The Best 15 Dog Friendly Parks in Rochester, New York, to Visit with Your Pooch

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Located across from Toronto, Canada, Rochester boasts a sizable piece of waterfront along Lake Ontario. It is situated in western New York State and is home to the Eastman Theater and School of Music, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Ballet, and numerous museums and art galleries. It is also home to quite a few festivals, including the International Jazz Festival, Lilac Festival, Rochester Film Festival, the 360 365 Film Festival, and the Fringe Festival, to name a few. 

Besides hosting many festivals and other events, the city is also a place to play outdoors. There are over 100 parks with more than 3,500 acres of recreational space to explore and enjoy, most of them dog-friendly. Yes, your best furry friend can join you in almost all of the public parks in the city as long as he is on a leash. But your pup would rather play off the leash, so here are our top 15 picks for off-leash dog parks in Rochester, New York. 

Better Together Dog Park & Bar

To start off, why not take your fur buddy with you to the bar? Actually, Better Together Dog Park & Bar is both! Located right in downtown Rochester, Better Together is Rochester’s first indoor dog park and bar. Your canine companion is welcome to join you inside, where 3,000 square feet of space is available for off-leash fun. They have small and large dog sections for safety so if you have a tiny tot who is scared of big dogs, this is perfect. 

Sit back and enjoy a beer while you watch your pup maneuver the weave poles, jump through hoops and over poles, and run up and down the ramps. If you are not a drinker but love the atmosphere, you will find a selection of non-alcoholic drinks as well. If you live nearby, you can get a membership for $400 or just try a one-day pass for $15. You will need proof that your pooch has been spayed or neutered and has all his shots.

Cobbs Hill Dog Park

Less than three miles from downtown Rochester, Cobbs Hill Dog Park is located at the eastern end of Cobbs Hill Park. The terrain here is a mixture of crushed gravel, grass, and dirt, so the mud can be a problem after it rains or snows. There is a special section for small pooches so everyone can play safely. Each side has several benches for pup parents, waste stations with dog poop baggy dispensers, and lots of space for a game of fetch or frisbee. 

There are also drinking fountains for both pups and their parents, as well as fire hydrants for them (the dogs) to pee on and sniff. You will need to register your fur baby and get a permit and tag at the city hall, but it is free of charge. Do not bring any food or treats, children under 10 years old, dogs that are under six months old, or dogs in heat. 

Durand Eastman Park & Beach

Thinking of going swimming with your fur puppy? Head to Durand Eastman Park and Beach on Lake Ontario. It is only 12 miles north of downtown Rochester between Ontario Beach Park (no dogs allowed) and Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park (leashed pets welcome). There are four beaches. Dogs are not allowed at Beach A, which is a public swimming area. But you can bring your pupster to the other three beaches as long as he is leashed. There is no off-leash area here, unfortunately.

The park enjoys over 975 acres that you and Fido can explore any time of the year. During the summer, swimming, boating, and fishing are popular. But winter is fun here too. They have cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding when the weather is right. The park also has a golf course, hiking trails, geocaching, and playgrounds for the little tykes. Just do not forget your puppy poop baggies because they do not have those here.

Ellison Dog Park

Ellison Dog Park is just over five miles from Rochester City in Ellison City Park along Irondequoit Creek just south of the pond. This park requires your dog to be registered, and there is a small fee of $25 per year. Even if you are not a resident, the price is not much more than a day pass elsewhere, and it gives you the peace of mind knowing that all the dogs there are healthy. Be sure to have your dog’s registration for whatever city you live in, as well as his vaccination records.

This large pup playground has separate areas for small and large dogs, lots of room to roam, water stations, and waste stations with doggie bags for your convenience. You will have your choice of seating in and out of the shade, depending on what you want. But you can also get up and play a game of fetch with your fur puppy. You Greeknow he loves that one-on-one time together. 

Genesee Valley Park

Three miles southwest of midtown Rochester, the Genesee Valley Park is pup popular, but your pup has to be on a leash the whole time you are there. While there is no off-leash dog park here, there are more than 800 acres to explore and enjoy along Genesee River. It is the perfect spot to go canoeing or kayaking for a day on the water. Bring your fishing gear to see if you can catch a whopper. 

