Top 4 off-leash dog parks for some canine cardio in Kansas City

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Is your dog sick of being cooped up and on a leash? Let them run free at one of the many off-leash dog parks around Kansas City. To help you pick the right park, we’ve chosen the Top 4 free spots to let your canine run and play.

This pup is ready to play at Penn Valley Dog Park (photo courtesy Eric Houser)

#4 (tie) Swope Dog Park

  • Location: 5051 E. Gregory Boulevard, Kansas City, MO
  • Hours: 5 a.m. – Midnight every day

Swope Park is the largest in Kansas City, and nestled within is 5 acres where KC’s canines can run free. Small or elderly dogs have one acre fenced in for their use, and bigger dogs can roam across a larger four-acre area. Water fountains are available in both sections for both two legged and four-legged visitors.

Benches and picnic tables are available for pet parents to relax while the dogs run off their energy on the hillier large dog area. Mature trees provide a nice, wooded area for pets to roam and find some shade.

#4 (tie) Penn Valley Dog Park

Location: 29th and Wyandotte, Kansas City, MO

Hours: 5 a.m. – Midnight every day

Centrally located and close to downtown, the Penn Valley dog park is divided into two sections. There are 2.7 acres of fenced in land to let your dog unleash some energy, plus a smaller 1.8-acre area is available for small, elderly or handicapped dogs. It’s a favorite for those living closer to the city center. Water is available for both dogs and their humans, but at least one reviewer suggested bringing your own since the fountains aren’t always working. Also, bring a towel for any possible muddy paws. The park has some picnic tables, benches and shade trees for visitors.

Once you’ve snapped that leash back on, consider a detour with your furbaby before heading home. It’s a quick walk to the World War I Memorial down the road for some amazing views of the city.

#3 Stoll Off-Leash Dog Park

  • Location:12500 W 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212
  • Hours: Dawn to dusk year round

Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park encompasses about 80 acres, including a seven-acre off-leash dog park. Entirely fenced in with plenty of parking spaces nearby, your furry friend will have plenty of flat, open space for zoomies. Check out the website for its off-leash rules and regulations before you go.

Reviewers loved that the park wasn’t too big that they were in danger of losing sight of their dogs who tended to wander further out. There is plenty of water available and you’ll find bag dispensers for those unexpected messes. Nicely maintained, there are some benches scattered throughout and a paved walkway circles the dog park.

#2 Waggin’ Trail Dog Park

  • Location: NE 32nd and Swift, North Kansas City
  • Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or sunset) whichever comes first

Located north of the river is this more than 3.5 acre dog park. It’s divided into two sections: one for big dogs and one for smaller dogs, allowing your furbabies to run with animals closer to their own size. Meanwhile their two-legged companions will find a walking trail, benches and water fountains to enjoy while the pups play.

Some extras at this park include agility equipment like tunnels and ramps along with water fountains for both the four-legged and two-legged visitors, plus bag dispensers to clean up after your favorite furbabies. Just beware that it can get muddy at times.

#1 Shawnee Mission Off Leash Dog Park

  • Location: 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS 66219
  • Summer Hours (March 1- October 31): 5 a.m. -11 p.m.
  • Winter Hours (November 1- February 28): 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.

This 44-acre off-leash dog area is located within the 120 acres of Shawnee Mission Park. Follow the paved trail to the beach or enjoy more natural trails across the grassy and wooded areas. For the human companions there is parking nearby and portable toilets. Just remember that if the gate is locked, do not enter. The park closes weekly for maintenance every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

If your dog loves the water, take a walk to the beach and let them play in the lake. Just leave plenty of time to run around and dry off on the walk back to the car. With 44 acres to explore, it’s a great spot to hit the wood-chipped and natural trails but be careful if you have a dog that likes to run off.  It’s a big space to have to chase them down.

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