Cleveland Dog Park Tour: Lakewood Dog Park

Next up in our Dog Park Tour series – the Lakewood Dog Park! This post was submitted by Karen Karp, President of Friends of Lakewood Dog Park, the group that keeps the park running smoothly (and clean!).

Where: The park is located on Valley Parkway, just south of the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland MetroParks.

The details: The fenced-in park is approximately two thirds of an acre including a separate small dog area. The park is not self-cleaning. The volunteers perform this task, as well as providing poop bags, scoop-up tools, bowls, toys, and all other amenities. This past spring, FLDP purchased 5 additional benches, bringing the total to fifteen. The drinking fountain in the park has a spigot at human height and another closer to the ground for filling water bowls. The City of Lakewood turns off the fountain once the weather starts to get cold and turns it back on again in the spring. There are numerous bowls throughout the park.



There are always tennis balls for playing fetch. FLDP puts out Frisbees and tug toys which are routinely destroyed due to vigorous play. FLDP provides bio-degradable poop bags and trash can liners and scoopers which we encourage people to use in an effort to keep the park clean.

The park has two shelters where humans can huddle in case of rain. No agility equipment, but we do have 15 benches which the dogs jump on and dive under.

In 2014 the dog park received the Best Dog Park/Play Area award from Yelp. This year the park was chosen Best Dog Park by Scene Magazine.

The Busy Times: The park is open every day from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The park is almost always in use regardless of the season or time of day. During the week there is less activity in the morning and early afternoon. More people and dogs begin to arrive around 5:00 PM and the park stays busy until closing time at 9:00 PM.



On weekends the park is busy from open to close. If bringing a pooch for a first time visit to a dog park, I’d suggest avoiding Saturday and Sunday until the dog has acclimated and feels comfortable. As I suspect is the case at every dog park, our park goers are congenial and try to be helpful when they spot a newbie.

The Crowd: Usually, there is a mix of big and small dogs. No one size predominates. There is a small dog area, but it is not used frequently. When playing, the small dogs tend to gravitate to other small dogs and the same is true for the larger dogs.


About Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park

Friends of the Lakewood Dog Park (FLDP) is a group of volunteers that keep the park running from day to day. The City of Lakewood does not clean the park!

We hold several fundraising events every year. The annual dog swim is the most highly anticipated event for most park goers. It is always the day after Labor Day at Foster Pool, in Lakewood Park. This year more than 250 dogs and their humans attended. Every spring we host pictures with the Easter Bunny and pictures with Santa Paws during the holidays. Santa Paws is expected to make an appearance on December 6, 2015 at Pet’s General Store, 16821 Madison Avenue, in Lakewood.


Other upcoming events:

Bob Evans fundraiser:
World Animal Day:

Planning a visit to the park? Check out The Dog Friendly Neighborhood Guide for Lakewood:



Cleveland Dog Park Tour: South Euclid Dog Park

The latest installment in the Cleveland Dog Park Tour series takes us inside the South Euclid Dog Park. This post was contributed by Ana Maria Martinez and her dog, Bugsly, frequent visitors to the east side dog park.

Read on more details on what to expect at the park. Bugsly is so excited to share his favorite dog park with you!


South Euclid Dog Park

Where: This park is located on the north corner of Quarry Park on the intersection of Belvoir and Monticello. This also happens to be where Cleveland Heights and South Euclid meet, which means easy access for residents of both cities.


The details: It is fenced with 3 ft fencing, and based on my estimates from counting the fencing sections it is about 7,776 square-feet, which to me is a very comfortable size for a large number of dogs. There’s a double gate for entering, and clear posting of the rules. It has a water spigot and various water bowls that you can fill and move around the park. There is a designated bag dispenser as well as jugs hung all around the park with grocery bags for easy clean up. It has a little obstacle course and various structures for climbing and playing around, including lots of water hydrants which I’m guessing are more for show than actual fires. The ground is primarily gravel, which makes for easy cleaning and liquid drainage, though grass seems to have taken over around the perimeters. Lastly, there’s usually lots of tennis balls and occasionally other toys laying around, and they seem to be replaced occasionally so that’s nice as well.

The Busy Times: If the weather is good you’re bound to find a decent amount of dogs around any time between 4 and 8 pm, any day of the week. It’s a bit more unpredictable on weekends or earlier in the day, but even then we’ve usually found people coming in and out. Can’t say what it’s like in the colder months, but it seems like there’s a dedicated bunch that come rain or shine during rush hour times.


The Crowd: It is a park for dogs of all sizes, though I do generally see more medium and large dogs. However, my 20 lb Pug mix gets along fine, and you do see the occasional Yorkie or Chihuahua running around. Even though I’ve only been coming to the park for a few months, you can tell there’s a feeling of community with the people that remember your dogs names, and ask how they’ve been doing. People offer tips on places to go and products to try, and are keen to see how dogs’ behaviors tend to improve the more they come to the park.


On a recent weekend trip we made, there was a dog who used to be very anxious and wouldn’t come near anyone when he started going three months ago, but who fetched a ball for the first time that day and everyone cheered. I’ve even seen my dog become more assertive and active since he’s been going so it’s been a great experience and I would recommend it.

Thanks Ana Maria! If you’re interested in reviewing your local park, drop me a line at

Cleveland Dog Park Tour: The Downtown Dog Park

This is the first post in the new Cleveland Dog Park Tour series! The posts will give the low down on local dogs parks, providing details on special features, the typical crowd and whatever else is interesting about the park and the surrounding area. And, best of all – the posts are submitted by you! Dogs in the CLE readers will be contributing each Dog Park Tour post.

First up – the newly opened Downtown Dog Park.  The dog park, about 3,500 square-feet in size, opened last October and is located at Settlers Park, an open area near the RTA station on the eastern bank of the Cuyahoga River. This post is submitted by Clair Labutta, and features photos of her dog Tucker.

Downtown Dog Park

The details: There are double gates and poop bag stations but no water dishes. Rules are posted in a pretty obvious place at the entrance. (The park also features a ramp play structure for extra dog fun!)


Busy times: Outside of the after work hour it’s pretty quiet – I think groups are sporadically there on the weekends too especially if the weather is good.

The crowd: Probably best for smaller dogs or calmer large dogs as it’s a small park so if you have more than one or two energetic large pups they might run out of space to play!


What’s nearby: There is also a path along the river to walk before/after going. Merwin’s Wharf is nearby and their patio is dog friendly.

Thanks Clair! If you’re interested in reviewing your local park, drop me a line at