It’s National Dog Month, and there’s no better place to celebrate than Bend in the summer! While there are many places you can take your dog when heading out for a drink or social time with friends, one of the best spots is a dog park – especially one that your furry friend hasn’t visited yet. Let’s look at some of the best dog parks in Bend, what makes them special, and what you can expect when you make a visit
1. Ponderosa Park
Ponderosa is an easily accessible park that many can jog or bike to with their doggy companions, with five fenced-in acres for dogs to explore. There’s also a variety of amenities here that everyone will appreciate, including picnic shelters for events, a nearby skatepark and other play options, clean sources of water for thirsty pets, and poop bag dispensaries to help clean up. If you are new here and wondering what to do in Bend with your dog, Ponderosa Park is a great place to start!
2. Pine Nursery – Bob Wenger Memorial
Pine Nursery Park is always a beautiful destination, but it also has one of the best dog parks in the state, with the Bob Wenger Memorial Off-Leash area for dogs to frolic and explore. There’s a grassy run area, more than 18 miles of trails for you and your dog to hike and wonder, and in the summer a season spray park to help your pets cool down – something every dog owner has been very grateful for this summer!
3. Riverbend Park
Riverbend Park has several perfect options for your dog depending on what you have in mind. The trails following the Deschutes River up and down are a great place for on-leash exercise and exploration with some great views to boot. There’s a fence-in area to meet new furry friends and deal with the zoomies, and a riverside spot for swimming and cooling down in hot weather. The rest of the park has picnic shelters, water, restrooms, poop bags and everything else you need for a great afternoon. The park is also centrally located right by Old Mill, so it’s readily accessible with a short trip from anywhere in Bend. If you feel like other outdoor activities in Bend, you can also float the river or paddleboard here!
4. Big Sky
This five-acre park is an off-leash area that your dog will love to explore, especially when they find the doggy pond for a quick splash or swim! Clean water is provided as well – and Big Sky is notably family-friendly, with playgrounds and a BMX track for entertainment while your pet runs off some energy.
5. Hollinshead Park
Prefer to start off small? Those living in Bend will love the grassy Hollinshead Park, three acres of beautiful lawn for off-leash play with your dog. You can also stroll through the nearby community garden and relax at the restored barn for calmer on-leash fun! It’s a good choice for dogs that are still getting used to new locations.