Dogs can be a person's best friend, second child, and valuable member of the family that needs to get his or her workout on. However we as humans also need to get our exercise on. Why take time to exercise the puppy and then take separate time for ourselves? There are many great parks in Fresno and the adjacent Clovis where a person can run with his or her dog or dogs without keeping the dog on a leash. Another advantage is that many of these areas even have dog wading pools and free doggie doo pick up bags.
There are five great dog parks that I found in Fresno where you can run while your dog exercises that are free. Why pay an admission fee when you do not have to? The catch to this is that you need to walk into the parks instead of driving into the park. Most of these parks charge a fee of around $5 a car if you drive in. Fortunately there is usually plenty of free parking nearby.
The first is the Woodward Park Dog Park just north of River Park and Palagio. The second is the AH1 Dog park that is located at 4257 W. Alamos. Please note that this park is typically not open year round. The next park is Roeding Park Dog Park. This is in south Fresno. There is also Victoria West Dog Park at 3861 W. Clinton Avenue. The final one is Todd Beamer Dog Park which is located at 1890 E. Plymouth Way.
The county PARCS administration runs the majority of the dog parks in the town of Fresno. The main office is at 848 M Street on the 3rd Floor in Fresno. If you have any questions about the dog parks or want to check on their current hours you can call at 559-621-2900. Please note that in general the dog parks are open from dawn to dusk. There are a few parks that are open even later, but from personal experience I would not recommend going to the dog park after dark. The great thing about these parks are that the dogs can run around without leashes. The only caveat to this is that the dogs should be well behaved and well socialized. In general aggressive behavior is not tolerated in the least. The other great thing about these parks is that there is clear lines of vision all the way around the park so you can dog around the park
Based on my experience I have not seen any of the dogs there being overly aggressive. In general the dogs are a good mix of sizes too which may help avoid any type of pack mentality. It also maximizes the change that the dogs will find other dogs that they will enjoy playing with at the park and can play with safely without worry about accidents due to size differences.
The first great park is in the middle of Woodward Park. This dog park is inside Woodward Regional Park. There is an entrance fee of approximately $5 per car. However there is a multitude of options to avoid paying the entrance free. The easiest way is to park in the Audubon neighborhood. There is typically plenty of parking in this area. Additionally there are long areas where you can park on the sides of houses instead of fronts of houses to be less irritating to local residents. This leaves their front for their guests. The main challenge with this option is that you need to cross a large street. The good part is that this is not usually a heavy usage street. The other option is a bit more of a walk but you turn left on the street leading to the main entrance and then continue over the bridge to the adjoining neighborhood. Here you can find a multitude of parking where you can reach the park without crossing streets. The drawback of this option is that it is about 1/2 a mile to 1 mile jog from parking to the entrance of Woodward Park.
In general the one acre dog park located at the northeaster corner of Woodward Park is open from dawn to 10 pm.
Walk for Birds
The Basin AH1 Dog Park is located on West Alamos by El Capitan. The exact address is 4257 W. Alamos. In general at of April 2014 the park was open from May to November. In general the park pens about 7 am. It is typically open until 10 pm daily. There is limited lighting in the surrounding area so you may not want to go to the park alone after day. The best part of this park is that it has a wading pool for your dog. There is also a multitude of dogs that seem to be regulars at the park which can be great for getting your dog socialized.
The parking here is extremely easy. You can park along the street or in the park parking area. There is usually a multitude of options that do not require you to cross the street to enter the park. The park does allow dog toys in the park and the park is very handicap accessible. There are picnic benches for you to sit and watch the dog or you can jog around the wading pool area or park with your dog. The park also has water fountains for both human guests and dog guests. The general rules in the park is that food is not allowed and dogs need to pick up after their dog. Other that that you can enjoy the park with few limits and as long as you keep food away from the actual dog park no leash area you can even bring an energy bar. This is a great advantage since many dog parks do not allow any food in the park.
Roeding Park is another great option. The dog park is located on an area within the Roeding Park. The great thing is that the one acre dog park has separate areas for small and large dogs. This is a fabulous advantage for tiny dog owners. The park is in general open from 6 am to 10 pm seven days a week. The park has plenty of shade too. There is an entrance fee if you drive in of approximately $5. Sometimes if you go very very early in the morning they don't collect the fee, however I would not plan on this.
There are options to park outside the park. Some options include local business parking lots and some street parking. The benefit of using these options is that you save on parking. The disadvantage is that if you are parking in one of the business parking lots they will usually require you buy something. You may end up spending more than $5 to avoid the parking fee. The other challenge is that street parking is somewhat limited and usually in front of businesses. Many of the street parking options require you to cross a street that can be busy at times. Also there is a decent amount of crime in that neighborhood.
The Victoria West Dog Park is in the Victoria West Community Park area. It is open from approximately 6 am to 10 pm. It is at 3861 W. Clinton Avenue. The park is fabulous. It is free to use. There is plenty of street parking next to and near the park to enjoy. There is no fee to use the park. The park is also handicap accessible. It is friendly for walkers and it is also friendly for wheelchairs which is amazing. There is a multitude of picnic benches around the area for you to take a break from running or jogging. You can also bring dog trees to this park and enjoy a frisbee or ball toss with the dog. If you want more challenge try challenging yourself to get to a ball thrown before your dog. In many cases this can be tough if not impossible. Another amazing thing about this park is that the dogs do not need to wear leashes when they are in the park. However you many consider keeping the leashes on the dog until they are most accustomed to the park. Based on personal experience it can be quite unpredictable on how many dogs are there and if the dogs are aggressive or not. The drawback is that many people bring food to the park which can pose challenges for some dogs wanting to behave and owners wanting to keep their dog from eating junk food.
Enjoy the Parks
The last but not least dog park is the Todd Beamer Dog Park this park is located at the corner of Maple and Plymouth. It is inside the Todd Beamer Park and typically open from dawn to dusk. The exact address is 1890 E. Plymouth Way. Please make sure your dog has its license before going to the park because it is not uncommon to see people checking on this. A dog license is about $50 a year or $135 for 3 years which is much less than fines which can be over $100 and sometimes penalty fees and impound fees can even exceed $500. Also if you have your animal spayed or neutered there is a discount of the license fee to $12 a year or only $30 for three years. The Fresno Municipal code in general as of April 2013 requires a dog license for any dogs over 4 months. Additionally in general a dog needs to get rabies shots.
Amenities at this park include tables, fenced areas, water fountains, and much more making this a very nice park to go to in some ways. The only drawback I have seen in this park is that there are many big dogs here which can pose a challenge if you have a tiny puppy.