Let’s face it, living in the city doesn’t make it easy to find a grassy area for our pets to get a little exercise. However, these places do exist if you look hard enough and we’ve done our best to locate the most accessible, pet-friendly parks the city has to offer. If you and your pet have a favorite park that we haven’t discovered, please contact us so that we can share it with other park-going pet owners! Remember: picking up after your pooch ensures that he/she will be welcome back time and time again.
The Back Bay Fens – This two-mile long park stretches all the way from behind Fenway park to the Isabella Gardner Museum. You’ll find bridges, benches and lots of grass where you and your leashed dog will enjoy walking.
Charlesgate Dog Run – Although this area is small, it is the only official place in Boston that your dog can run around unleashed. The entrance is located off the western side of the Mass. Ave. Bridge.
The Esplanade – This area along the Charles River extends from the Museum of Science to Mass. Ave. and is about 3.5 miles long. Whether you’re walking, biking, jogging, rollerblading, swimming or picnicking, you and your dog will enjoy the scenery and space that this area affords.
The Christian Science Reflecting Pool – This pool is a swimming dog’s dream and although you would assume that it’s off limits to dogs, your dog is more than welcome to take a dip as long as he/she is on a leash. The pool is located next to the Christian Science Center along Huntington Ave. On a hot summer day, your canine will thank you for this refreshing treat. The pool is lit at night, so it is open 24 hours a day.
Commonwealth Avenue Mall – Extending seven blocks down the center of Commonwealth Ave. between Arlington and Hereford Streets, this well maintained stretch of grass and walkways will provide a great place for you to walk your dog. Keeping your pet leashed is important since cars will be passing by on either side.
The Boston Common – This city park is located between Charles Street, Beacon Street, Park Street and Tremont Street. There are many different areas for your dog to run and play, but as with most parks, be sure your dog is leashed. This proves to be the most popular spot for Boston dog owners to walk their pets, so this is a great place for your dog to meet other canines.
The Public Garden – Located across Charles St. from the Boston Common, is the Public Garden where you will find walkways lined with beautiful flowers and grassy areas. This is not the place to take your energetic dog to run around, but a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
Located on the corner of Chestnut Hill Ave. and Commonwealth Ave. is a small, grassy area that may not look like much. However, on the weekends or in the evenings during the week, many people can be seen playing with there dogs here. We’re not sure you can even call it a park, but it’s certainly a popular gathering spot for dog owners and their leashed pals!
Christian Herter Park – This park runs along Soldier’s Field Rd. from the Eliot Street Bridge to the Arsenal Street Bridge. Part of the Charles River Reservation, this park is Brighton’s answer to the Esplanade and is slightly less crowded. Your dog will enjoy open grassy areas and easy access swimming in the Charles River.
Gallagher Memorial Park – Located in the center of this park is Chandler Pond where your dog is welcome to take a dip. The north side of this pond is private property; therefore it’s off limits to you and your dog, however your dog will enjoy a half-mile jaunt around the other three-quarters of the pond. The pond is located off Commonwealth Ave. on Lake Shore Rd.
Rogers Park – Evenings are a busy place for pet owners in this small, neighborhood park where your dog will have ample room to run and play, leashed, of course. It is located off of Commonwealth Ave. on Foster Ave.
Bunker Hill Monument – Since this is one of the only grassy areas in town to take your dog, you and your canine pal probably won’t be the only ones enjoying this historical park. The park spans about two blocks and is fenced in, so even though your pet must be leashed, you don’t have to worry about an escape into the traffic.
Peters Park Dog Run – Every dog owner’s favorite kind of park – a run!
Although the grass in this run has been reduced to dirt, dogs still relish in the fact that they can run outside without a leash here. The run is located near East Berkeley St. between Washington and Shawmut Streets.
Stony Brook Reservation – You’ll enjoy this park just as much as your pet will! With several hiking trails and a vast wooded area, it’s the perfect place for a secluded walk in a very well maintained setting. In the western part of the park, you’ll find Turtle Pond which your dog is more than welcome to cool off in. This park lies between Washington Street, and the Enneking and Turtle Pond Parkways.
Arnold Arboretum – This 265-acre park is blossoming with all kinds of trees, flowers and plant life and is the perfect place for a nature walk. The main gates are where you’ll find most people gathered with their pups, but feel free to go deep into the arboretum where you’ll find woods, grassy areas and even views of Boston. To get there, follow the Jamaicaway south to the Arborway rotary where you’ll take the Arborway – follow the signs for the Arnold Arboretum from there!
Jamaica Pond – Located on Perkins Street, this pond provides a great spot for your pet to take a swim as well as trails and walkways for walking or jogging. Take note that bikers and rollerbladers are not allowed. There are several picnic areas throughout the park.
