15 of the Best Pup Parks in Jacksonville, Florida

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In northeastern Florida, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is a popular tourist town and the most populated city in the state, with over 950,000 residents. It has some of the most notable beaches, such as Atlantic, Neptune, and Jacksonville Beach. The city was founded in 1822 and incorporated a decade later, named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. But Jacksonville is more than just a city, it has over 500 villages and neighborhoods built into it. 

Like most Florida towns, Jacksonville is warm year-round, with an average temperature in the winter of 65 degrees F and 90 degrees F in the summer. With an outstanding climate like that, you should not be surprised to know that it has the largest park system in the country at over 80,000 acres! This includes more than 400 city parks, seven state parks, and three national parks. Here we listed our top choices for dog-friendly parks in Jacksonville to visit with your cuddly canine. 

Leonard Abess Dog Park

Located in the Abess Community Park across the street from the elementary school, Leonard Abess Dog Park is a fully fenced open space with separate sections for large and small pups. You can find it about 11 miles east of downtown Jacksonville just minutes from Atlantic Beach. It is one of the newest dog parks in the city and has some really nice shaded areas for pups and their pup parents to hang out during the dog days of summer. 

The large dog area includes a nice loop trail that takes you through the wooded area and an open field for some fetch or frisbee. The rest of Abess Park is also dog-friendly, but you will have to put your pup’s leash back on. There are picnic areas, a playground, and even a splash pad where the kids can cool off. The dog park had doggie bag dispensers, but bring your own anyway, just in case. 

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Also known as Hanna Park, this is the park to head for when you want to enjoy the ocean or do some camping with your fur puppy. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is just 20 minutes east of downtown Jacksonville and even allows your pupster to join you on the beach. It is a popular spot for surfing, swimming, hiking, and camping, with 450 acres of prime wildlife space. The 20 miles of hiking trails range from short and easy to long and challenging, so there is something for everyone. 

You will have to keep your canine compadre on a leash in most of the park, but there are certain areas in the campgrounds and beach where your pup can be free for a while. However, since there are no fences to keep him in, you should keep him on a leash if he is not voice trained. There is also a freshwater lake if you would like to go boating or do some freshwater fishing. 

Ed Austin Dog Park

Ed Austin Dog Park is located in eastern Jacksonville between the St. Johns River and Mill Cove. The whole park is pup-friendly as long as you keep your fur puppy on a leash, except for the skate park and inside the community center. There are 144 acres of space that include disc golfing, soccer, baseball, hiking, and biking, as well as playgrounds for the kids and picnic areas for a picnic or a barbecue. 

There is a really nice two-mile trail you and Fido can explore and enjoy, too, where you can roam through the woods and man-made lakes. You cannot go swimming here, but you can let your dog cool off in the water as long as you keep him close. There are alligators here. The dog park is in the northeastern corner and has several acres of fenced space for your pooch to romp around with the other pups. There is even an obstacle course for the pooches to play on. 

John Gorrie Dog Park of Riverside Park

Just a few minutes from downtown Jacksonville to the southwest, you can find John Gorrie Dog Park of Riverside Park right by the St. Johns River. The dog park is located in the northwestern corner of Riverside Park on College Street and features lots of shade, doggie pools with water hoses to fill them, and plenty of room to run around and play. There are two separate areas for little and big dogs, and they offer doggie bags for easier cleanup.  

If you want to enjoy the rest of Riverside Park, put the leash back on, and your cuddly canine is welcome to join you. There are two natural lakes that attract lots of ducks, so your pup can play there but keep him from getting too close. This is an older park, opened in 1890, and lauds some stunning old bridges and huge mature trees for shade. Bring some food, and you can enjoy a picnic or barbecue too. 

Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park

Further south down the St. Johns River but closer to the Ortega River on the other side, Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park is another fun recreational space with a lot to do. It is one of the largest city parks in the area and has a lot to offer everyone. There are bike trails, nature walks, picnic areas with grills, boat launch areas, fishing spaces, and playgrounds for the little humans. It was named after the councilwoman who helped get the land developed. 

