The 4 Best Dog Parks in Durham

Why do dogs drool
© GoDog Photo/

Written by Emilio Brown

Published: July 25, 2022

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Dogs are considered by many as one of the best pets a human can have, but that does not mean they come without their challenges. A healthy dog needs to be exercised regularly, with some breeds like Labradors needing more than an hour a day of play. Luckily dog parks exist to make it super easy for your dog to get some exercise and also make new friends. This article will showcase the 4 best dog parks in Durham and everything they have to offer. 

Each dog park has its own rules that you should know, which are usually posted right outside the off-leash area. 

Some of the common rules you find at dog parks in Durham include:

  • All dogs visiting must be vaccinated.
  • No aggressive or misbehaving dogs.
  • Owners are responsible for the dogs that they bring.
  • No food and alcohol.
  • Dogs in heat are not allowed in the off-leash park.
  • No small kids in the park.
  • Pick up after the mess your pup makes.

Each dog park has its own set of rules, and following them helps keep a fun experience for all the humans and hounds that visit. 

Let’s take a look at 4 of the best dog parks in Durham and what to expect at each of them. Every dog park is different. Separate areas for smaller dogs, agility equipment, and ample space are a few of the things you can expect when visiting a dog park. If you’re a resident of Durham or just passing through, you are sure to find a park your dog will love on this list. 

1. Downtown Durham Dog Park


The downtown Durham dog park has areas for both small and large breeds to play.

© Nedikova

Downtown Durham Dog Park
Location 304 Elliott Street Durham, NC 27703
Hours 6 AM-9 PM
Price Free 

In east Durham, on the corner of Roxboro and Elliott Street, you and your furry friend can visit the Downtown Durham dog park. Separated into two sections, this mid-size sandy area offers a small dog and a large dog section. The entrance is double gated, so leashing your dog is easy and safe. Benches are available in the larger section, as well as an agility tunnel. 

Doggy bags are provided at the entrance, and trash cans are found in both areas of the park. Trees inside and outside the dog play area provide lots of shade. The downtown dog park is one of the less visited dog parks in Durham. This can be great if you’re looking for a quiet open space. If your pooch prefers other dogs to play with, early afternoons and evenings can get busy during the week.

2. Northgate Dog Park

Northgate Dog Park
Location 300 W Club Blvd, Durham, NC 27704
Hours 6 AM-10 PM
Price Yearly Fee: $17 per dog for resident / $22 per dog nonresident 

Found inside Northgate park is the Northgate Dog Park. Here, your pooch is welcome to explore and play off-leash in either the large dog or the small dog area. Inside both areas, dogs can enjoy running through the dirt and in the shady grass. The park is located in a floodplain, and it can get pretty wet there, so you might be taking home a muddy pup.

The entrances for both areas are double-gated, so you can safely enter and exit the park. Doggy poop bags are provided at the entrance, and trash cans are spread throughout the dog play areas to help make picking up after your pooch easy. Chairs and picnic tables are available for owners to use. 

A water fountain, as well as donated doggy bowls, are located inside the off-leash dog park. Northgate dog park doesn’t get very busy during the week. Weekend mornings and evenings can get very busy.

3. PetSafe Dog Park at Duke Park

Dog Beagle

Dogs are able to run and get out all their energy at the dog park in Duke Park.

©ław Iciak

PetSafe Dog Park at Duke Park
Location 1608 Acadia St, Durham, NC 27701
Hours 7 AM-9 PM
Price Free 

The dog park at Duke Park is a small fenced off-leash dog play area. Your furry friend can enjoy running around the dirt and sand landscaped area. Large trees are inside the park, providing lots of shade. The park has two separate enclosed areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. 

A leashing cage is used at the entrance to ensure the safety of all dogs when arriving or leaving. The park provides doggy bags near the entrance, and trash cans are spread throughout the park. A small agility tunnel covered in the dirt, making a small hill for the dogs to climb, is in the large dog area. 

Owners who’d like somewhere to sit have a few small picnic tables inside both the small and large dog areas to choose from. Some dog toys donated by previous visitors are available for your pooch to play with while you visit the park. Duke Park dog park doesn’t get very busy, so anytime is a great time to come and let your furry friend play.  

4. Piney Wood Dog Park

Piney Wood Dog Park
Location 400 E Woodcroft Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713
Hours 8 AM-7 PM
Price Free 

Located in southern Durham, inside Piney Wood Park is a mid-sized off-leash dog park. At Piney Wood Dog Park, there are three separate areas and a large double gated entrance. The three sections are separated into large dogs, small dogs, and a program area. The park is mostly sandy with some grassy patches and has trees all throughout providing lots of shade.

Trash cans and doggy bags are supplied by the park so visitors can easily pick up after their pups. Water fountains are inside the off-leash area, and during the warmer months, there are small doggie pools for the dogs to splash in. Piney Wood dog park can get pretty busy during the weekends but stays mostly empty during the week.

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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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