Don’t Fence Me In—Or At Least Give Me Lots of Land to Romp

by Blake Herzog

Our four-legged best friends can get even more restless than we do what with all those limbs to stretch, friends to chase and ears to flap in the wind. Those dogs of ours need room sometimes to just break loose, as scary as that can sound. Dedicated dog parks offer socialization for canines and their people, while open space gives them a moment to explore their wilder sides. Supervision is necessary in both settings, so go ahead and share adventures with your dog!

Willow Creek Dog Park, 3181 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, www.prescott-az.gov/recreation-area/willow-creek-park-dog-park/
It’s a little surprising a city with the level of dog adoration you find in Prescott has only one off-leash dog park, but it’s a doozy. The Willow Creek Beneful Dream Dog Park is a $500,000 firehouse-themed canine wonderland complete with engine, hydrants, hose-shaped misters and tunnels, tires and other agility equipment and separate areas for small and large dogs. There’s also a considerable amount of human seating underneath a fire station-styled canopy.

The renovated park, won in a Purina Beneful-sponsored contest by resident Linda Nichols, draws an average of 550,000 people and dogs every year. It is free and open to the public, but users can support the park as a volunteer or by participating in its sponsorship program.

Prescott Valley Dog Park, 8600 E. Nace Lane, Prescott Valley, https://www.pvaz.net/Facilities/Facility/Details/Mountain-Valley-Park-10
Prescott Valley’s dog park is no small shakes either. It’s a 2-acre slice of Mountain Valley Park with small and large dog areas, agility equipment, water fountains, picnic tables and shade from trees and canopies. It is a great place for pets and their people to recharge together.

Prescott National Forest
Dogs are allowed off-leash in many U.S. Forest Service-administered areas, but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet in any developed recreation areas and on interpretive trails. They are also not allowed in any swimming areas.

The added risks from other animals, changing weather conditions and unfenced areas in going off-leash in these areas mean more responsibility for owners to keep control of their dogs, but the adventures of climbing hills, diving into leaves, finding your own sticks and trailing ahead or behind your owners can be a thrill for everyone.

And of course, clean up after your pets, wherever you happen to be.

For more details on regulations concerning pets, call 928-443-8000 or email dmaneely@fs.fed.us.