15 of the Best Dog Parks to Enjoy in Detroit, Michigan

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Detroit is the largest city in Michigan and has a population of close to 640,000 people. It is a major riverport that connects the four straits of the Great Lakes system. Known for its Motown music and the birthplace of the modern vehicle, giving it the nickname of Motor City. It was also the place where the kitchen stove was invented, as well as the first coffee maker, state fair, and paved road. Although the Paleo Indians had villages here about 11,000 years ago, it was not named a city until 1806, almost a century after it was founded by Antoine Cadillac and Alphonse de Tonty.

With hot summers and cold, snowy winters, you will find water sports are popular in the summer, and skiing and other cold-weather fun is popular in the winter. Detroiters do not stay home when it is cold! They put on their warm clothes, boots, and snowsuits and go snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing in the local parks. Your pup can also enjoy Detroit during the winter as well as the rest of the year. Here are 15 great parks to check out!

Anne Fracassa Memorial Dog Park

Also known as Warren Dog Park, Anne Fracassa Memorial Dog Park can be found in the southwestern corner of Burdi Park in Warren, about 15 minutes north of Detroit. The first thing to note about this dog park is that there is no separate space for small, shy, or elderly pooches. So, if your little fur baby is not comfortable around big dogs, you may want to choose a different park. Otherwise, this place is perfect, with one acre of completely fenced natural grass for your canine companion to enjoy. 

Pup parents will have a wide array of seating choices, whether you want to soak up the sun or cool off in the shade. The park also supplies cleanup stations with doggie bags as well as a water supply for filling bowls. The best part is the agility section, where they have a huge ramp with steps to climb, a tunnel to run through, weave polls, a platform, jumps, and even a swimming pool. 

Barkside Dog Park & Beer Garden

In northeastern Detroit, in the West Village area, you can find the very first beer garden dog park. Barkside Dog Park & Beer Garden just opened its doors in 2023 and is a perfect opportunity for dogs and their humans to enjoy playing together all year long, no matter the weather! And the pup parents can enjoy some adult beverages while they watch their fur puppies play! With over 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor fun, there is plenty to do. 

The indoor heated patio and bar feature 3,000 square feet with TVs to watch and sells beer, wine, and other beverages so you can mingle with the other pet parents while Fido plays. And the pups can enjoy treats, snacks, and even pupcakes. There will also be special events like trivia, dog yoga, and puppy training. Outside has enough space for 100 people and some cool toys for the pooches. Get a day pass and check it out soon!

Behnke Memorial Dog Park

A few minutes northeast of Anne Fracassa Memorial Dog Park, Behnke Memorial Dog Park, inside of Memorial Park in Mount Clemens, is another great choice to spend some time in Detroit. It is located just off of Lafayette Street between the fitness center and the ball field. Similar to the other dog park, this one also allows all sizes and breeds to mingle. However, they insist that pit bulls have to wear a muzzle. 

It is fully fenced and partially shaded, with benches strategically spaced around the outer perimeter. There is a water fountain with a dog bowl attached, doggie bag stations, and lots of trees for your pooch to run through. All the pups love running through the colorful tire maze, chasing each other through the tunnel, and jumping over the obstacle and through the hoops. There is even a fake hydrant for them to leave their scent on. The rest of Memorial Park allows leashed dogs to join you for a picnic or to let the kiddos play on the playground. 

Bell Isle State Park and Beach

Although it is not an off-leash dog park, Bell Isle State Park is 982 acres of dog-friendly fun as long as your cuddly canine companion is secured by a leash at all times. Between Michigan and Canada on the Detroit River, this island is a state park with all sorts of fun activities you and your fur baby can enjoy together. Take him paddling on the river, grab a pole and fishing license, and try your luck at catching “the big one,” or take your pooch to cool off at the water’s edge. 

Some of the major attractions do not allow dogs, like the museum, aquarium, and greenhouse. But there is over 900 acres of outdoors to explore along one of the walking paths and trails. There are several nice playgrounds for the kiddos with slides, swings, and interactive activities, or you can rent a bike to check out some of the bike paths. Just remember to bring plenty of doggie bags. 

