Featuring Stannis the Dood

As in all cities, space is a commodity in New York City. So finding enough room to let your furry friend run free can be challenging. Although these dogs might be city dwellers, as any owner knows, it is still important for their dogs to regularly exercise, socialize, and spend time outdoors. These ten dog parks, located around New York City, are free of cost and will have your pup begging for a w-a-l-k.

10. Dyker Beach Park, Brooklyn

Recent renovations have transformed the dog run at Dyker Beach Park into a local favorite. Prior to the renovation, the park was overrun with trash and had little room for dogs to run around. Located at 7th Avenue and 86th Street, it now includes two separate areas for large and small dogs, allowing for plenty of running space. There is also a water fountain and seating options for the owners. See more of the photos of the park here.

9. Chelsea Waterside Park, Manhattan

Praised by park-goers for its interactive design, the Chelsea Waterside Park Dog Run includes numerous obstacles and man-made rocks for the climber in your dog. Though its size pales in comparison to Central Park, the layout of the park facilitates active play. At West 23rd and 11th Avenue, its proximity to the waterfront provides an excellent view for owners as well.

8. Sirius Dog Run, Manhattan

Located at Hudson River Park Pier 40, 353 West street, the Sirius Dog Run proudly pays homage to a fallen hero. It is named after the only police K-9 to die in the September 11 terror attacks. Though it was mainly designed for dogs living in the Gateway Plaza Complex, dogs from outside the complex are still allowed in the Sirius Dog Run. Besides its namesake, the park has among the best amenities that pets could ask for: pools, quality pavement, hills and a waterfront location. The pools are made possible because of its location atop of a former pumping station. Plenty of seating is available for owners.

7. Hillside Dog Park and Run, Brooklyn

The Hillside Dog Park and Run, located at Middagh Street, Vine Street and Columbia Heights is 2 acres, giving ample room for your pooch to run around. Interestingly enough, the park was created in 2000 from leftover land donated by the city in after the completion of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the 1940s. The park is cut into a hill (as its name might suggest) and contains many trees and even wood chips that were recycled from Christmas trees. It is opened 24 hours everyday, ensuring that you and your dog can access this woodsy haven whenever you want.

6. Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park‘s dog-friendly areas aren’t narrow runs of gravel or pavement, but rather large grassy fields where the park allows for off-leash hours in the early morning before the park opens at 9 am and from 9 pm until the park closes. There are off-leash areas located at Middle and Upper Long Meadow (excluding the ball field area in the Lower Long Meadow), Nethermead, and Peninsula. Raising bigger pets in the city can be difficult, but parks like Prospect are perfect for the energetic “bigger-than-he-realizes” pup.

5. Little Bay Dog Run, Queens

In the Little Bay Park area on the North side of the Cross Island Parkway & Utopia Parkway are dog-friendly areas that include designated off-leash areas. The City remodeled the dog park in 2010 and it was at the top of the Daily News’s list of dog parks. Little Bay Park’s waterfront location has the size that Manhattan dog parks can’t afford. Its proximity to the water and view of Throgs Neck bridge offers a calming environment and the Daily News wrote that “the best part of the dog park is that it’s made of sand, which truly gives it a beach feel and keeps the ground from getting muddy when it rains.” There’s also a designated area for small dogs, water fountains, shade and plenty of seating.

4. Madison Square Park, Manhattan

The dog run at Madison Square Park is always lively with the friendly tussles of neighborhood pets. And despite its rowdy personnel, it is well-maintained, spacious, and accommodating. At both ends of the park are water pumps and bag dispensers. The seating area is also conveniently in the shade of trees separating the park from the street.

3. 105th Street Dog Run, Manhattan

The 105th street Dog Run operates under The Riverside Park Conservancy and was once a flower garden until it became worn-down and obsolete. A group of local dog owners saw potential for it to be a dog run and in the early 2000s, it was transformed from its derelict state into the well-functioning dog run it is today complete with benches and water fountains. The run also hosts “Sundays in the Run” multiple times a year, in which both humans and dogs can gather for refreshment and socializing.

2. Silver Lake Park Dog Run, Staten Island

The Silver Lake Dog Park is located at 700 Victory Road with, you guessed it, a great chance to walk by the lake with Fido afterwards. Pets again have gratuitous amounts of space in a backdrop that seems hardly urban at all.  There are separate areas for small pets and it is the largest dog run in Staten Island. For a small taste of the suburbs, bring your pup to Silver Lake Dog Park.

1. Tompkins Square Dog Run, Manhattan

Featuring Stannis the Dood

Opened in 1990, Tompkins Square on 11 East 7th street was the first dog park in New York City. It replaced and rejuvenated a park that was only known for rampant drug use and other delinquent acts. Not only is it the oldest, but it is the largest dog run in the New York City too. Located in Tompkins Square Park, 500 East 9th Street, the park boasts 18,500 square feet and amenities rivaling that of a (human) hotel.

These amenities include three swimming pools, bath areas and hoses, picnic tables, underground drainage, and a cutting edge running surface made from decomposed granite sand. These additions were part of a $450,000 renovation in 2008 for your pet’s pleasure. The park also has large and small dog areas for off-leash socializing.

Next, check out Fun Maps: Most Popular Dog Names in NYC for 2015 and The 10 Smallest Parks in ManhattanGet in touch with the author @HeySamCampbell on Twitter.