I don’t usually like to rate dog parks because I really do love them all and I feel like they are all equal. But to paraphrase the book “Animal Farm,” some parks are “more equal than others.” I’ve visited, run, explored, peed-on and inspected each one of these dog parks in Manhattan, New York City, and this was my true, impartial, doggie-reaction to each.
This is my criteria for a property to be considered by me to be a true “dog park” or a “dog run”:
- The land has to be fully fenced in
- It has to be fully dedicated to dog-only activities/socialization
- It has to offer poop bag dispensers and waste bins
Top 8 dog parks in Manhattan
- Fort Tryon Park — Riverside Dr To Broadway, New York, NY 10040 — The dog run at Fort Tryon is at the top of the list for a number of reasons. First of all, it IS the biggest dog park in Manhattan, and that’s saying something. Most parks or runs in the inner-city are teeny tiny and don’t have much foliage or anything for a dog to sniff or pee on. This is not the case here. Plenty of greenery and tons of room to run, which is heaven for a herding dog like me. The park is also well kept, and the surrounding Fort Tryon Park is spectacular. An awesome place to take your dog and your family on the weekends.
- St.Nicholas Park — St. Nicholas Terrace, New York, NY 10027 — This is another enormous run in Manhattan terms, and it is unique as well. Located on the hillside near The City College of New York in Harlem, this dog park has something that no other New York City park has… boulders to climb. I’m not talking about cute little rocks or climbing obstacles like I’ve seen in some of the inner-city parks. This place is big enough to host bonafide boulders that are actually high enough to be a little dangerous and scary. The park is also split into two levels of height by these boulders, making it a kind of split-level dog run with plenty of room to run and plenty of foliage to sniff and pee on. Great place!
- Morningside Park — Morningside Dr, New York, NY 10026 — If it seems like I’m partial to the dog runs on the north side of Manhattan island, you’re right. These parks have more actual trees and much more room to spread out. The dog run at Morningside Park is another one of these. It reminds me of a smaller version of St. Nicholas Park dog run, and in fact, it is in the same neighborhood. So it is located on a hillside as well, although not as steep, and it has railroad ties embedded in the ground in stair steps to keep dogs and people from tumbling. There’s a little less room here than at St. Nicholas and the ground cover is a bit more worn out.
- Andrew Haswell Green Dog Park — Bobby Wagner Walk & E 63rd, New York, NY 10065 — For a dog run nestled in one of the busiest areas of Manhattan, Andrew Haswell Green Dog Park stands out looking like a beach sandbar in the middle of the city. That’s not sand on the ground, however, but light-colored fine gravel. This place is very well kept, has a decent amount of running room for an inner-city park and has some really spectacular views of the East River and the neighboring city.
- Tribeca Dog Run — New York, NY 10013 — A waterpark for dogs? Yes, New York City, it is a real thing. Located not far from the Holland Tunnel and just off of Hubert Street near Pier 26 on the beautiful Hudson River Greenway, Tribeca’s dog run hosts two runs in one… one for smaller dogs and another for larger ones. These adjoining runs are fenced in and have separate signage, but both feature built-in water sprinklers (a variation of the kind they have a kiddie waterparks) and watering areas with hoses and drainage. These mini parks are both fully paved and have some rock-like climbing obstacles, and the bench seating also goes a step further with built-in umbrellas to fend off the direct sunlight.
- Leroy Street Dog Run — Hudson River Park Pier 40, 353 W. St, New York, NY 10014 — Further north on the Hudson River Greenway off of Leroy St. and West St., is another waterpark-style dog run. This one is much larger than the Tribeca Dog Run and is also fully paved, but it only features water sprinklers on one side of its property. It does, however, have a mini in-ground wading pool for dogs in that same area.
- Chelsea Waterslide Dog Run — West 23rd & 11th Ave., New York, NY — Located next to Chelsea Pier, as well as the waterslide park where it gets its name, the Chelsea Waterslide Dog Park actually has no waterslides or water features for dogs, other than a nice watering area with hoses and wash tubs. What makes this small fully-paved run unique is it’s climbing features in its center, which juts out like a modern art sculpture. Like I said, this park is small, so it’s probably a better place for smallish dogs. There’s no open area for a dog to break into a good run.
- Peter Detmold Dog Run — 454 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022 — Located in Peter Detmold Park, the Peter Detmold Dog Run is in a high-rent area near the United Nations, where many UN residences and consulates sit. It is another dog run that pops up like an oasis or secret garden right in the middle of a busy inner-city neighborhood. It is one L-shaped dog run that is mostly paved with paving bricks, but it does have some dirt areas and trees for dogs to sniff and pee on. It is well-kept and rather pretty, nestled in between the starkness of city buildings. It overlooks the East River and is positioned just under the pedestrian bridge at 50th Street. Its back fence abuts FDR Drive, however, and that’s not a good thing. It’s impossible to miss the blaring horns and non-stop rush of traffic noise every minute you’re here.
Top 8 Dog Parks & Runs in Manhattan