In the heart of what is known as Bluegrass City, Lexington, Kentucky, is a historic city dating back to the founding of the nation and was one of the first permanent settlements in the country. And although the Kentucky Derby is hosted in Louisville, the city of Lexington is actually known as the horse capital of the world. Maybe because it was the first American city to host the World Equestrian Games and has one of the largest horse parks in the world.
But you came here for dog parks, so let’s start with the climate. It is typically in the lower 90s during the summer and the upper 40s in the winter. There are over 100 city parks in Lexington, with seven official Lexington off-leash dog parks that range from a tenth of an acre at Phoenix Park to 13.5 acres at Masterson Station Park. But most other parks are popular as long as your canine companion is on a leash. Here are our 15 top dog park picks.
Coldstream Park Dog Park
With 12 acres of off-leash space, Coldstream Dog Park has water hydrants, a separate space for small and shy dogs, and benches for pup parents. This is one of the largest dog parks in the city and is very popular but never seems crowded. You would have to have thousands of dogs and their humans to crowd this park. Besides all the usual amenities like grass to roll on and space to play ball, this one also has a lake!
The park has wooden farm fencing with mesh backing to keep all the pooches where they belong, and there are benches all over the place for you to sit and watch your pup play. There are no drinking fountains nearby but a doggie hydrant, sprayer, and lake. But it is best to bring fresh water and a bowl for him. Also, you will need to pack lots of doggie bags.
East Frankfort Bark Park
Only a short drive about 22 miles to the northwest in Frankfort, the East Frankfort Bark Park has a variety of fun agility stations. There are all different kinds of jump-overs and jump-throughs, a huge ramp to climb up and down, a set of weave poles for your fur puppy to wiggle through, and a really neat tunnel. All this in a wide-open grassy space with benches and picnic tables as well as a wooded area pups love to explore.
Your canine compadre can get a drink from one of the pup and pup parent drinking fountains, and there are waste stations with poop bags for easier cleanup. They do not separate the big and little dogs though, so if your fur puppy does not feel comfortable around big dogs, you may want to choose a different dog park on this list. There are plenty of them that do have special spots for the littles.
Great Crossing Park
Great Crossing Park is home to a dog park in Georgetown. Scott County Dog Park has four full acres of thick bluegrass space for pooches to run wild without a leash to hold them back. This one does have a separate space for little and shy dogs, so you do not have to worry about the big ones overwhelming them. It is the perfect park for dogs that love running because it is all open space. Nothing in the way. But that also means no agility equipment or other obstacles.
With so much open space, it is hard to find a place to be out of the sun, so remember that before you go. Early mornings and evenings would be the best time to go to beat the heat during the summer. Bring a ball, a frisbee, or anything else your cuddle buddy likes to chase because there is plenty of space for a game of fetch. Bring your own water and doggie bags.
Hammond Creek Dog Park
Hammond Creek Dog Park is about 24 miles to the west of downtown Lexington in Lawrenceburg in the southeastern corner of Anderson County Community Park. The first thing you will notice is that this five-acre pup paradise looks more like a human playground with its two huge dog play systems. The small dog section system has two climbing step ramps, two tunnels, and a covered platform on top. The other has four ramps with steps, two tunnels, and a covered platform on top of another tunnel.
But that is not all! The small dog section has seven agility stations, including jumps, a seesaw, a tunnel, up-and-down platforms, and a ramp. The large dog has eight pieces with several jump-overs and jump-throughs, tunnels, platforms, a seesaw, and a ramp. Between all of that fun, there is lots of open space to run and chase each other or to play a game of fetch or frisbee with you. They do have doggie bags, but it is a good idea to pack some anyway.
Jacobson Park Dog Park
You will find Jacobson Dog Park inside Jacobson City Park, about seven miles southeast of downtown Lexington. The pooch play yard has eight acres of fenced grassy space for your pupster to wear himself out and get rid of the zoomies. There is a separate space for little and timid cuddle buddies, and both sides seem to be about four acres each. Each side has its own grove of trees for shade and pup hunting.