Cadillac Square Dog Park

What used to be the Detroit Central Market, Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit is a city park that is reusing vital space for the good of its residents and visitors… including the four-legged variety! The Cadillac Square Dog Park is a cute little park, relatively new, with a large patch of grass, a paved walking path, benches to relax on, and doggie bag dispensers. The only thing is does NOT have is a fence. 

Because there is no fence, this city park requires your pooch to stay connected to his leash at all times. This is important here anyway because there are some very busy streets nearby. The good news is that the whole entirety of Cadillac Square is Fido-friendly, so your pooch can join you at the Bagley Memorial Fountain, gardens, and the many food trucks that gather here. Even though the park has doggie bags, bring your own just in case, and bring your own water. 

Capitol Park Dog Park

In northwestern Detroit on State and Griswold Streets, Capitol Park Dog Park can be found in the southeastern corner of Capitol Park. Like these others, Capitol Park does not discriminate between dog breeds and sizes. Everyone from little Lhasa Apsos to massive Mastiffs can play together in this fun grassy off-leash park. Although it is small, this pup play yard is nicely arranged so all pooches can play happily while their humans have a seat on the bench to watch.

It is not really big enough for playing fetch, but it is perfect for those who are in the city and need someplace to let their fur puppy run around off the leash. If you are worried about large dogs stepping on your little one, you do not need to worry. The pet parents here are good about watching their pups, and it is mostly small dogs anyway due to the size of the space. 

Clinton Township Dog Park

Clinton Township Dog Park is located about three miles southwest of Behnke Memorial Dog Park in the Clinton Township Park between the senior center and the sled hill. This pooch playground requires a membership to play. You can register online in minutes with a shot record and dog license. The fee is minimal, especially if you happen to live in Clinton Township. Inside the 1.5-acre off-leash fun space, you will find the basics, such as benches, water fountains, and waste bags. 

However, like the others above, Clinton Township Dog Park does not separate dogs by size. It is one large open space for everyone from tiny Teacup Poodles to large Labradoodles. There is plenty of room for a game of catch or frisbee and a few climbing obstacles and hydrants. Feel free to leash your pup and explore the rest of the 72 acres, where they have pickleball, basketball, volleyball, trails, a splash pad, playgrounds, fishing, picnic areas, and more. 

Detroit Dog Park

All dogs are welcome to come and play at the Detroit Dog Park located inside Macomb Community Park. It is just off of Rose Street in western Detroit’s Corktown. From petite Pugs to huge Hound Dogs, there is no distinction between the dogs here as they all play in the same large yard. Fully fenced, the park has natural grass and pavement for ground cover and has tons of space to play a game of fetch or frisbee with your pupster. 

Your dog does have to have a license and rabies tag on his collar while he is there and should be up-to-date on all of his vaccinations. The park does provide doggie bags, but bring your own, just in case. And there is a water spigot, but sometimes the water is off, so bring that along as well. There is plenty of seating for all and some shade for getting out of the sun. 

Hazel Park Dog Park

You can have a blast with your fur puppy at Hazel Park Dog Park just about 12 miles north of Detroit. The fenced off-leash pooch park is located in the southern section of Karam Park by the Public Works Department. It is not huge, but it has about a half acre for large breeds and a quarter acre for the little ones. You will need to get a membership first and get a key to get in. This requires a small fee and vaccination records. 

You may be surprised at how much this smallish dog park has to offer. There are ramps with steps for the cuddle buddies to climb and run on, a little gym just for dogs with a pedestal and roof, hydrants for marking, and picnic tables for the pet parents. You will also find waste stations with baggies, water access, and buckets full of balls, doggie discs, rope toys, and other fun stuff. 

Mark Twain Dog Park

In Royal Oaks, about 25 minutes north of downtown Detroit, Mark Twain Dog Park can be found right next to Bishop Foley High School, where the Mark Twain Elementary School used to be. You will need a membership here, but you do not have to be a resident like many of the dog parks in the area. The fee is worth the safety of your pooch since all dogs have to have up-to-date shot records and health screenings. 

The five-acre pup playground was opened in 2008 and has been improved yearly with many new amenities and features. Some of these include a separate area for small and timid dogs, solar lights for night visitors, and agility equipment like ramps, tunnels, and jumps to enjoy. The pup parents have lots of seating, both shaded and out in the open. There are also two acres of wooded trails to explore with your canine companion. 