Olmsted Park – This park surrounds Leverett Pond which is clean enough for your dog to cool off in. Your dog will love the one-mile walk around the pond where he/she will have plenty of opportunity for sniffing in the surrounding wooded area. The park has entrances on the Jamaicaway and Pond St.
Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park – Aside from being a scenic park on the water, this park provides a great social atmosphere for you and your canine because of its popularity amongst North End dog owners. Your pooch will enjoy exploring the various sections of the park as well as the waterfront sidewalk. The park is located between Commercial and Long Wharfs.
Castle Island Recreation Area – The many different parks and beaches on Castle Island offer a wide variety of grassy and sandy areas for your dog to relish in. Remember that during the summer months, dogs are not allowed on the beach during the day. The most popular areas of Castle Island to bring your four-legged friend to are: Carson Beach, Columbus Park, Fort Independence, M Street Beach, Marine Park and Pleasure Bay Beach.
South Boston Vietnam Memorial Park – Your dog will enjoy this wide open neighborhood park located along East Broadway. It’s set amongst stores and residences and provides just enough lawn for your pup to get some exercise.
Thomas Park – This park provides a great view of Boston and the harbor. Your dog will make lots of four-legged friends at this popular South Boston dog-walking spot. It’s located at Sixth Ave. and G Street.
Blackstone Square/Franklin Square – These two parks are located on either side of Washington Street and each spans a city block. Your dog will feel safe in these fenced in parks where he/she is welcome to take a plunge in the fountains. Blackstone Square offers significantly more shade than does Franklin Square which may play a part in deciding which park is best for your pooch.
Southwest Corridor – This long sidewalk bordered by grass on either side is located along the border of Back Bay and the South End between Huntington and Columbus Avenues. This is a popular South End spot for walking with or without your four-legged friend. Be on the lookout for the occasional car passing through on the access road.
King’s Beach, Lynn Beach, Long Beach and Nahant Beach – This two and a half mile stretch of waterfront provides a great place for you and your dog to take a stroll and a dip. Located along Lynn Shore Drive, you’ll find plenty of grass, sand, and cliffside walkways where your canine will love to frolic.
Lynn Heritage State Park – With its view of the Lynn Harbor, this five-acre park should give your dog plenty of room to expend a little energy. Dogs of the adventurous nature may even climb down the cliff to cool off in the water. The park is located right off of the Lynnway.
Lynn Woods Reservation – Your dog will be begging to return to this large wooded area with scattered ponds where he/she can run about and explore without a leash. If you and your four-legged friend enjoy nature and hiking, this will be your favorite spot! It is located on Lynn Shore Drive.
Mystic River Reservation – Located on Route 16, this reservation has paved paths along the river that will give you and your dog a good walk as well as grassy areas where your dog can expend some energy. The different areas of the reservation will provide you and your pooch with great opportunities for exploring.
Salem Common – This fenced in park in the center of town will provide a great spot for you and your four-legged friend to do some socializing, play with a ball or just relax. It’s located across from the Salem Witch Museum at the intersection of Washington Square.
Breakheart Reservation – With two lakes in the center and trails scattered throughout, this reservation will provide hours of scenery and entertainment for you and your pup. Choose one of the marked trails or follow your dog’s nose to explore a path of your own. This reservation is located on Forest St.
Blaney and Phillips Beaches – Although your dog isn’t allowed here during the months from May to October, your pup will be very happy dashing around in the remaining months without a leash. Access to Blaney Beach can be obtained by parking on Humphrey St. Phillips Beach can be accessed by Ocean, Longley or Shepard Avenues.
Lake Quannapowitt – This popular and crowded spot is a great place for you and your canine to take a 3-mile walk. Your dog will especially like the opportunity to take a swim in the lake. Off the main path you can also find some grassy areas in which to play. The best place to park for access to the Lake is at Veterans field.
Menotomy Rocks Park – A popular spot for local dog lovers, you and your dog will feel quite welcome at this small, but inviting park. You’ll find grassy areas, a path that encircles the pond in the center and even some woods. The park is located on Jason Street.
Spy Pond Field and Park – Picnic, windsurf, swim or just meander at this small park located on Pond Lane off of Route 3. Your dog will get plenty of attention while roaming through the playground or duck-feeding area, but probably won’t find this the best place to expend a lot of energy.
Beaver Brook Reservation – Although there are two ponds in this reservation, they don’t come highly recommended for swimming due to their muddy conditions. However, there are plenty of other areas for you and your dog to explore. You can access the reservation from Route 60.
Highland Farm Wildlife Sanctuary – You and your dog will enjoy the varied wildlife there is to see here. There is a main trail with a couple of diverging paths off of it all surrounded by fields. The entrance to this sanctuary is along Somerset Rd.
Rock Meadow Reservation - Here you will find several trails that wind amongst meadows and woodlands. This is a great place for a hike for you and your pup. The reservation is located on Mill St.
