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Magnuson Dog Park - The Best Dog Park in Seattle

Updated on January 14, 2015

A Visit to Seattle's Favorite Dog Park

Magnuson Park is considered by many to be the best off-leash dog park in the city of Seattle, WA. Magnuson park is located in the northeast park of Seattle along the shores of Lake Washington. The park is the site of a former US naval air station that was surplused to the city in the 1970s.

Magnuson Park is named after US Senator Warren G. Magnuson, who represented the State of Washington in the US Senate for over 36 years and was much beloved by many Washington State residents. Probably none of the history of the site will matter to you or your dog when you visit this popular dog park. What will be important is that it is Seattle's largest off leash dog area with approximately 9 acres of room to run and the only off-leash dog park with access to swimming and splashing in Lake Washington. Come along with me and my dogs Tim and Hank as we go unleashed at Seattle's Magnuson Dog park!

All photos by the author, Vicki Green

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The Double Gated Main Entrance to Magnuson Dog Park - Come on in to Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Area!

Magnuson Dog Park Entrance
Magnuson Dog Park Entrance

Where is Magnuson Park?

A marker7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA -
7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA
get directions

Magnuson Park is in the northeast part of Seattle along the shores of Lake Washington. It is just a few miles northeast of UW.

A Large Open Play Area with Room to Run

Magnuson Dog Park - Seattle, WA
Magnuson Dog Park - Seattle, WA

The Main Large Open Field at Magnuson Dog Park

This is the main large open play area that is by the main entrance gate. It is securely fenced with plenty of room to run and play!

Escape the rain or sun in this great shelter

Shelter at the Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area
Shelter at the Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area

A Covered Area for Humans

Magnuson Park has this great covered area where humans can get out of the rain or find a shady place in the summer.

Bridges and Clean-up Supplies

More Magnuson Dog Park Amenities

Magnuson Park features several sturdy bridges over wet areas and clean-up bags conveniently located in numerous places.

Earth Rated Leash Dispenser for Dog Waste Bags, Includes 15 Lavender-Scented Poop Bags
Earth Rated Leash Dispenser for Dog Waste Bags, Includes 15 Lavender-Scented Poop Bags

I recently purchased one of these bag dispensers and it has become my favorite. The top screws on and off to replace the bags and it includes a clip for attaching the used bags.


Bring Your Own Doggie Doo Bags

Although Magnuson Park has clean-up bags provided , I always like to carry a supply with me in case there is an "oops" moment before I get to where the bags are located. My bags are on a dispenser attached to my dog leash, so I never have to remember to grab some on my way out of the door.

"The Mound" at Magnuson Dog Park

Features I Like About Magnuson Dog Park

I think one of the nicest features of Magnuson dog park is the way the park has several smaller areas set apart where shy, older or small dogs can feel more comfortable if there are a lot of dogs and things seem too chaotic. "The Mounds" is one of the smaller areas that has walkways and trails through some shrubs. It even includes a bench for the humans to rest for a moment.

The Benefits of Off-leash Dog Parks

Exercise for people and their pets

Prevents or reduces obesity

Dogs can release excess energy

Socialization for people and dogs

Bonding between people and dogs

Can reduce dog behavior problems

Reduces dog boredom

A tired dog is a good dog

Visiting the Dog Park: Having Fun, Staying Safe
Visiting the Dog Park: Having Fun, Staying Safe

A very helpful book to read before going to a dog park. It includes how to evaluate your own dog's temperment, some things you should teach your dog and unfriendly canine body language to watch out for.


Visiting the Dog Park: Having Fun, Staying Safe - By Cheryl S. Smith

Dog parks are great - just not for every dog, every time. Taking your dog to a dog park is a great way to exercise and socialize your canine companion. Dog parks offer fresh air, open space, and freedom - a chance for your dog to be a dog. But not all dogs enjoy the experience and not all dog parks are safe for all dogs. I found this book to be a valuable tool to help me learn practical skills like how to evaluate my dog's temperament to decide if he's dog park ready and to learn how to read canine body language to avoid problems. I can now recognize the signs that my dogs are getting stressed or over stimulated and need some down time. The book also contains some great dog park etiquette tips for both humans and dogs!

More small areas for dogs who need a little more relaxed area

Small Separate Play Areas

This is another of the smaller areas that can be enjoyed by small, shy or older dogs that feel intimidated by larger or more rambunctious canines.

This Way to Lake Washington

The Walkway to the Lake

Magnuson dog park features this long wide walkway that leads to the dog beach on Lake Washington. The park is very popular so the wide walkway was well-designed to give plenty of room for lots of dogs and people to stroll to and from the lake. The walkway features benches, trash cans and other amenities for the comfort of people and their dogs.

The Gate to Access the Lake at Magnuson Dog Park

Gates Control Access to the Beach

Since it is virtually impossible to securely fence the dog swim area in Lake Washington, the park has a securely double-gated fence to make sure no dogs accidentally gain access to the beach and lake.

Rules for Swimming in Lake Washington

Minimizing the Impact on Native Wildlife

It is great to have a place where dogs can play in the water and swim off-leash, but it can have a negative impact on the environment and native wildlife. Following a few simple rules helps to make sure that dogs and their people don't cause any harm.

A Splash in Lake Washington

A Place for Dogs to Swim Off-Leash

It can be difficult to find a dog park that includes access to a place to swim and splash in the water. Magnuson Dog Park is one of very few dog parks in the Seattle area where a dog can legally enjoy playing in the water off-leash. Even on a cool, rainy morning, it is a popular spot.

Another Bridge Leads Back to the Main Area

Bridging the Wet and Mud

There are several bridges that cross wet areas that are fenced to prevent muddy paws and keep any wildlife using the wetlands from being disturbed. Tim meets a new friend as we return to the main large play area.

Magnuson Dog Park has Water!

Water Faucets at Magnuson Dog Park

Magnuson Dog Park is connected to the Seattle city water system with a convenient faucets near the entrance/exit available for thirsty dogs to drink or for rinsing off a muddy dog before you go home. Tim is all tired out from his romp at Magnuson and is looking for a drink before we go home.

Gulpy Dog Water Dispenser

GULPY Water Dispenser for Pet, 20-Ounce, Green
GULPY Water Dispenser for Pet, 20-Ounce, Green

I have found these 20oz Gulpy Dog Water Dispensers to have all of the features I like. It has both a container and a drinking basin in one unit, a large enough water capacity to last my dog several hours and attaches to a belt or backpack.


Don't Let Your Dog Get Dehydrated - Water Containers for Your Dog

Although there is a water faucet and bowls at the park for your dog to get a drink, the park is large so your canine pal may want a drink when you are not in the vicinity of the water spigot. It's always handy to bring along your own water container.

Watch the Action at Magnuson Dog Park

Leash-up When You Leave the Dog Park - Non-Slip Martingale Collars and Leashes

Martingale collars (also called non-slip collars) prevent a dog from slipping out of their collar. Martingale collars will prevent a dog from giving you "the slip". A good leash is always essential to have - I actually have several for my dogs. The dog park is a good place for advanced recall practice using a long lead leash since it is certainly a place that is full of distractions.

© 2011 Vicki Green

Please leave your paw print here! - We don't mind if your paws are wet after a swim in the lake!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This place looks really nice, when I someday move to Washington I'll have to visit!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 6 years ago

      What a great dog park - I am so jealous!