Midtown Dog Park

True to its name, the Midtown Dog Park is a popular pup park in the middle of Detroit. You can find it on the corner of West Canfield Street and Cass Avenue, right next to the Knicker Bocker Apartment Complex. Right out front, you will see a large silver food trailer called Frita Batidos, where you can get some delicious Cuban food. It also has a small dog park section for the little and shy dogs as well as waste stations and picnic tables. 

The agility equipment will keep your fur puppy in shape as he runs through the tunnels, zips around the weave poles, climbs on pedestals, runs up and down the ramps, and jumps through hoops. Also, the grass is actually synthetic stuff that is easy on the paws and prevents mud. During the summer, there is a pool, and there is always a pump for water access. There is even a free book box there in case you need something to read!

Rose Dog Park

Named in honor of Officer Collin Rose in 2018, this cozy pup park is located in northwestern Detroit just north of Scripps Park and across from the library. Although it is small, Rose Dog Park is clean, fully fenced, well-cared for, and has all you need to let your fur buddy run around off the leash for a while. What’s more, this is another of the few dog parks in Detroit that have a separate space for little pooches. 

Officer Rose was a K9 cop who loved his four-legged partners Wolverine and Clyde as much as he loved his job. He was shot on the job just a few blocks from the park in 2016. He was only 29 years old at the time. He would be proud to see this fantastic dog park where so many canine companions have so much fun. They do have poop bags, but no water is available. 

Red Oaks Dog Park

Red Oaks Dog Park is about a half hour north of Detroit in Madison Heights inside Red Oaks Nature Center Park. This huge place has over five acres of grassy fenced pooch playground for your cuddly canine to explore. It is right next to the Red Oaks Waterpark but dogs are not allowed there. However, you and your fur baby have plenty to do at the Red Oaks Dog Park. There are actually three sections. One for big dogs, one for small dogs, and one for seasonal maintenance. 

Dogs must be over four months old and have a license and rabies tags on their collar. There are shaded picnic tables and benches all through the park, lots of space for chasing and playing fetch, and water access for filling bowls and swimming pools. In the park and on the trails, you can find waste stations with baggies, so there is no reason not to scoop the poop. 

Riverside Dog Park

Located on the Detroit River about 15 minutes east of downtown Detroit, Riverside Dog Park is a new place to take your fur baby to play. It is across the train tracks from the main part of Riverside Park next to the skate park and is one of the only dog parks on this list that has a separate space for small, timid, and elderly dogs. It is one of the largest dog parks in the city, with a total of three acres of fenced play space for off-leash fun. 

There are huge boulders around the park that dogs love to climb on and plenty of green grass to roll around in. Pet parents have benches, waste stations with doggie bags, and nice paved paths to stroll around. The rest of the 30-acre Riverside Park is pup popular as well, but you have to put his leash back on. Right next to the river, there is a large kids’ playground, picnic area, boat launch, horseshoe games, and a boardwalk. 

Statler Maloof Bark Park

Statler Maloof Bark Park is 13 miles to the northeast of downtown Detroit at Brys Park in St. Clair Shores. This great place has 1.2 acres of space in the southeastern corner of the park. It was named after a local businessman Fred Maloof and his dog Statler who helped get the park going. It is a pup popular park where your little fur babies can play with dogs their own size if need be. 

You will have to get a membership, but the fee is minimal and well worth it to know that all the cuddly canines are healthy. In fact, new members have to attend a class that covers the rules and regulations of the park before a membership can be used. The rest of Brys Park is fun too, and your pooch is welcome as long as he is leashed. There is a disc golf course, playground, picnic areas, and a walking path to enjoy. 

The Final Woof

Take a break from the dog parks for a while and go on a scavenger hunt with your best furry friend. The Detroit Scavenger Hunt: Roll Through Motor City is dog-friendly and gives you some really fun history of the city. If you want to go shopping, you do not have to find a pet sitter here. The Mall at Partridge Creek is a pup popular outdoor shopping mall with over 100 shops and eateries from Aerie to Zales. They even have four dog parks and a bakery called Three Dog Bakery that makes healthy and delicious dog treats. Your canine companion can try some samples too!

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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