Park Bark: Where to Take Your Dog Around San Jose

by on January 12th, 2011
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Water fountains, green grass, benches, shady trees, and the warm sun on your back can provide a relaxing break from a stressful day at work. Now if you add a fenced play area for dogs, it is also a good time for your K9 companion to get some exercise and socialization while you unwind. If you are in the South Bay area, around San Jose, California, there are over 15 dog parks in Santa Clara County alone. Here are the best “dog-gone” parks in the South Bay, according to Noodles, my 9 month-old Poodle mix puppy. These top picks are not only fun for dogs, but provide a comfortable and peaceful environment for humans too.

Los Gatos Creek Dog Park:

This wonderful park has so much sun and room to run! It has a beautiful view of a pond, the creek and the trees, right off of the 12 mile, Los Gatos Creek trail and in Campbell Park. There is a playground nearby as well as plenty of space for humans to sit down. There is Astroturf with scoopers for easy clean-up, water fountains with bowls and restrooms for humans near by.

Features:

Small/Big Dog Separate Areas
Sun and Shade
Astroturf
Excellent Seating
Scoopers
Rocks, Trees, etc
Trash Receptacles
Great Views

Butcher Dog Park:

A favorite place to meet friends, it has a circle area for small dogs to meet and greet, with plenty of room for us to run. There is a close restroom, basketball courts and a playground to make the whole family happy. Astroturf is part of the main areas, but there is also dirt, bark, trees and rocks for outdoor fun. Patrons have brought tennis balls and plastic chairs to make it even better.

Features:

Small/Big Dog Separate Areas
Sun and Shade
Astroturf
Plenty of Seating
Scoopers
Rocks, Trees, etc
Trash Receptacles
Easy for small dogs to socialize

Fontana Dog Park

If you prefer dirt over Astroturf, this is the park for you. Walking trails are very close, and the attitude is very casual. The large dog section is huge, and has plenty of room for play. There are tables for lunch or your laptop, water fountains with bowls. Restrooms are farther from the park, so make sure you go before you go!

Features:

Small/Big Dog Separate Areas
Sun and Shade
Some Seating
Rocks, Trees, etc
Scoopers
Trash Receptacles

Almaden/Quicksilver Park:

Not an actual dog park but a dog-friendly maze of dirt trails allow plenty of good sniffing. You may spot some wild turkey or mule deer along the way. You can start and end the trail anywhere from the Almaden Valley neighborhood to the Guadalupe Reservoir to the town of Old Almaden. The shorter trails can loop for a quick 30 minute walk, or you can spend an entire day going through the hills. Although I try to drink the from the creek beds, bring a water bowl and water bottles for the whole crew, as there is no drinking water in the park. Remember, this is an on-leash area.

Features:

Bags at entrance
Limited bathrooms at some trail heads
Beautiful views and over 4000 acres of hiking trails

While the South Bay offers a variety of other small dog parks, Noodles and I find these to be best suited for both big and small dogs. Many of the other dog parks, including Saratoga Dog Park and Miyuki Dog Park do not have separate areas and are close to a major expressway or freeway, or do not offer long-day essentials such as water and restrooms.

For more information and a greater list of area dog parks, please look at the San Jose City Parks , or the Santa Clara County Parks websites.

What is your favorite dog park? Please send your responses in the comments below.


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