Pets Guide

Barks and Recreation: Houston’s 10 Best Dog Parks

It’s a good time to be a pooch in the Bayou City.

By Katharine Shilcutt March 9, 2015 Published in the March 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

At the January 17 opening of the city’s latest official dog park, located at Allen Pkwy. and Montrose Blvd., an endless sea of people and dogs formed a massive line to get in, waiting patiently to check out the swankiness. The place has been packed ever since. 

Of course, Johnny Steele Dog Park, with its Zoolander-esque name, had already been an unofficial canine magnet for years. It’s far from the largest of its kind in Houston (that honor belongs to the 17-plus-acre Bill Archer Bark Park in Bear Creek), but it’s spread along a green hillside that slopes into Buffalo Bayou with the downtown skyline as a glittering backdrop. The two-acre site has plenty of amenities, too: shaded areas for those Houston summers, lots of seating, two ponds, dog wash stations, and copious lighting for nocturnal types.

Some may question the wisdom of Buffalo Bayou Partnership allocating $1.5 million to create a dog park out of something that was already one to begin with, but judging by the long lines of people and pooches, it was money well spent.

Note: The following are all off-leash parks; however, dogs should be leashed at all times when not on the premises.

Bay Area Bark Park

7500 Bay Area Blvd., Pasadena

Size: 5.3 acres 

What dogs love: Separate areas for large and small dogs, dog washing stations, dog water fountains, picnic tables, walking path, plenty of shade

Baytown Bark Park

4334 Crosby Cedar Bayou, Baytown

Size: 5 acres

What dogs love: Large and small areas, water fountains, walking path, agility training equipment (large-dog park only) 

Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park

3201 Hwy. 6 N., Bear Creek

Size: 17 acres 

What dogs love: Agility training equipment, large and small areas, washing stations, water fountains, walking path, two swimming ponds 

Discovery Green Dog Runs

1500 McKinney St., Downtown

Size: 4,400 square feet

What dogs love: Large and small areas, fountains

Ervan Chew Dog Park

4502 Dunlavy St., Montrose

Size: 9,000 square feet 

What dogs love: Plenty of shade, large and small areas

Johnny Steele Dog Park

2929 Allen Pkwy., Montrose

Size: 2 acres 

What dogs love: Washing stations, large and small areas, water fountains, plenty of shade, two swimming ponds

Katy Dog Park

5414 Franz Rd., Katy

Size: 14 acres 

What dogs love: Swimming pond, large and small areas, agility training equipment, water fountains, walking path, plenty of shade

Maxey Park

601 Maxey Rd., Northshore

Size: 13 acres 

What dogs love: Large and small areas, washing stations, water fountains, plenty of shade

Millie Bush Bark Park

16756 Westheimer Pkwy., Westside

Size: 13 acres 

What dogs love: Two swimming ponds, large and small areas, washing stations, water fountains, walking path 

Pawm Springs Bark Park

15300 University Blvd., Sugar Land

Size: 6 acres 

What dogs love: Water spray features, large and small areas, shade pavilion, resort-style pond with beach area

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