Boise loves our parks, and we love our dogs — and those things have combined to make us one of, if not the best dog park city in the U.S.
The company LawnStarter recently evaluated and ranked almost 100 of the biggest U.S. cities based on their dog parks, and Boise came in first overall. Among those rankings, the most important criteria was access (most dog parks per 100,000 residents), followed by quality and climate.
While Boise ranked 37th for climate, we pulled in at sixth for quality, and first for access, which is how we earned that overall first place ranking for dog parks. It’s hard to know how much stock to put in these rankings. But it's a fact that we have the most dog parks per capita out of any major city, according to the Trust for Public Land.
We know Boiseans love their dogs, so you might already have your favorite dog park. But even if you do, think of this as a prompt to visit one you haven’t considered yet — you never know what your dog might love out of our abundance of dog parks!
If you have a novice swimmer on your hands, the slow water around the dog island in Ann Morrison Park is a good place to practice. (Alex Satterlee)
This little island paradise kind of has it all: Almost five-and-a-half acres for running and roaming, areas for swimming, and opportunities for socializing. Plus, during the winter, all of Ann Morrison Park’s 153 acres are off-leash. City Cast Boise host Emma Arnold’s dog Bev loves to run in a pack of other pups at this park, so this one comes with her (difficult-to-earn) seal of approval.
Located in the Columbia Village area, Bowler has a 1.25-acre fenced off-leash dog park, along with a shy dog area. This is right next to the Oregon Trail Historic Preserve and a few blocks away from the Greenbelt, so it’s a great stop to include in a longer walk.
This is another of the biggest off-leash areas in town. Located just west of Broadway Ave. in South Boise Village, the northern half of the 11-acre park is available for dogs to be off-leash between sunrise and 10 a.m., and then again from 4 p.m. to sunset.
A small amount of the reserve’s 734 acres are designated as off-leash. If you’ve been to the reserve but haven’t seen the dog park, it looks quite a bit like a big corral. From the park, make sure you know which trails are on-leash.
City Cast Boise lead producer Frankie Barnhill’s mutt Daphne loves this park the most, especially because of the obstacle course and ample areas for digging. If you insist on further information, it’s an enclosed 1-acre off-leash park with a separate area for small dogs on the southern end of the Morris Hill Cemetery on the Depot Bench. Be warned though: On hot summer days, the mulch-covered running area can get dusty!
Largely dedicated to football and soccer fields, this 51-acre park in Northwest Boise is off-leash, except in the fall and spring months because of sports (Sep. 1 - Oct. 31, March 1 - May 31). So during the summer and winter, this is a go-to spot for dogs that need to run, without the possibility of getting too close to roadways.