Best Nearby Destinations to Get Your Dog Off-Leash
I adopted my pup, Cleo, in January and we’ve been adventuring ever since. These three off-leash spaces are our favorite nearby places to roam and play.
1. Bellevue Dog Woods.
Bellevue Dog Woods is the perfect size dog park to work on recall with your pup. The Ross space is more expansive than a typical city dog park (it’s run by Bellevue Dog Woods Association, an independent, nonprofit organization), yet not so large that you’ll worry about your dog getting lost. The well-maintained park has open and wooded areas for your pup to roam. Even on busier evenings, the space never feels crowded. Park regulars are friendly and supportive of new, well-behaved dogs. There’s a shaded area for small dogs at the bottom of the park, with “Small Dog Socials” held on Sunday afternoons for most of that year.
(300 Bellevue Road, Ross; bellevuedogwoods.com)
2. Riding Meadow Park.
Once you feel confident in your dog’s recall ability, take him or her to Riding Meadow Park in Fox Chapel. There, you’ll stroll through well-marked trails crossing tranquil fields and a babbling brook just 20 minutes from Downtown. Most of the trails are flat, and the few hills are gently sloped, making for an easy walk. There are a few open areas where dogs can socialize, but it’s just as easy for you and your pal to roam on your own in the fenced-in park. Parking requires a permit, which can be picked up at the Cooper-Siegel Community Library.
(592 Squaw Run Road East, Fox Chapel)
3. Sewickley Heights Borough Park.
Nestled in the rolling hills (and grand estates) above Sewickley are approximately 1,000 acres of managed undeveloped land. A network of paths provides access to fields, meadows and woodlands (including rare stand trees managed by the American Chestnut Foundation). Since it’s only a hair more than a half-hour from Downtown, it’s a destination in itself, but here’s what’s so terrific for dog owners: as soon as you’re 100 feet from the entrances, you can let your dog roam leash-free in a large area that feels like wilderness but is entirely fenced in.