1. Al Lopez Park
Located at 4810 N. Himes Avenue
Offers a nice area for your leashed pet to get some exercise, seating for the humans, water, shade, restrooms and free parking. Children and dogs should not be allowed near the lake due to reports of alligators.
2. Gadsden Park
Located at 6901 S. MacDill Avenue. Offers large trees for shade, picnic tables, a waterspout, bucket, and poop bags.
3. Davis Island Dog Park
Located on Davis Island, south of Peter O. Knight Airport, near the boat ramps on the east side of Seaplane Basin in South Tampa. This 1.5-acre island offers 200 feet of waterfront access for the pups and a dry, fenced-in dog park. The whole area is fenced on three sides, the fourth side being the water of Tampa/Hillsborough Bay. At this beach, your dog can have the freedom and safety to run while having unleashed access to the water and you can relax and enjoy yourself without worrying about your dog running away. For more info, call 813-274-8615.
We were provided with the following important information from the Tampa Parks & Recreation Department about dogs and Davis Island:
"There is a public beach area on Davis Island as well as a dog park, which includes an area for the dogs to play in the water. The signs which state 'No Dogs On Beach' refers to the public beach area, as we do not allow dogs on any of our public beaches. The dog park has a dry area, and to the left of that area on the other side of the driveway is the area where dogs can play in the water. This area is on the channel side at the end of the airport property."
4. Mango Dog Park
Located off exit 10 of I4 and I75. Local folks refer to this as the "Mango Recreation Center Dog Park in Seffner." Offers two fenced acres, one for small dogs, the other for large dogs, pavilions, picnic tables, a dog wash/pool area, drinking fountains for both dogs and their people, some shade trees, poop bags. To get there after coming off the exit, go to the second stoplight, which is Clay Pit, turn left, make the first right into the Mango Recreation Center which is also the parking lot for the dog park.
"We have just returned from Florida and visited Mango Dog Park every day with our two golden retrievers. What a wonderful park. Lots of room to roam and play with water pools for the dogs to cool off, drinking dishes and toys to play with. It is very clean and the people we met were very friendly and very responsible dog owners who always kept an eye on their dogs."
5. Palma Ceia Park
Located at the intersection of West San Miguel & Marti. The dog park is positioned on the North East corner of the grounds. This park is about 3/4 of an acre and is surrounded by a four-foot chain link fence. Offers a double-gated entry with a concrete slab, dog and human drinking fountains, dog doodie pickup bag dispensers and waste containers and shade trees. (We are told to beware of parking illegally here as police sometimes show up to write tickets!)
"The dog section is on the small-ish side and does not have separate sections for large and small dogs. There was a large amount of poop in the back of the park. If someone in Tampa was looking for a dog park, I would not recommend this one - tell people to go to West Park [see #7 below]. The people there are much more conscientious about their dogs."
6. Picnic Island Beach Park
"This park now has a leash-free area near the boat ramp. While a great addition, it still needs improvements. After opening, a water station with a hose (no concrete slab) and trash cans with doggie bags were added. The main downfall of this dog park is that it is not completely fenced in so you must have a well-mannered dog to avoid having to chase him/her down. On the other hand, the advantage to this park over Davis Island Park is that it is bigger and cleaner and a lot less crowded, although that could change as more people find out about it."
Located at 6402 Occident Road. This Hillsborough County dog park is about 5-acres and offers separate large and small dog sides with separate entrances. Has a grassed area, wading pools for the dogs, water fountains, picnic tables for guardians to sit, covered shelters, clean up bags, trash cans.
Volunteers are on duty to help enforce rules which include: 1) Dogs must wear current rabies tags. 2) Children under 6 are not permitted. 3) Children ages 6 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult. 4) Humans in the park must be accompanied by a pet. 5) No food or treats allowed in the park.
Leashed pets are welcome, with restrictions, at this state park located about 12 miles north of Tampa and six miles south of Zephyrhills on U.S. 301. Open 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year. For more information, call 813-987-6771.
"This is a great place to take your dogs. They have several trails of varying lengths, and it provides a great place for leashed dogs to romp around! If you do visit the park, you’ll need to bring your own bags as they don’t have any there. We also bring bottled water for our dogs on the trails because there are limited fountains once you start. Don’t forget mosquito repellent for your pets if it has recently rained."
9. Rowlett Park
Located at 2401 E. Yukon Street 26th Street.
"I must tell you there is no sign or if there is one, it is not easy to find. It truly is a nice place. They have all the amenities that you would want. They have the dog bag distribution, water places and even a bath type of receptacle. They have various dog obstacles too. It has picnic tables under shade and is safe and nice."
Located at 3032 Collier Parkway in Land O'Lakes, about 1/2 hour north of Tampa in Pasco County via I-75. The dog park is behind the recreation center, by a basketball court and soccer field. Our readers tell us the dog park itself isn't very big, but it's clean and has separate sections for large and small dogs. It also offers nice grassy areas for the dogs, baggies for pickups and bowls of water. There are several dog classes and events offered at the Dog Park for people and their pets to enjoy.
11. Giddens Dog Park
Located at 5202 North 12th Street across the street from Giddens Park, near the intersection of 12th St. and E. Giddens Avenue in Seminole Heights. Our readers tell us this is a small, but a good place to play with your dog off-leash, but only has one section; no way to separate the big dogs from the little guys. It does offer benches, poop bags, a water fountain with a bowl for the pups and lots of shade.
Located at 600 N Ashley Drive, behind the new Tampa Museum of Art. There is a fenced dog park within this park where dogs can run off-leash. Offers toys, doggie water fountain, but no doggie waste bags, so take your own. There is no separate section for large/small dogs. The park is closed between 10 and 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday for maintenance, so adjust your schedule accordingly.
Located at 1002 N Franklin Street. WebMistress Note: This park used to offer a small, shady area in downtown Tampa for people and their leashed dogs to get some exercise. From everything we've heard and read recently, this is not the best park for dog play at this time. There is talk of the City refurbishing the green space, so if you live in this area, please keep us apprised of any changes.
Located at 410 N Franklin Street. Offers a nice wide open space in the downtown area (corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Franklin Street) to walk with your leashed dog.
15. MacDill Park on the Riverwalk
Located at 100 N Ashley Drive. Offers 3/4-acres of grassy comfort for feet and paws, benches and poop bags. Dogs must be on-leash.
16. USF Park
Located at 233 S Ashley Drive. This is a riverfront park with great paths and doggie waste stations. Dogs must be on-leash.
Located at 601 Old Water Street. This is the second largest park in downtown Tampa. A nice, open space, but dogs must be exercised on-leash. Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park is located across the street and just to the south of the St. Pete Times Forum. Parking is available in the adjacent South Regional Parking Garage.
18. Meridian Street
Located on Meridian. Not an official park, but has an open area for you and your leashed dog to romp a bit.
19. Dinosaur World
Located between Tampa and Disney World in Orlando. This is an outdoor park with big dinosaur statues and lots of walking trails. Leashed dogs are welcome on the trails. Tickets are $14.95 for people; dogs get in free. This location is open daily.