The neighborhoods of Portland have plenty of parks that cater to our furry little friends, but for the sake of brevity, I have chosen one dog park per quadrant to focus on. Here are my top four dog parks around Portland, their fenced area, water bowl availability, and why our family loves them:
Northwest Portland: The Fields Park
When my husband and I adopted our puppy we needed very specific things from a dog park: namely, that it be fenced in and small enough to work on recall with our new dog. Fields Park has no real greenery to speak of, it’s dusty in the summer and muddy in the fall, but it does have some things going for it that I cannot recommend enough if you’ve got yourself a brand new dog.
- On site, with a spigot that produces clean drinking water on-demand.
- It is completely fenced in. When you’re working on recall with a puppy it is invaluable to know your new family member only has so much space to run. When our pup, Marmot was tiny and unsure, we were pleased to find a park so compact that allowed us to have full control in how he met other dogs.
- There is a ‘small dog’ area that is also fully fenced, and attached to the main dog park.
Southwest Portland: Council Crest Park
This park is high up on a hill, looking out over Portland with a brilliant view of Mt. Hood. There is a large field resplendent this time of year in daisies and dandelions. A few trees litter the park, which allows for some squirrel activity which Marmot considers of the utmost importance. There are also a couple wooded trails that lead from the park which are great for small hikes.
There was a bowl sitting on a stump when we arrived, but there was no water in it and I couldn’t find a water source.
This is a fence-free park. There is a road on one side of this park which is not heavily trafficked but could pose a risk to flighty hounds.
I would suggest you let your dog enjoy the park and then go for a stroll around the grassy knoll. There are 360 degree views from the top of the park!
Southeast Portland: Laurelhurst Park
Laurelhurst Park is absolutely beautiful and boasts an arboretum-like layout of gorgeous trees. When Marmot and I got to the dog park we saw a sign saying it was closed and had been moved to the ‘summer dog area.’ We followed the map to the supposed temporary off-leash area and didn’t see a single sign or a single dog; all we saw were two huge mud puddles in a low, grassy depression. We walked back to the ‘closed’ area and there were a bunch of dogs running around. The dog park itself was pretty lack luster. There was some grass, a lot of dirt, and an unsettling amount of pot holes that could take out a running pup.
No dish was visible, and the only water source was a drinking fountain for people.
No fences but luckily the roads are blocked by thick hedges.
Laurelhurst is really gorgeous for a stroll, so I highly recommend taking in the entirety of the park.
Northeast Portland: Fernhill Park
This is my neighborhood park, and my absolute favorite. Fernhill has it all: trees, big grassy field, interesting people, and a ton of squirrels. Marmot gets to chase fluffy-tailed critters and socialize with some top notch dogs. This park is big and the trees are all different species, lending to a really beautiful experience.
There are two dishes set out for water and the dog parents who frequent the park take turns filling the resident jugs to keep the pups hydrated.
No fences here, but the park is big enough that runners will have some distance to travel before they find a road. There is also a playground in the park, so if you’ve got a dog who loves kids, beware.
The last Saturday of the month is Bernese Mountain Dog Saturday, so hold onto your hats and watch the field fill up with the furry beauties.