The wood fence has mesh behind it to keep your little buddy from escaping, but with such a large space, it is a good idea to have voice control. The park has water hydrants and benches as well as doggie bag dispensers for easier cleanup. You are welcome to bring your canine companion into the rest of the park, but you will need to put his leash back on. There is 216 acres to explore and a lake where you can fish or rent a pedal boat to get out there on the water.
Jessamine County Dog Park
Pack up the pup and pup supplies and head to Jessamine County Dog Park in Nicholasville. It is about 14 miles southwest of downtown in Jessamine County Park, next to the animal shelter. This is not a huge park compared to those 12 and 14-acre ones, but it has about a quarter of an acre for small dogs and an acre for the big pups. It is all open space with Kentucky bluegrass terrain that your cuddle buddy will enjoy.
Since there is not much shade, the county built shade shelters with picnic tables for pup parents to relax while their pooches play. There are dog waste stations with doggie bags and scoopers and a bucket of balls in case you forgot to bring one. What they do not yet have is water fountains or any kind of drinking water access. Bring your own water and go ahead and bring baggies, too, just in case.
Judy Rains Memorial Dog Park
Located at Lake Reba Park, about a half hour to the southeast, Judy Rains Memorial Dog Park is a gorgeous pooch place where you can take your fur puppy to play with all the others. It has about an acre of fenced space, but the wood fence is not secure for little dogs that like to escape. However, they are talking about putting up mesh backing to prevent this from happening, so check with the park before changing your mind.
There is no separation. Everyone plays in the same space, from tiny Terriers to huge Hounds. So, if your little tyke is not a fan of big dogs, you may want to pick a different dog park to visit. But you could also just visit the other areas of Lake Reba Park. There are 600 acres here you and your leashed fur baby can explore, including two trails, a 75-acre lake where you can fish and go kayaking, and a playground for the kiddos.
Masterson Station Park Dog Park
Only five miles southeast of Lexington, Masterson Station Park Dog Park is right in the middle of Masterson Station Park, right across from Shelter One on Ruffian Way. The huge pup paradise has 13.5 acres divided into two spaces for small and large dogs. This is the second dog park that Lexington opened here. They first had one plot of land of about six acres but then got another plot of 7.5 acres more.
Each park has a water fountain for dogs and their humans, waste stations with baggies, and benches situated under trees all over the place. Being next to the fairgrounds, it can get noisy and crowded during the summer carnival and other events, so keep that in mind if your dog does not like loud noises. The dog park also hosts events throughout the year, like training sessions, doggie yoga, and more. Be sure to bring a ball or frisbee for a game of fetch with your canine compadre.
Patrick Brannon Memorial Dog Park
Patrick Brannon Memorial Dog Park is situated on the corner of Fords Mill Road and Wes Lee Drive in Paris, which is about 17 miles northeast of downtown Lexington. It may seem small after checking out the larger pooch places, but two acres are nothing to scoff at! And since it is all one big fenced space, that makes it even bigger. However, everyone here plays together, whether you have a petite poodle or a large Labrador.
The corner of the park has a water spigot, bowls, and a swimming pool for your fur pup to cool off. There are poop bag dispensers that are almost always full, but bring your own because it is a popular park. Benches and picnic tables are placed under trees for pet parents to relax and watch their pooches play. There is even a dog wash station across the street at the car wash in case your pup gets dirty!
Phoenix Park Dog Park
In the middle of downtown Lexington next to the public library and in front of the Athenian Grill, Phoenix Park Dog Park is a cozy little spot. In fact, it is more of a dog lot than a dog park at less than a quarter acre of space. But it is big enough for your cuddly canine to run around a bit, and there are plenty of benches and chairs for pet parents, some of them under the shade trees. Also, they have doggie bag dispensers and trash bins for your convenience. However, you should bring your own anyway.
True, it is not a huge sprawling grassy space. In fact, there is very little grass. It is mostly dirt and gravel. But it is perfect for those who are in the area and want to let their pups play off the leash for a while. There is so much to do downtown, from dining to shopping. Many of the outdoor shops and eateries allow leashed dogs to join you too!