Other features of the park include an observation tower where you can see for miles, a nature center, and outdoor classrooms. But the dog park is what your fur puppy is waiting for! The small off-leash fenced area is in the middle of the park by the Tower Trail, playground, and restrooms. There is a small and large dog section, lots of shaded benches for pet parents, and doggie bag dispensers. However, there is no water, so bring your own. 

OceanWay Park

In northern Jacksonville, about five miles southeast of the airport, OceanWay Park is a great place to spend the day with your pooch. It is a large park with lots of different sports areas like basketball courts, football, soccer, baseball, softball, and swimming. There are several walking paths to explore with your leashed pup, and he is welcome to join you for a picnic or barbecue. You can even do some fishing while you are there. 

The fenced dog park is located in the southwestern corner of the park by the basketball courts on Sago Avenue West. There are lots of benches to relax in the shade and watch your fur puppy play with the other dogs, or you can bring a ball or frisbee for a game of fetch or catch. The park provides doggie bag stations as well as water fountains, but it does not hurt to bring your own, just in case.

Julington Creek Animal Walk

Julington Creek Animal Walk can be found in southern Jacksonville at the Julington Creek Animal Hospital, where they run a boarding, grooming, and daycare service as well. This is not your average dog park. It is more like a doggie resort. It has two separate pools for dogs, a splash pad for your cuddly canine, and all sorts of agility and play equipment like ramps, jumps, hoops, tunnels, and platforms. 

Besides all that, there is a nature walk through the woods where your canine companion can get in touch with nature. And if you decide to leave your pooch at the facility for a while, they have special-themed rooms and kitty condos with events and classes all day long. They even have cuddle time, which is one-on-one cuddling with their favorite staff member. No matter whether your pup is swimming, playing, or sleeping, the staff at Julington Creek are attentive and loving.

Springfield Dog Park

Right in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, Springfield Dog Park is one of the most popular parks in the area for pup parents. It is connected to the Springfield Community Park, which used to be named Dignan Park and then Confederate Park. It is also dog-friendly for dogs that are leashed and lauds all sorts of fun like hiking, biking, basketball, and a playground for the kids. There are also picnic tables and lighting for those who want to stick around and have a meal. 

The dog park is right next to the basketball court on Confederate Street, and it has a nice paved path for you and other pet parents to walk along while your pups play. There are lots of large trees for shade and benches along the perimeter, so you can keep an eye on your cuddly companion no matter where he is. It is a fantastic spot for fetch, frisbee, or just having fun. 

Veterans Park Dog Park

Veterans Park Dog Park in St. Johns is just a few miles south of Julington Creek Animal Walk and features a three-acre dog park with separated sections for large and small dogs. Some of the dog areas is in the wooded section, which is great for dogs with an adventurous spirit. Some pups just love to run around in the woods looking for squirrels and peeing on trees! It is right next to the skate park though, so if your pooch does not like loud noises, you may want to try a different place. 

There are Mutt Mitt dispensers and water fountains, too, but it never hurts to bring extra. Outside the dog park, Veterans Park is also pup-friendly as long as you put your pup’s leash back on. There are 50 acres with basketball, a playground, picnic areas, and pavilions, and six huge all-purpose fields for playing ball or just running around with your fur puppy.

Aurora’s Dog Park at Nassau Humane Society

Aurora’s Dog Park is located at the Nassau Humane Society and offers over an acre of fenced space for your pooch for off-leash fun. It includes a separate space for small and shy dogs and lots of seating for the pup parents, whether you want to sit in the shade or soak up the sun. And the most pup popular spot in the park is the bone-shaped pool just for dogs. 

Florida gets hot, especially in the summer, so it is a special treat to have a spot to cool off in. And if your cuddly canine compadre happens to get dirty, there are four bathing stations where you can clean him up before getting back into the car. They even have hot water so your pooch does not get cold because some days in January can be under 60 degrees. You will need a membership, but you can get a day pass if you are just there for the day. 

