A well-socialized dog is a good canine companion. Dog parks provide the perfect opportunities for dog owners to introduce their pets to other dogs and people so they may learn to use proper doggie etiquette in public places. Off-leash dogs can exercise their bodies while enjoying fresh air and stimulating surroundings. People often strike up conversations and make friends as their dogs romp and explore within the safe confines of the park.
A good dog park has:
- Plenty of space to run, explore and socialize (sometimes separating the smaller dogs from the larger ones)
- A safe environment with well-maintained grounds and fencing
- Areas for humans to relax while dogs play with benches for sitting
- A bulletin board with dog related information
- Dog bathing area
- Restrooms for humans
- Easy access to the park for mobility impaired individuals
Fleet Peeples Park in Winter Park, Paw Park in Sanford, Barkley Square in DeLand and Gemini Springs Park in Debary offer all of these amenities and a few of them offer even more.
Paw Park in Historic Downtown Sanford offers running space under the shade of mature oak trees. The large trunk of a tree that fell during a past hurricane is a central feature in the park. Dogs climb atop it and run around it as they play. This park is located just off of U.S. Hwy 17/92 in Sanford.
Located on 14 acres, Barkley Square Dog Park provides dogs with a large, open fenced area with a pond in the center of it. A hill leads down to the water where dogs splash around chasing after balls tossed by their owners. This park is located west of DeLand at 1010 N. Ridgewood Avenue.
Gemini Springs Dog Park is a shaded, fenced area at Gemini Springs Park. The park's main attraction is natural artesian springs that feed a picturesque run surrounded by wetlands. Natural surroundings create plenty of interesting places to explore within the 4.5 acres set aside for the dogs, there is even a small stand of trees inside the fenced area. Gemini Springs Park is located at 37 Dirksen Drive in DeBary.
Fleet Peeples Park is 13 acres of doggie wonderland. A sandy beach on Lake Baldwin offers dogs a refreshing place to wade, splash and swim. When they tire of the water, they can follow a number of trails through a wooded area at the end of the park. A very active group, Friends of Fleet Peeples, plans events and supports the City of Winter Park in the upkeep of the park. Fleet Peeples Park is located at 2000 S. Lakemont Ave. in Winter Park.
For more information about these parks click on the links below to previous articles about each one.