The huge park also has two golf courses with 18 holes each, a soccer field, three baseball diamonds, and several trails to check out the local flora and fauna. There are playgrounds for the little humans and picnic areas for everyone to enjoy. Genesee Valley Park is one of three parks designed by Frederic Olmsted, a famous landscape architect who highlighted the natural beauty of the rolling meadows and hills. Be sure to bring doggie bags and water. 

Greece Canal Dog Park

Just like Ellison Dog Park, Greece Canal Dog Park requires a fee and registration for entry into this nice pooch paradise. It is located in the southeastern corner of the park by the Rotary Lodge. There is just over one acre of fenced play area with a small section for little pooches. Both sides have agility equipment, some natural like logs and boulders, and a ramp and tunnel too. Similar to other dog parks, they also have doggie bag dispensers, water stations, and benches for the pet parents. 

Outside the dog park, Greece Canal Park has almost 600 more acres to explore. However, you will need to put your canine companion’s leash back on. Take the trail down to the Erie Canal for a bit of fishing or boating. Or you can just let your dogster play in the water. The park also has tennis and pickleball courts, playgrounds for the kids, trails to explore, and picnic areas throughout the park. 

Henrietta Dog Park

Henrietta Dog Park at Lookup Park in southern Rochester also requires registration and the same small fee. In fact, the fee for this park will get you into the others, including Pittsford, Sweden, Greece Canal, and Ellison. There are almost three acres of pup play space in total, with two acres for the large pups and almost an acre of space for the little pups. On each side of the park, there are tunnels to climb through, hoops to jump through, and steps and ramps to climb. 

Also, in the large pooch section, there is a creek that dogs love to cool off in during hot weather and sniff all the new scents when it is not warm enough to swim. Luckily, there is a hose to wash your cuddle buddy before getting back in the car! The park provides doggie bags for easier cleanup, benches for relaxing, and water fountains to keep Fido hydrated. 

Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester Park

About 15 miles southeast of downtown Rochester in Fairport, Lollypop Farm is a dog park owned and managed by the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. But this is a different kind of dog park because it really is a farm. You and your cuddly buddy can see the whole place in action as long as he is on a leash. Take a tour to see horses, goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, and even some emus. 

You can either take a self-guided tour for free or pay a small fee for a guided tour where you can learn all about the farm and the animals that live there. Be sure to pack doggie bags. Afterward, take your poochie to the fenced dog play area, where he can run around off his leash for a while. It is in the southwest corner of the farm by Ripley’s Garden and the Frank M. Rogers Pavilion just past the Hargrave Hope Pasture. 

Maplewood Park

Located in the northwest section of the city, Maplewood Park is another of the parks designed by Frederick Olmstead. It is located on the western side of the Genesee River along the Genesee Riverway Trail. Even though your fur puppy has to stay on his leash, there is no reason why you cannot both have an awesome time here! There are some stunning views to see here, with two waterfalls, a rose garden, and an overlook with a cool sculpture. 

The park also has tennis courts for those who like to play and a pond where you can toss out a line and fish for a while. The peacefulness of the area is just as breathtaking as the views. If you have any little humans with you, take them to the playground in Lower Maplewood Park, where they also have a great picnic area with tables and grills for a nice barbecue with your pooch. Do not forget to bring water and poop baggies. 

Mendon Ponds Park

Mendon Ponds Park boasts 2,500 acres of recreational space, making it the biggest park in Monroe County. Featuring wetlands, glacial ponds, dense woods, and gorgeous green spaces, it even has a sensory garden. Unfortunately, your canine compadre will need to be leashed while you are here, but you will both enjoy yourselves anyway. It would be hard not to have a good time with so much space to explore. Just remember doggie bags and extra water for both of you. 

Hiking is one of the most popular activities here, with 10 different trails ranging from a half mile to 4.7 miles. There are plenty of places to put in your kayak or canoe, too, with several lakes and ponds. You are welcome to go fishing too, but you will need a fishing license. The park also has tennis, rugby, athletic fields, and a modern playground with swings, slides, climbing, and interactive fun.

