Dog-Friendly Parks


Amid some stress in life, I need a blog theme this month that is happy, calming, inspiring, and lovable. And what fits that description better than dogs?

Indoor museums are geared toward their human visitors, but many parks allow humans to bring their best friends. My family has successfully (and, to the best of our knowledge, legally) taken Duncan to Antietam National Battlefield, Catoctin Mountain Park, Deep Creek Lake State Park, Monocacy National Battlefield, Patapsco Valley State Park, and Shenandoah National Park.

Duncan swimming at the now-closed dog beach at Quiet Waters Park

Duncan swimming at the now-closed dog beach at Quiet Waters Park

Duncan has also spent time at Quiet Waters Park, a park in Maryland with offerings for both dogs and people. For human beings, there are formal gardens, composting demonstrations, environmental education programs, sculptures, art galleries, and a playground.

For dogs, there used to be a beach, which, sadly, is closed because of erosion. Duncan greatly enjoyed swimming in this beach when it was open. Although the beach is closed, the park still has an enclosed dog park area and monthly yappy hours along with other doggie events.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park

In DC, Lincoln Park is not an official dog park but is known as a dog hangout spot. As a visitor attraction, the park contains two memorials: one of Mary McLeod Bethune and the controversial Emancipation Memorial featuring Abraham Lincoln and an emancipated slave. (One Yelp reviewer wrote, “It’s a dog park, and the figure of the black slave is crouched and chained like a dog.”) During the Civil War, Lincoln Hospital was located here. Today, the land is part of the National Park Service and includes playground space for children. Duncan has not been to Lincoln Park, but his urban counterparts love to run around here.

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September’s blog theme is Museums Gone to the Dogs.

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About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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