Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Best Long Island Dog Parks

It’s time to tell Fido to start stretching.

Home to dozens of dog parks, Long Island has acres upon acres of open field and woods, lakes and sand, and richly forested hills and valleys for you and your four-legged friend. With separate areas for large and small dogs, just about any dog can enjoy them. Here are just a few:

Nickerson Beach Dog Park

LIDO BEACH. 880 Lido Boulevard. 516-571-7700.

With separate large and small dog areas, this large Nassau County dog park is one of the busier runs on Long Island—despite the fact that dogs are strictly prohibited from entering the beach and the sand dune areas. The sand dunes serve as nesting areas for the Piping Plover, a federally protected bird. At this dog run, located on the southwest corner of the main parking lot, there is also a raised cement platform with seating and an agility area where dogs can try basic obstacles. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, it costs $8 for residents and $20 for nonresidents.

Old Bethpage Restoration Dog Run

OLD BETHPAGE. 1303 Round Swamp Road. 516-572-8400

With six dog runs and two separate areas for small and large dogs, the Old Bethpage Restoration Dog Run is home to the summer 2010 terrier trials. Not only does it provide dogs with drinking water, unlike many dog parks, it uniquely features a “green” water system that collects and filters rain water for the dogs to drink in style. Benches were also donated by the Boy Scouts for owners to rest. The dog run is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The run is located near the entrance to the property and there is no fee.

Blydenburgh Dog Park

SMITHTOWN. Veterans Memorial Highway. 631-854-3713

At the Blydenburgh Dog Park, which officially opened in 2007, dogs have 1.8-acres of entirely fenced-in open field and woods to run around in. Located at the headwaters of the Nissequogue River, the beauty of the park lies in its richly forested hills, valleys, and man-made lake. The park has separate areas for small and large dogs and designated areas for leashed and unleashed dogs. And it’s high in pet-owner resources with water fountains in each area, double-gated entries, and several benches and waste bag dispensers. In the heat of the summer, owners and pets alike will be glad for the park’s abundance of shade. The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. to sunset. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, it costs $3 with a green key to enter or $10 without one.

Middle Island Dog Park

MIDDLE ISLAND. 1075 Middle Country Road.

Middle Island Dog Park may just be the safest dog park on Long Island. A “Pooch Pass” is required to enter, which ensures that all dogs have had their rabies shots and are spayed or neutered. Middle Island Dog Park, the first dog park in the town of Brookhaven, has four acres for your four-legged friend to romp around in. There are separate areas for large and small dogs, benches, water fountains in each area, and waste-bag dispensers. Next to agility areas, dogs can choose to play in the sand or shade.

Robinson Duck Farm Dog Park

BROOKHAVEN. 2903 Montauk Highway.

As part of a pilot program, this new, large dog park is now open year-round at the former Robinson Duck Farm on Montauk Highway in Brookhaven Hamlet. Its 2.6 acre land is surrounded by four-feet of high wooden-slat snow fencing and two double-gated entrances. But because it has “natural borders,” the park will not have the usual amenities associated with more traditional fenced dog parks, like waste-disposal bags and water. Also, although a request has been made, the Suffolk County park does not provide trash receptacles or waste removal at this time.

Note: This article was first published on Kioli.org by the Daily Paw's Melissa Chan. Click here to read it.

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