Pittsford Dog Park

You can find Pittsford Dog Park about 12 miles southeast of Rochester in the town of Pittsford along the western side of the Erie Canal. There is two full acres of fenced pup playland with a separate section for dogs under 40 pounds. The small dog section has hoops to jump through, ramps to run up and down, tunnels to race through, and more. You even have enough space to play fetch or frisbee. 

The large dog section has a vast amount of space with about a dozen agility stations including ramps, tunnels, and jumpovers. Both sections have doggie water fountains, waste stations with poop bags for easy cleanup, and lots of benches in the shade for pet parents to relax. This is the third park in the Monroe County dog parks that charge a small fee for membership. It gives you access to this one as well as the other three dog parks. 

Sweden Dog Park

The final Monroe County dog park that requires a fee and membership, Sweden Dog Park, is about 20 miles west of Rochester downtown. You can find it in the middle of Sweden Town Park, across from the skatepark and ballfields. There are three sections at this doggie playground. One for small dogs, one for large dogs, and one for all dogs to play in the small pond. You never see any fighting when there is water play to enjoy! And they have a hose to clean your pooch after he plays in the water. 

Outside the dog park, your pup will need to wear his leash, but you can still have a blast. There is football, lacrosse, soccer, and baseball here, with a concession stand to grab a bite to eat. For the little humans, there are three playgrounds and a splash pad. You can also go fishing, enjoy a picnic, play a game of disc golf, or take a hike in the woods. 

Troup Street Park

Less than a mile to the west of downtown Rochester, Troupe Street Park is a dog-friendly recreational area where your canine companion has to be leashed, but he is welcome throughout the park. And there is so much to do from playing basketball to watching a baseball or soccer game. The kiddos will love the playground, which has two different sets of play equipment, including swings, slides, monkey bars, and interactive play. 

During the summer, the kids can cool off in the spray area too. Although dogs are not supposed to, most people do not mind. If you enjoy hiking, take your pup with you to hit the trail through the wooded areas and around the perimeter of the park. Of course, there are quite a few picnic areas with tables and open grassy areas for play, as well as benches to sit back and relax while you watch people and have fun. 

Tryon Park

Tryon Park lauds 82 undeveloped acres on the western shore of Irondequoit Bay, about six miles east of Rochester.  and offers hiking and natural scenic areas. The park does ask that your pupster be on a leash, but if he has good recall, you are welcome to let him walk untethered. The large recreational space is popular for its trails, of which there are four taking you all over the park. Being so undeveloped and wild, you are bound to run into some wildlife. Just make sure your pup does not get too close. 

You will need to pack your own doggie bags and lots of water for these rugged trails or even if you are just going to fish here in the Irondequoit Creek, which flows all throughout the park. There are a few ponds as well. They also have cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter when the weather is cooperative. 

Woofs Canine Club & Indoor Dog Park

Woofs Canine Club & Indoor Dog Park in Webster is just eight miles northeast of Ellison Dog Park and offers dogs and their pet parents a variety of activities and entertainment. There is an indoor dog park that is 6,000 square feet of comfy astroturf with agility equipment, toys for the pups to enjoy, and a cardio and weight room for you. There is even a cafe so you can both get something to eat after working up an appetite.

There is a membership fee if you plan to come back often. Or you can just get a daily pass for $10. Either way, you have to have proof of being spayed or neutered, as well as immunization records. Enjoy a beverage and snacks while you socialize with the other pet parents and watch your pup run through tunnels, climb over ramps, and jump through hoops. Be sure to have that camera ready!

The Final Woof

After working up an appetite, take your cuddly canine for a bite to eat. Rochester has quite a few dog-friendly restaurants. Dogtown on Monroe is a fun hotdog and hamburger joint where you and Fido can eat together on the patio. Or you could try Naan-Tastic in Henrietta for some Indian food. For dessert, try one (or more) of the 60+ flavors of ice cream at Netsins on Culver Parkway. If you want to relax with an adult beverage, your fur baby is welcome to join you at the Stumblin’ Monkey on School Street in Victor or grab some grub and a beverage at Seven Story Brewing on the Erie Canal.  

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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