Cherry Creek and Chatfield State Parks offer the biggest and best dog parks in the area. There are also nice dog parks in Parker, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, and Littleton.Do you live in one of Denver’s many crowded apartment complexes or houses with nonexistent backyards? Do your dogs drive you crazy day after day? Don't let your pups stay cooped up inside as they bounce off the walls and ultimately drive you crazy. Let them run free at one of the many fantastic South Denver dog parks at your disposal! The best South Denver Dog Park is, by far, the Cherry Creek State Park dog park. One of Colorado’s 42 State Parks, Cherry Creek offers dog owners over 80 acres of fenced-in trails and fields, and it even has running water. On weekends during the summer, the park can be so crowded that dog owners have to park their cars down the road and walk into the park with their furry friends. The good news is if you walk into the park, you don’t have to pay for parking. Like any dog park, there are bound to be some downsides and Cherry Creek is no exception. Since it is a Colorado State Park, there is a fee to enter the park. The Annual membership to enter the park costs about $90, which includes a $20 permit for having your dog off-leash. Dog owners who are nervous about committing to the yearly membership can try the dog park out for a $2 day pass. However, daily parking will set you back an additional $8. Another potential negative is the park’s stream. While dogs love playing in the stream during warm weather, the water has been known to carry bacteria, and it is not uncommon for dogs that drink the water to contract a stomach bug. Though not particularly harmful, it can be annoying for dogs that aren’t completely house trained, if you catch my drift. With that said, I bring my dogs to the park every week during the summer and they only ended up getting sick from the water once last year. Considering that Colorado is landlocked and a mile above sea level, many owners (myself included) accept the risk to give their dogs the chance to swim and socialize.
Another excellent South Denver dog park is found in Chatfield State Park. Located in Littleton, this 69-acre dog park has great hours (5 a.m. - 10 p.m.) and offers two ponds and one stream for dogs to play in. Similarly, the main downside of the Chatfield State Park’s dog park is the cost. Being a state park, it is just as expensive as Cherry Creek. However, dog owners who purchase the $90 annual pass will be able to enter Cherry Creek and Chatfield dog parks as many times as they want. If you don’t need such large dog parks, there are smaller options as well. For those willing to drive south, Fairgrounds Regional Dog Park in Castle Rock offers two acres of fenced in area for your dog to run around in. Another great option in South Denver is the Glendale Farm Open Space Dog Park in Highlands Ranch. This park offers five acres of fenced-in area for your dog to play in and has ample resources including agility equipment, benches, drinking water, and trails. Highlands Ranch and Littleton have a few other small dog parks that are great to hit up as well. Hound Hill, Digger’s, Fido’s and Rovers Run dog parks are spread throughout Highlands Ranch. The Wynetka Ponds Bark Park and David A. Lorenz Regional Dog Park in Littleton are also excellent options to let your dog off-leash.
A new dog park is also under construction in North Parker, adjacent to E-470. The Parker Parks Department estimates that the new dog park will open this summer. However, construction has already been delayed multiple times. The plan is for the park to have five acres of fenced-in space, an agility course, and multiple water fountains. Since the park will be connected to the Cherry Creek Trail system, owners can go for a jog with their pup and stop at the park for a mid-run break. A Frisbee golf course is also planned in the area, however dogs will not be allowed there off-leash. Just because land is at a premium in the Denver area doesn’t mean your dogs have to suffer the spring and summer months indoors. These dog parks are just some of what the South Denver area has to offer. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!