The Dog Parks of Wilmington, NC

“People who don’t mingle with other people outside of their social, ethnic, religious, economic, political, or peer groups are like dogs that grow up without ever having been socialized with other dogs (they tend to be skittish around the unfamiliar and react to other dogs with hesitation, suspicion, and barking).  Socializing dogs is recommended for good reasons. Not least of which is that they exist more harmoniously with other dogs.  This doesn’t just apply to dogs. The world is a dog park.”- Zero Dean

This past year has been tough on both humans and our furry companions; we all miss socializing!  Our dogs do so much for us; it seems almost unfair!   But there is a way to repay their endless devotion and love and it won’t even cost you a dime, plus you might make a friend of your own along the way!  All they want is your attention and affection…and a trip to the local dog park!  Luckily for us, Wilmington shares our obsession with our fluffy friends and has several dog parks to choose from.  So grab Rover, pack up your attention and affection…and maybe a frisbee or tennis ball and head out to one of these awesome Port City Pooch Parks.

Wilmington’s first official dog park at Empie Park is a two acre area located within the park and is completely fenced in.  There are 2 play areas; one for large dogs and one for dogs under 20 pounds.  There are pet waste stations and water for pups too.  Empire park is conveniently located in the center of town on the corner of Independence Blvd and Park Ave.

Long Leaf Park is another Fido favorite!  Located in the heart of Wilmington, on the corner of Pine Grove and College Road, it is a convenient stop from anywhere in town.  Since it is so popular, it is a great park to check out if your pup needs to learn to socialize or wants to come hang out with some regulars that are already friends. This park has lots of shade and natural pine straw throughout the play areas. There is also a 1.55 mile track around the park if you humans get antsy too!

Off the beaten path a bit in Hampstead is Ogden Park.  It is worth the short trip as it is largest of its kind in the area.  Like all of the others, there is a separate section for smaller dogs and a water station as well as benches and shady areas for humans to rest.  It is the shadiest of the options so it is a great option for the summer months.  The park also has a 1 mile walking path.  

Halyburton Park is on 17th St in Monkey Junction and although there’s no fenced area for off leash, it’s certainly worth mentioning for the 1.3 mile shaded nature trail that dog owners and their pets will enjoy.  This park also has fresh water fountains throughout for dogs.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras

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