By Megan Roessler
As we revel in warm weather, there’s no better time to trot your best furry pal to one of the city’s dog parks for some sun and fun.
INDIAN LAKE DOG PARK
Scenic prairie views, a historic chapel and winding trails are just a few of the things that make this park special. The main attraction—of course—is Indian Lake. Enjoy the view and stretch out your legs while the pups run at one of the largest dog parks in Dane County. parks-lwrd.countyofdane.com
WARNER PARK DOG PARK
Run wild at this off-leash dog park on Lake Mendota’s eastern shore. A colorful, abstract park structure makes for the perfect backdrop for an Instagram-worthy trip. Got a pet with an insatiable thirst for playing in water? Let them dive in the lake and play on the dock while you take in views of Picnic Point across the lake. cityofmadison.com
MIDDLETON DOG PARK
Located north of Lake Mendota near Waunakee, this park is ideal for a trip out of downtown, or for dog owners who live further outside of Madison and Middleton. Here, dogs are free to roam, and can strut their stuff in the enclosed agility course. visitmiddleton.com
BRITTINGHAM PARK DOG PARK
Urbanites looking for a place to stretch their legs will find no better place than this. Located just off the Lake Loop, blocks away from the Monona Terrace and adjacent to tennis courts, this off-leash dog park is perfect for an afternoon stopover in downtown Madison. cityofmadison.com
PRAIRIE MORAINE DOG PARK
If you’re looking for wide-open spaces, this is the place to be. One of the largest dog parks in the U.S., Prairie Moraine sprawls 160 acres of moraine and oak savanna. Sce- nic overlooks and stretches of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail make Prairie Moraine a treat for adventurous pups and humans alike. parks-lwrd.countyofdane.com
CAPITAL SPRINGS DOG EXERCISE AREA
Despite its proximity to downtown Madison, this park feels remote. Adjacent to a disc golf course, the dog area is fenced in and has paths that run through tallgrass prairie. Plus, both the disc golf course and dog area are accessible from the Capital City State Trail, making it perfect for a quick jaunt by bicycle. parks-lwrd.countyofdane.com
In March 2020, the Madison Common Council approved a revised ordinance that essentially allows dogs in most Madison parks—with a few ground rules and exceptions. Namely, dogs must be leashed, up-to-date on vaccinations and picked up after. They should also be licensed and have a dog park permit. Parks and locations where dogs are not allowed include conservation parks, near burial mounds, City of Madison golf courses (in season), splash parks and near playgrounds. The city also has more than 30 dog-free parks.
Read more about it at cityofmadison.com/parks/dogparks.
This article was originally published in BRAVA’s April 2020 issue and was accurate at the time of publishing; however, some information may have changed. We recommend verifying information ahead of time if you plan on visiting or patronizing any businesses.