Jamaica Road – At just about any time of the day, you’ll find several pet owners frolicking with their four-legged friends in this neighborhood park. Your dog will feel very welcome at this park full of friendly dog lovers.
Larz Andersen Memorial Park – This is a popular place for Brookline dog lovers since your dog can leap and bound without a leash, but he/she must be under voice control. Here you’ll find everything from picnics to ponds to wooded areas where your dog will be free to play with the many other visiting dogs or just explore on his own. The park is accessible via Goddard St. or the Museum of Transportation.
Reservoir Park – Located along Route 9, this is more of a trail surrounding a reservoir than it is a park, however, you and your dog can enjoy a walk or a jog around the reservoir, or you may prefer to sit on a nearby bench and enjoy the scenery.
Danehy Park – This park has an off-leash dog run that will have your canine splashing in the small pond or frolicking in the grass with other dogs. Outside of the off-leash run is a very pleasant park where you and your dog will enjoy getting some exercise. New St. runs behind the Fresh Pond Mall but will lead you to the park
Fort Washington Park – You probably won’t enjoy this park much since it’s really just an open field, however, your dog will be thrilled to be able to expend tons of energy without being restrained by a leash. The field can be found on Waverly St.
Fresh Pond Park – This park offers one of the best places in Cambridge for your dog since there is no leash requirement and lots of space for your pooch to play. Hang out in the grassy area or head to the reservoir where you’ll find woods, water and a great walking path. Your dog can swim in Little Fresh pond, but not in the reservoir. The park is located along Fresh Pond Parkway.
Parker Meadow Conservation Area – This is a great place to let your dog run off-leash since it has endless grassy fields along the North Lexington Brook. Your dog is sure to have a blast dashing in and out of the brook and playing in the open fields. You can access the park from Revere St.
Shaker Glen Conservation Area – This small park with several trails surrounded by grassy areas will enjoyed by both you and you dog – especially since a leash is not required. Located at the end of Rolfe Road.
Tower Park – This is yet another Lexington Park that doesn’t require your pooch to be on a leash! Mass Ave. does run alongside the park, so you’ll want to make sure your leash-free dog doesn’t go car chasing. The park is small, but provides a great place for your dog to get some exercise.
Whipple Hill Conservation Area – Here you will find great views after a brief hike to the top of Whipple Hill. Unlike most Lexington parks, your dog must be on a leash, but the small hike will be enjoyable for both you and your four-legged buddy. The park is located on Winchester Drive.
Willard’s Woods Conservation Area – Let your dog loose in this conservation area filled with wooded paths and grassy areas. The park is located, appropriately, on Willard’s Woods Rd.
Crystal Lake – Located off of Newton Center on Lake Avenue, you’ll find several other local dog-walkers enjoying this quiet park. Your dog can’t take a dip here, but will enjoy a quick walk around the scenic little lake.
Hammond Pond Reservation – This wooded, rocky area is a good place to walk your dog, however, it is split by Hammond Pond Parkway which is a fairly busy road that isn’t easy to cross. Aside from that, the short, easy trails provide a pleasant walk and your dog can cool down by taking a dip in Hammond Pond.
Prospect Hill Park – Here you will find views of the Cambridge Reservoir atop Prospect Hill. The beginning of the ascent tends to be steep, but it’s a good way for you and Fido to get some exercise. After your short climb, you can visit the picnic areas for some refueling. The entrance to the park is located off of Totten Pond Rd.
Charles River Reservation – This reservation runs along the Charles River and is a peaceful place for you and your dog to escape to. There’s plenty of grass and shaded areas for you and your pet to play in. The reservation is located near the Watertown Bridge.
Brooks-Parkhurst Town Forest – You and your dog will get some good exercise in this small, hilly park with a half-mile loop that is well marked. You can access the forest by West Chardon and Sussex Roads.
Mystic River Reservation – Located off the Mystic Valley Parkway is the Mystic Lakes section of the reservation. It will provide a great place for you and your dog to take a walk or rest in the grassy areas. Sandy Beach is located in this area, however, your dog is not allowed in the swimming area here.
Pond Meadow Park – Your dog will love plunging into the pond or exploring the various trails that are in this park. The park is located on Libert St.
Blue Hills Reservation – The Ponkapoag Pond Section of this reservation is a prime spot for eager dog walkers. Both you and your dog will enjoy a swim in the pond on hot summer days after walking the beautiful Ponkapoag or Boardwalk Trails. The park can be easily accessed from Route 128 by taking Exit 3 to the Ponkapoag Trail.
Eleanor Cabot Bradley Reservation – This very pretty park is adorned with small ponds, flowers, and grassy areas that your dog will love to explore, on a leash, of course. There are several short trails around the reservation that you and your dog are sure to enjoy. The reservation is located on Washington St.
Note: Because most Massachusetts towns and cities have strictly enforced leash laws, your dog must be leashed unless otherwise noted.