You might’ve heard people talking about Richmond under the names “RVA,” “First City,” or “River City.” It is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It became an independent city in 1871 and has maintained this status since then. Richmond is known for its municipal park system, one of the oldest in the United States, dating as early as 1851. The first park in the system was Monroe Park. Many Richmond parks are situated along the James River, while others are on Belle Isle and Brown’s Island.
All of these parks are unique in terms of recreational activities. They feature trails for biking, hiking, or walking; Belle Isle hosts a cliff used for rock climbing instruction; and you can enjoy native wildlife exhibits, boating, kayaking, white-water rafting, swimming, or picnicking. And in some of the parks, you can even take your dog with you–that’s if you can’t seem to choose one of the designated dog parks, of course!
We’ve done our homework and selected the 5 best places in Richmond where you can take your pup! Check them out and choose the one you think your dog will enjoy the most!
1. Barker Field
|1300 Blanton Ave, Richmond, VA 23221
|6:30 AM – 8 PM
Baker Field, located in Byrd Park, is a large, fully fenced dog park. If you’re up for some hiking, then you should opt for Barker Field as it’s situated on a hill–this means you’ll have to go all the way up with your dog. As soon as you reach the top, you’ll be able to have a seat on the benches and enjoy the water available in the park. There are many shady spots, making the park an ideal place for a hot summer afternoon.
Small dogs can go into the small dog area, especially if they are timid. Make sure you don’t visit after rainfall, as the park can get pretty muddy–that is, if you don’t mind cleaning your pup up after a good playing session in the mud!
2. Church Hill Dog Park
|Church Hill Dog Park
|3600 E Grace St, Richmond, VA 23223
|6 AM – 9 PM
Located in Chimborazo Park, Church Hill Dog Park has two dog areas–for small and large breeds. You can take your pup to Church Hill Dog Park to run around and play off-leash. There are water bowls, waste supplies, and a doggie pool. A visit to this park is an excellent opportunity for your dog to meet and befriend other playful furry pets.
If your pup gets bored, you can take it on a leash outside the dog park, through Chimborazo Park. It was established in 1874 and served as the site of one of the largest military hospitals in the world. Besides being a marvelous historical gem, it has multiple paved paths where you can take a walk with your best friend and enjoy a pleasant, peaceful evening outdoors.
3. Phideaux Dog Park
|Phideaux Dog Park
|4401 Forest Hill Ave, Richmond, VA 23225
|7 AM – 9 PM;
Sunday: 12 – 9 PM
If you and your dog are not big fans of crowded places, Phideaux Dog Park is precisely what you’re looking for. Even though it’s small compared to other dog parks, Phideaux Dog Park is pretty famous among dog owners in Richmond. If you visit in the morning, you may find it empty, making it perfect for a good morning run! Besides this, the park provides water bowls and has a double gate entry to make it easier for you to unleash your furry friend. Take into consideration that the park can get a bit muddy after rainfall.
We’ve also heard the park hosts a small farmer’s market on Wednesdays, but we recommend checking with the administrators beforehand.
4. Ruff Canine Club
|Ruff Canine Club
|1924 Ellen Rd, Richmond, VA 23230
|Monday to Friday: 2 PM – 9 PM;
Saturday – Sunday: 12 PM – 9 PM
|$10 daily membership;
$30 monthly membership;
$275 annual membership
The Ruff Canine Club is a unique place for your dog! If you choose to visit it, we’re sure you’ll want to return there as soon as possible! Ruff Canine Club is a private membership dog park and bar where you’ll find a friendly community that meets up for various parties, social events, and other canine activities. We highly recommend this club if you have a puppy that needs to socialize and get used to different environments. It will appreciate the new furry friends it will find there!
You’ll need to create a pet profile on their website to purchase a membership. Then, all you’ve got to do is enjoy a fun day with the rest of the community! You can buy a one-day $10 membership if it’s your first visit. After this, if you like it, you can opt for a monthly membership or an annual one, depending on your budget.
To visit Ruff Canine Club, your dog must have DHLPP, rabies, and Bordetella vaccinations. Your puppy can join the club as early as four months old if it has received all the required shots. If your dog is at least one year old, it must be neutered or spayed.
5. Rockwood Park
|3401 Courthouse Rd, Richmond, VA 23236
|7 AM – 10 PM
Rockwood Park is a vast natural area where you and your dog can spend an excellent day! There are multiple trails where both of you can walk or jog, and (a big plus!) all of them provide their visitors with stunning views. Moreover, there are multiple shelters in the park where you can take a rest. So if you’re looking to disconnect from the city and spend a day in a quiet and peaceful place with your furry best friend, Rockwood Park is the choice!
There’s even a small dog park near Shelter Four, where your pup can have some fun running around and playing with other dogs.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/EmilyOnTime
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