Austin, Texas is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country. So it’s no surprise that it has a plethora of great dog parks. We couldn’t possibly go over all the dog-friendly parks in this weird city. At least not all in one blog post. But what we can do is give you an in-depth rundown of three of the most popular dog parks here in Austin. Plus some of the more ‘hidden’ gems we like to take our Ruff Life pack members to.
Red Bud Isle
You simply cannot write about Austin dog parks without including Red Bud Isle. This gem is a local favorite, and it is not hard to see why. This 13 acre park is located at 3401 Redbud Trail in Austin city limits.
Locals love the park for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that there is something for pet parents and dogs alike. There are well-maintained walking and hiking trails and waterways for kayaking, swimming, and fishing. And the best part is, it’s fully off-leash.
Most visitors are pleased with the amount of space at the park. They say that even on the busiest days there is enough space for everyone to enjoy time with their pooch without feeling crowded. Another frequent comment among visitors is that there is adequate shade to help hide from the Texas heat and plenty of places to sit and rest.
The most common complaint about the park is the parking. Many people have commented on the fact that they have to wait 15+ minutes to get a parking spot. So if you do plan a day at Red Bud Isle, and we think you should, just plan on parking being a bit of a hassle. But the park is worth the hassle. We promise.
*Important note: While Red Bud Isle is an Austin dog park favorite, we do not advise heading there during algae blooms. These most commonly occur in the hot summer months, but it’s important to keep an ear to local news and advisories to ensure the park is safe. To learn more about the dangers of blue-green algae and how to keep your dog safe, check out the ASPCA’s article here.
Norwood Estate Dog Park
If you are looking for a more traditional dog park within Austin city limits, you cannot go wrong with Norwood Estates Dog Park. Located at 1009 Edgecliff Terrace, this 5-acre dog park is fully gated and fully off-leash. Visitors love that there are separate fenced areas for small dogs and large. We know our small dog owners especially appreciate this!
Another great feature of this park – water is provided. There are several water fountains and bowls available ensuring your dogs never gets too hot. Visitors also appreciate the amount of shade provided at the park.
One tip you can see from reading the reviews on this park is to bring your own seating. There aren’t many benches or seating areas for us humans. Also, there isn’t any grass in the fenced area, so plan on your pups getting a little dusty. But a small price to pay in our opinion for time at such a great park.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
If you live in Austin or anywhere near Austin and you haven’t heard of Zilker Metropolitan Park, we don’t believe you. You have to have been living under an actual rock. This 350 acre (not a typo) park is incredibly popular in Austin. And we’re not surprised. There are countless festivals and events held here every year and so much to do.
It’s located at 2100 Barton Springs Rd; this gem has it all. There are playgrounds, gardens, trails, open green spaces, a pool, volleyball courts, picnic tables, a clubhouse, a rec center, and even a pop-up theatre. And if you are lucky enough to visit the park in the Christmas season, many of the trees are wrapped in Christmas lights making you feel like you’re walking around in a real-life Hallmark movie.
The park is loved by dog owners because it offers off-leash areas, SO much space, and is surrounded by the breathtaking Lady Bird Lake. And we’d be lying if we said the cold spring isn’t the perfect place to jump in on a 100-degree day.
Ruff Life ATX Favorites
As dog walking experts, you know we have to have our favorite spots to take our pack members on a lovely walk/hike outdoors. Here are some more lesser-known Austin dog parks or trails:
So this of course, barely scratches the surface of all the great dog-friendly parks here in Austin. And we are in no way saying these are the best. We could spend days talking about all the great local parks. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, plan a trip to one or all of these popular Austin dog destinations. Let us know if you agree with our top picks or share your favorites with us in the comments below!