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01 Jun Dog Parks

Contributed by John Simon

When I moved into my current house one of the most attractive qualities was the large fenced in back yard. After apartment living for a year, my dog and I were eager to experience life with a private plot for her to run and frolic. Even with our current situation, we both like visiting some of the numerous local dog parks in an effort to meet other doggie friends and, maybe, flirt with their attractive human mothers. Dog parks are wonderful additions to communities where strangers and weirdos become neighbors and friends. They really do a lot for cultivating a pride in ownership of the gardens and yards green space they provide.

Here is a brief look at some of the nicer places in the St Louis area to party with your pup:

Southwest City Dog Park at Willmore Park
Hampton Ave and Jamieson Ave
St Louis, MO
Hours: 6:00am-10:00pm

The Southwest City Dog Park located inside Willmore Park is a great place to led Rover run free and make friends.   The 1.1 acre swath of land along the banks of the mighty River Des Peres is open to all who pay the membership fee, with considerable discounts being afforded to city residents. There is a portion of the space reserved for shy or slower dogs so they don’t have to be bothered by all the young whippersnappers.
[The park is currently closed to repair the grounds but will reopen on June 9th]

University City Dog Park
Vernon Ave and Pennsylvania Ave
University City, MO
Hours: 5:30am-10:00pm

Heman Park is a massive green space located just north of the Delmar Loop and at the southeast corner of the lush open area hosts a nice fenced in place for the dogs to run. One side is quartered off for smaller breed dogs and the other for larger pooches. To get a dog park tag you must visit City Hall and produce proof of vaccinations. Pit bull and pit bull mixes are not permitted (I personally could not be more offended by such a discriminatory practice). There is access to water via garden hoses.

Frenchtown Dog Park
1001 Emmet St
St Louis, MO

Soulard hosts a very nice option to exercise your dog at Frenchtown Dog Park. Located two blocks west of 10th St this location caters to its neighborhood residents who might not have a large yard or just want to socialize their hound dogs. Two sections offer options for off leash or on leash animals. A $60 annual recommended donation gains you membership to the park. There are lots of extra tennis balls and a doggie swimming pool to maximize the experience. Located right down the street from several great Soulard establishments that allow the human patrons to sit on the patios with their pets, a fun afternoon can be had by beast and man.

Treecourt Unleashed Dog Adventure Park
2499 Marshall Rd
Kirkwood, MO

Not long ago Treecourt was a private swim club in Kirkwood, but after it closed the owners converted the space to a massive six-acre landscape for dogs to run freely. To gain entry each dog must first pass a temperament test, assuring that all the other doggies are suited to play well with others. Annual, quarterly, or monthly membership payments can be arranged with the office. This is one of the largest local dog parks so there is plenty of room for your dog to act however they please. Located in thick woods and near the Meramec River it provides a wonderfully natural environment.
Ellen Clark Sculpture Garden & Dog Run
Lindell Blvd and Grand Blvd
St Louis, MO
Hours: N/A

Looking to mix your fun, doggie playtime with a bit of culture in Midtown St Louis? Don’t want to pay any membership fees? You’re in luck! Ellen Park is the place for you. St Louis University has set aside a small plot of land to display several beautiful sculptures by Brother Melvin Meyer, S.M. Never too crowded and accommodating to large and small dogs, though the fences are not going to stop very small or skinny dogs from sneaking through and it can get a bit muddy after a rain.

Maplewood Dog Park @ Kellogg Park
West Point Dr and Rannells

Membership here is the most affordable among those listed here and can be handled at Maplewood City Hall. They re-mulch the patch every year and there’s a fun little wading/swimming pool for the hound dogs to splash around in. It might not be the biggest park but my dog always has fun when we used to live in Richmond Heights and go there on the reg.   Dog food and treats are not allowed in order to keep other dogs from getting jealous.

Shaw Dog Park
Cleveland Ave and Thurman Ave
St Louis

The Shaw Dog Park is a pleasant respite in the beautiful Shaw neighborhood located not far from Tower Grove Park, this little sanctum provides the dog owners a great location to run their mutts. It is well lit at night, there is a three dog limit and choke collars are prohibited. The gravely surface makes cleaning up easy.

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