The 9 Best Dog Parks in Jacksonville
dog park in Jacksonville, FL

Are you headed to Jacksonville for a getaway, family gathering, or business trip? If you have furry family members, they just might be coming along. Dogs love vacations. They get to be with you, relax, and meet new friends.

Finding pet-friendly activities is getting easier every day. From lodging to entertainment, more of us want to bring our loyal companions. And what better entertainment can you offer your dog than a dog park? These wonderful parks allow your dogs to meet new friends, get some exercise, and usually be off-leash for a run. So even if there are places you can’t bring your pets, you can always find a dog park to make up for it.

Let’s take a look at Red Roof's rundown of the best dog parks in Jacksonville, FL. You’ll find something special here for every dog, every family, and every trip. There is no shortage of dog parks in this fur-friendly city.

John Gorrie Dog Park at Riverside Park

If you want to stay right in the heart of Jacksonville, head to John Gorrie Dog Park. Located in one of Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods, Riverside Park covers over 11 acres of land. The John Gorrie Dog Park is in the northwest corner and is open to the public without an entry fee. This 1.5-acre park features separate off-leash areas for small and large dogs to run, play, and make friends. There are plenty of benches for pet parents to relax while their pooches play. You’ll find water dispensers and waste bags in the park but should bring some extra bags in case the dispensers are empty. Pets and their humans are welcome in the rest of the park as long as dogs remain on their leashes. Make a note that John Gorrie Dog Park is on busy College Street, so take care.

Ed Austin Regional Dog Park

Just east of downtown, right near St. John’s River, you’ll find the wonderful Ed Austin Regional Dog Park. One of the best dog parks in Jacksonville, Florida, this special space is free and open to the public seven days a week. Like many dog parks, Ed Austin Regional Dog Park is part of a larger park. Unlike other parks, this one has a unique origin: it used to be an 18-hole golf course. The 144 acres were purchased by the city in 1994 and transformed into a multi-use park. You’ll find an outstanding disc golf course along with baseball and soccer fields, playgrounds, and of course, a dog park! The dog park is four acres of off-leash fun with areas for large and small dogs. Trees provide shade and tables give humans a place to relax while their pups play. This is a great park for dogs who like to play Frisbee or chase down a ball. There is water available but bring your own waste bags. Insiders note that it can be a little hard to find the dog park so look for the skate park. It’s right next door.

Confederate Point Dog Park

Like John Gorrie Dog Park, Confederate Point Dog Park sits in a historic neighborhood. As one of America’s oldest cities, Jacksonville offers a lot of history along with its sun-soaked beaches. Confederate Point Dog Park is nearly three acres sitting inside the larger, nine-acre Confederate Park. Located in the Springfield neighborhood, this park has a beautiful panoramic view of the city’s downtown. Your pups will love the fully-fenced park where they can play off-leash. A separate small dog area provides plenty of space for little pooches. There are waste bag dispensers, drinking water for both dogs and humans, and plenty of shade and benches. This is a popular place for neighborhood dogs, so your furry friends will have lots of playmates. One of its best features is a washing station so you can clean up before getting back in the car or heading to your hotel. There is no entry fee at the Confederate Point Dog Park.

Abess Dog Park

Abess Dog Park is one of the newest, and best dog parks in Jacksonville, FL. Opened in 2020, it is located inside the larger Leonard Abess public park. Your family will find picnic shelters and grills, a playground, and places to play football and basketball. Your dogs will adore the free dog park. Big and little dogs have their own, separate areas. The small dog area has a grassy, shady field for playtime. The large dog area also has a field and includes a woodland trail for leisurely strolls. Other amenities include parking, restrooms, drinking fountains, and potable water hoses to keep your canine hydrated. Benches give you a place to relax while your dog makes friends.

Veterans Dog Park

A short drive south of Jacksonville will take you to St. John’s and Veterans Dog Park. This free park is open to the public every day and features a great big open area. Part of a large 50-acre complex, the dog park is three acres of fun in the sun. Also called the Paw Park, you’ll find areas for big and small dogs and plenty of shaded tables for their humans. Veterans Park is a great place for the whole family. While you watch your dog, your kids can play basketball or soccer or head to the playground or skate park. Adults can stroll on trails and visit the memorial at the park’s center. The dog park has a sandy area and lots of water for puddle-loving pooches. Hoses provide a quick clean-up and cool-down after playtime. Don’t forget to bring a towel!

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

The Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a park for people and it welcomes on-leash dogs. There is so much to see and do in this enormous natural area. A short drive east of Jacksonville, right on the coast, Hanna Park is 450 acres of natural beauty. There are campgrounds, picnic spots, hiking trails, lots of space to bike, and of course the beach. You can rent canoes or kayaks. Hanna Park also has a freshwater lake. This is the perfect place to bring your dogs for a day of fun for everyone. Pups who do well on their leash will love spending time in this beautiful park. While not free like most of the parks on this list, Hanna Park charges only $1 per person or $3 per car.

Honorable Mention

OceanWay Park is a gem of a natural area north of the city. It is free and open to the public and has designated off-leash areas for large and small dogs. On-leash dogs are welcome throughout the park. It’s a beautiful area where you’ll find locals doing some fishing.

If you feel like pampering your pet, try one of Jacksonville’s pay-per-day dog parks. Dog Wood Park is one of the largest in the nation at 42 acres. It has a large lake and 10 acres of hiking trails. Entry costs $11 per day with memberships available. 

The Brew Hound Dog Park and Bar offers a spot for patrons to mingle with their dogs and sip coffee, craft beer, and wine as they socialize. The entry fee is $8 per dog, per day.

Stay with Red Roof

Traveling to Jacksonville, FL? Book a room at one of our affordable, pet-friendly hotels.