Davis Park Dog Run

Less than 30 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, Davis Park Dog Run is a fenced pup park for off-the-leash fun in Ponte Vedra Beach. This is a fun place for fur puppies of all sizes since they have separate fenced areas for large and small dogs. Each section has agility equipment like ramps, jumps, tunnels, and obstacles to play on too. And to make it even more fun, there is a pond where you can let Fido cool off. 

While you are there, if your pupster happens to get a little dirty, don’t worry. There is a dog wash station by the concessions building at the southern end of the park. The rest of the park is fun for fur babies, too as long as they are leashed. There is a playground for the little humans, six baseball fields, four softball fields, three football fields, and four soccer fields. Be sure to pack extra doggie bags and water. 

Nocatee Fields & Mia Park

Nocatee Fields & Mia Park are both dog-friendly spaces about three miles southwest of Davis Park Dog Run. Also known as the Trails for Tails dog trails, this is a great space inside the Nocatee Community Park where all fur puppies can play together. The Community Park has about 75 acres where your canine companion can join you as long as he is on a leash. There are trails, lakes, and lots of ball fields where kids can play anytime. 

They even offer a splash pad, water park, and a zip line, but that is not for dogs, unfortunately. However, your little buddy is welcome to splash around in the lake at Mia Park, which is quite large. Just keep him close and watch for alligators because they have been spotted here. Just because the dog park is an off-leash park, you do not have to take your fur baby’s leash off if you do not feel safe doing so. 

Paws Dog Park

Paws Dog Park is located in Jacksonville Beach, about 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville. Although you will need a membership here, it is worth it to know that all the dogs and pet parents are vetted before visiting. That means all dogs have to show proof of vaccinations and rabies shots and have a clean bill of health. It is also nice to know that the pups in the park are cared for by responsible owners who do not mind paying a small fee for the safety of their furry family members. 

The large park is well-cared for, has a separate section for little dogs, and provides numerous water stations and doggie bag dispensers. There is also a paved path that goes around the lake, clean, modern restrooms, and a snack bar with snacks and beverages. The park also has puppy pools with water access, and the astroturf means your pooch has plenty of “grass” to roll around on all year long without mud. 

Kanine Social

Kanine Social is just as much for pup parents as it is for the pups here! It is conveniently located just outside downtown Jacksonville by I-95 near St. Johns River. And you do not need a membership! However, there is a small fee, but it comes with lots of perks, including the most laid-back atmosphere you can find in a dog park. You can enjoy mingling with the other humans while your dog plays with the pups, and they have craft beers, coffee, and other beverages. 

There are two parks, actually. One inside and one outside. They both have separate areas for the big doggos and there are three bathing stations to clean up your pup if he gets dirty. Inside, you can sit at the bar or one of the tables and enjoy a game on television as well as the air conditioning, which is so important during the hot and sweaty Florida summers.

BrewHound Dog Park + Bar

Another awesome dog park with a bar, BrewHound Dog Park + Bar, is located just 15 miles east of downtown Jacksonville in Neptune Beach. Although this is a membership-based park, you can bring your dog to the Pup Porch for free and have an adult beverage with your leashed fur buddy. Or get a day pass for just a few bucks and let your cuddly canine run around in the off-leash area with the other friendly fur babies. 

In the off-leash section, there is turf grass, so it is always clean and green separate areas for the big dogs, and a splash pad where your pooch can cool off. There are even staff members (Ruffarees) to help keep the dog play safe while you enjoy a beer or glass of wine. They also have coffee and other beverages. There is a larger section that has trails, agility fun, and playing in the sun. 

The Final Woof

Speaking of adult beverages, there are a lot of places in Jacksonville where you can have a brew with your pooch. Brewz Filling Station is one of these pup popular spots where they have outdoor seating for pet parents. And Tabula Rasa Brewing is also dog-friendly, with a large green space with IPA brews and food trucks. If you would rather bring your pup indoors and have a glass of wine, Island Girl Wine & Cigar Bar is the place to go on Neptune Beach. Another fun idea is to take your fur baby on a scavenger hunt. The Jacksonville Scavenger Hunt welcomes canines for this fun tour. 

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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