Pleasant Ridge Park Dog Park
Pleasant Ridge Park Dog Park is another small pooch play yard but it is three times the size of Phoenix Park Dog Park. It is one of the newest dog parks in Lexington and has a walking trail that goes all the way around the thick Kentucky bluegrass. There is only one area so little dogs play with the big pooches. If your tiny tot does not feel comfortable playing around large pooches, you should try a different park.
You can find the dog park inside Pleasant Ridge Park, which is seven miles southeast of downtown Lexington off Interstate 75. It is just to the left of the parking lot, past the picnic shelter. There are several shade trees in the middle of the park with benches for you to chill out while your canine companion plays. They also have doggie bags, but you should probably bring your own because they often run out. And bring your own water too.
Get your pooch in the car and pack some water and doggie bags because you are going to one of Lexington’s biggest parks. Shillito Park is less than five miles from downtown Lexington in Wellington and it has more than 175 acres of space. This includes a swimming pool, playgrounds for the little humans, a small lake, disc golf, ball fields, and basketball courts. They also have numerous picnic shelters and open picnic areas with tables.
But the main thing you want to find is the dog park so you can let your fur puppy run around off the leash for a while. You can find it near the playground in the southwest corner of the park. There are two trails as well where your poochie can be taken off the leash if you have good voice control of him. Do not forget to pack plenty of doggie bags as well as water for both of you.
Veterans Park Dog Park
You can find the fun and fabulous Veterans Park Dog Park about seven miles south of Lexington downtown. The four-acre playspace is in the middle of Veterans Park between shelters two and three off Veterans Parkway. It is the newest pup park in the city, opened in 2022, and has a wide open space of Kentucky bluegrass for your cuddly buddy to run around on. There is no separate space for small dogs, though, so you may want to choose a different one if your little one has big dog anxiety.
The features are all new here, too, including a water fountain with a pet bowl to keep your canine companion hydrated while he plays, benches for humans to relax, and poop bag dispensers for easier cleanup. Although there are no shade trees right now, the city just planted 90 of them around the park to provide some relief from the sun.
Wellington Park Dog Park
Wellington Park has a great pooch playground with seven acres of fenced space for off-leash play. Wellington Park Dog Park is about five minutes southwest of Lexington and about 1.5 miles from Shillito Park Dog Park. You can find the huge dog park in the southeastern corner of the city park tucked into some wooded areas and shade trees with lots of grass and space to roam. There are separate sections for big and little pooches so everyone can play with their own size.
With seven acres, you and your pooch can do some hiking through the woods, over the gently-rolling hills, and along the creek. Dogs love to splash around in the water here, especially during the summer. It is a good idea to bring your own drinking water, a dog bowl, and a good supply of poop bags. They have them here, but with so much acreage, they are spaced pretty far apart.
Woodford County Dog Park
Take Highway 60, about 17 miles to the west, and you will run right into Woodford County Dog Park in Versailles. Although it is not a humongous pooch park, it has about an acre of space split into two sections. The small dog section is about a quarter of an acre, and the large dogs get the rest. There are boulders and other natural things for your canine companion to climb on but no agility equipment.
The dog park does not have any shade trees, so the city built a shade shelter for pet parents to sit and get out of the sun. They also provide doggie bags and a water fountain. The rest of the 500-acre park is open to leashed dogs in most areas but not indoors or in the pool. You can play a game of disc golf, have a meal at one of the picnic areas, or explore one of the trails. Just remember to take extra doggie bags because they are not available in other areas of the park.
The Final Woof
If you are a horse lover, take your cuddly canine companion to Kentucky Horse Park on Iron Works Parkway. The horse farm, theme park, and equine competition facility hold 200 different kinds of events here every year, and your pooch is welcome to join you as long as he is on a leash. You can even camp at one of their 260 dog-friendly campsites! If you want to enjoy a cold brew with your pup by your side, head to Mirror Twin Brewing on National Ave. They allow leashed fur babies inside and outdoors. And you can order a pizza from the Rolling Oven Restaurant next door if you get hungry.