Schipperke dogs playing in the park.

The Millbrook Park dog park is separated into three areas so your dog can have some off-leash fun.


Millbrook Exchange Park Dog Park
Location 1905 Spring Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615
Hours 7 AM- 10 PM
Price Free 

Millbrook dog park is the oldest dog park in Raleigh, first opening its gate in April of 2003. This dog park is located in Millbrook Exchange Park. The park is a beloved community attraction, with sports courts, a pool, a dog park, and a community center. The dog park is the only area where dogs can roam free, and everywhere else they must be on a leash

Wide and spacious, Millbrook dog park is separated into three play areas. One section is very open and for breeds of all sizes. There is a section for smaller breeds to run around, and the last area for relaxing, with picnic seating, spread about. Agility equipment is located in the dog park to help tire out your pooch.

Any dog will love a day at this dog park, but before going it is recommended your dog is fully vaccinated. While water is provided, it is recommended you bring extra since the fountain may be turned off. On hot days the dog park has ample shade, and even a mister to cool down you or your pup. Being the oldest dog park in the city, it has provided endless pleasure to the people and dogs who have visited over the years.  

4. Buffalo Road Dog Park

Buffalo Road Dog Park
Location 5908 Buffaloe Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604
Hours 6 AM-8 PM
Price Free 

Buffalo Road dog park is a perfect place to go for draining the energy out of your high-energy pooch. This dog park can be found on the 165.6-acre park, Buffalo Road Athletic Park. The dog park is just one of the amenities of the park, as there are also biking trails, a track, softball and baseball fields, a pool, and trails that take you on a peaceful walk. Dogs are welcomed in the park, but they must be on a leash unless in their designated off-leash area. 

Buffalo Road dog Park is a huge area where your pup can run and frolic about. It is split into two areas, keeping large and smaller breeds separated. In the dog park, there is running water for thirsty dogs, but you will have to bring your own poop bags to clean up after your pup. 

Open space, plenty to sit, and the cleanliness of this park are why you and your pup will want to check out this dog park if in the area. 

5. Carolina Pines Dog Park 

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Carolina pines dog park has small and large dog areas.

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Carolina Pines Dog Park
Location 2305 Lake Wheeler Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603
Hours 8 AM-8 PM
Price Free 

Located in the Raleigh neighborhood of Carolina pines, the Carolina pines dog park is a free off-leash area you can visit if nearby. Common in many dog parks, there are small and large dog areas, so pooches can be with breeds of similar size. The dog park is covered in shade by the tall trees nearby. With vast space, the pup will love getting off its leash and running around at this park. It is regularly visited by the residents and their pooch, so there are usually other dogs here ready to socialize. 

You will have no problem finding somewhere to sit at this dog park, as there are seats spread across the park. Water is also provided so you can fill up your dog’s bowl when they get thirsty. The surface of this dog park is dirt, and it is set in a forested-type habitat. It is a great place to retreat from the city, and let your pooch get some fresh air. 

6. Jack Smith Park Dog Park

Jack Smith Park Dog Park
Location 9725 Penny Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606
Hours 8 AM-8 PM
Price Daily Pass: $5 

At Jack Smith park there is a members-only dog park, perfect for letting your pooch run off-leash. The dog park is around 2 acres, and a membership is required before being allowed to visit. For residents of the area, a day pass is $5, but for those from out of town, it costs $10. You can also purchase a yearly pass for $40 for one dog, or $60 for multiple, and it is double the price for those who are non-residents. 

The Jack Smith dog park is fully fenced off, with woodchip surfacing on the ground. Water fountains are in the park, as well as poop bags to help pick up after your dog. This dog park is split into two areas, keeping large and smaller breeds separated. 

This dog park is found at Jack Smith Park, which has a variety of other things to enjoy. The park has playgrounds, a water park, a rock wall, walking paths, and other sections enjoyable for every family member. 

7. Oakwood Dog Park

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Small and large dogs get their own area at Oakwood dog park.

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Oakwood Dog Park
Location 910 Brookside Dr, Raleigh, NC 27604
Hours 8 AM-7 PM
Price Free 

Oakwood Park is a 12.7-acre park, with an off-leash area for your pooch to roam free. This dog park has two areas. One is for large dogs, while the other section is only for smaller breeds to play. Oakwood dog park is a large open space for your pup to go wild, with plenty of trees for shade. 

The dog park is just one of the amenities found at Oakwood park, as there are also picnic areas, and sports fields nearby. Dogs must be on a leash unless they are in the off-leash section. Water and poop bags are available for your use at the dog park. Plenty of benches and seating are also in the dog park so you can relax while watching your pup. If the weather is hot, there is even a small doggy pool, if your pooch likes to get its paws wet. 


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About the Author

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are my favorite types of animals, and I enjoy keeping some species as pets. I love learning about the various wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you can find me getting out into nature.

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