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Best dog parks in Central Florida

A Central Florida mushers club practices mushing sports with their pets at Smyrna Dunes Park in Volusia County.
A Central Florida mushers club practices mushing sports with their pets at Smyrna Dunes Park in Volusia County. (Photo courtesy of Jason Tallafuss)

ORLANDO, Fla. – As summer begins to wrap up in Central Florida, it may finally be cool enough to get outside with your four-legged friend, and News 6 wanted to make sure its viewers, especially its furry ones, knew about some paw-fect places to enjoy the weather, so we put together a list of popular dog parks in Central Florida.

Orange County

In the heart of Downtown Orlando is one of Central Florida’s newest dog parks and the downtown area’s first public dog run.

A portion of Orlando's history is painted onto a fire hydrant at Constitution Green in Downtown Orlando.
A portion of Orlando's history is painted onto a fire hydrant at Constitution Green in Downtown Orlando.

The City of Orlando opened the dog run in fall of last year after having purchased Constitution Green, which was previously privately owned, in an effort to save the historic oak tree in the park and preserve green space in Orlando, city officials said.

Shady trees at Constitution Green offer dog owners a place to stay cool while their pets play in Downtown Orlando.
Shady trees at Constitution Green offer dog owners a place to stay cool while their pets play in Downtown Orlando.

Constitution Green, located at 301 S. Eola Drive, offers dogs a chance to not only exercise, but also roam while they socialize in the off-leash, fenced-in area in the northeast corner of the park. Pet owners can sit back in the shade under an oak tree, or soak in some of their favorite fall colors while strolling past other flowering trees.

Another favorite in Orange County is Lake Baldwin Park. From 8 a.m. until sunset, the fenced-in portion of the park takes “dog-friendly” to a whole new level. Sizing more than 23 acres along Lake Baldwin, a trip to the park brings a fun-filled day for both pets and their owners.

The sun sets over the dog beach at Lake Baldwin Park.
The sun sets over the dog beach at Lake Baldwin Park.

Pet owners can enjoy some shade under one of the pavilions, or catch some rays at a picnic table while their pooches tire themselves out along the sandy beach. If they’re not too exhausted, they could even squeeze in a nature walk along one of the trails.

A dog is cleaned at the bathing station after a day of fun at Lake Baldwin Park.
A dog is cleaned at the bathing station after a day of fun at Lake Baldwin Park.

When it’s time to go home, pet owners won’t have to worry about bringing a dirty dog home as long as they remember some doggy-soap and a towel so they can swing by the bathing station on their way out to their cars. The park is located at 2000 S. Lakemont Ave. in Winter Park.

Seminole County

Another dog park that is visited by four-legged friends almost daily, except for Wednesdays when closed for maintenance, is the Winter Springs Dog Park. Open from 7 a.m. until dusk, the park, located at 900 Hicks Ave., welcomes dogs of all sizes with fenced-in areas designated for both small and large dogs. Park recreation officials said they offer a unique opportunity for dogs every week.

Winter Springs Dog Park welcomes dogs to enjoy the wide fenced-in area in Seminole County.
Winter Springs Dog Park welcomes dogs to enjoy the wide fenced-in area in Seminole County.

On Saturdays, “Pawfection Dog Training” classes are held at the park. During the classes, trainers practice obedience and agility exercises with attendees in a way that’s fun for both the dogs and their owners, recreation manager Michael Barclay said. Barclay said recreation officials are also working with the Seminole County 4-H Club to offer dog-training classes for kids beginning in October. Visit the City of Winter Springs official website for more information about the park. 

Brevard County

Brevard County is the place to be for Central Florida beach-lovers, and that goes for dogs, too! Canova Beach Park, located at 3299 Highway A1A in Indian Harbour Beach,

Brevard County welcomes dogs to get their paws dirty at Canova Beach Park.
Brevard County welcomes dogs to get their paws dirty at Canova Beach Park.

is Brevard County’s only dog-friendly beach, according to county officials. The nine-acre park offers leashed dogs and their owners a chance for a jam-packed day. From dawn to dusk, dogs can relax with their paws in the sand or cool off while taking a dip in the water. Owners are welcome to do the same either before or after they host a cookout by the grill or pack a picnic to eat under the pavilion.

Volusia County

Dogs aren’t strangers to this New Smyrna Beach park either. Located on 2995 N. Peninsula Ave. is Smyrna Dunes Park. The park, placed on 73-acres of beautiful land, is surrounded by water on three sides,

Jax the dog poses for a picture with a beautiful background at Smyrna Dunes Park.
Jax the dog poses for a picture with a beautiful background at Smyrna Dunes Park.

making it an ideal place for man and man’s best friend to drool over some of the gorgeous sights.

A pretty pooch relaxes in the shade at Smyrna Dunes Park.
A pretty pooch relaxes in the shade at Smyrna Dunes Park.

The park’s location offers Central Floridians and their furry friends a variety of swimming opportunities and nature trails to venture through, as well as plenty of wildlife to observe as the park is home to five ecosystems, according to county officials. When play time is over and all paws have been washed, there’s pavilions available for visitors to enjoy a packed lunch in the shade.

Polk County

In Polk County, Diogi Dog Park welcomes D-O-Gs of all sizes to play in its fenced-in areas.

News 6 reporter Erik Sandoval's dog, Harpo, invites his pals to Diogi Park for a play date.
News 6 reporter Erik Sandoval's dog, Harpo, invites his pals to Diogi Park for a play date.

The park is located inside of Loyce E. Harpe Park in Mulberry and four-legged friends come and go from sunrise to sunset. Owners can relax on a covered bench or join as their dogs play on the different tunnels and structures. Both owners and dogs can quench their thirst at their designated drinking stations during fetch breaks. Guests can stop by the dog washing station just outside the fence to make sure their pets don’t track too much messy evidence of their fun back home.

Flagler County

Flagler County is another county that’s home to dog-lovers! Inside Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach,

Flagler County welcomes dogs to Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach.
Flagler County welcomes dogs to Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach.

which offers an endless number of recreational activities to humans, dogs are welcome to frolic through the 60,000-square-foot dog park while mingling with their fellow four-legged neighbors. Smaller canines can feel safe in the designated small dog area, while bigger dogs race one another in a separate area, all while their owners sit back and watch from a nearby bench. Visit Flagler County’s official website for park hours. 

Marion County

Formerly known as the “Millenium Dog Park,” Letty Towles Dog Park in Ocala gives canines big and small more than four acres of open space to enjoy.

Dogs race through tunnels at Letty Towles Dog Park in Ocala.
Dogs race through tunnels at Letty Towles Dog Park in Ocala.

The park, located as Jervey Gantt Park, hosts playful pooches and their owners from 7 a.m. until sunset Friday through Sunday of each week. Dog owners can stay cool under the pavilion or in the shade that the beautiful oak trees provide while their pets pass through the concrete tunnels. If it’s extra hot outside, dogs can take an extra lap of water at the drinking stations or spend a few more minutes frolicking in the splash pad. Click here to see park rules and hours of operations. 


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