A Trip to Marymoor Dog Park
Marymoor Park Off Leash Dog Area - The Seattle Area's Best Dog Park
The Marymoor Park off-leash dog area in Redmond, WA is 40 acres that has been often referred to as "Doggie Heaven" and "Doggie Disneyland". Marymoor dog park is considered by many to be one of the finest off-leash dog parks in the entire US and it is certainly the best Seattle area dog park.
The dog park is a mix of barked areas, grassy meadows and woodsy areas full of native trees and shrubs. The areas are connected and crisscrossed by meandering bark trails with footbridges across marshy areas. Walking or running all of the trails through the dog park adds up to about 3 miles of exercise and that's not counting any side-trips through the meadow areas that most dogs will find too tempting ignore. The fields are left natural and unmowed, so by mid summer the grass is tall, which gives a lot of enjoyment to dogs who like to bound through it. There are trees and shrubs including blackberry bushes with berry treats in the summer.
The park borders the Sammamish River, (called the Sammamish Slough by locals) which connects Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington. There are several places along the river that provide steps to shallow entry points where dogs can take a splash or a swim. Come along with me and my border collies, Tim and Hank for a visit to Marymoor Dog Park in Redmond, Washington.
(All photos by the author unless credited otherwise)
Welcome to Marymoor Park Off-Leash Area
Entering Marymoor Dog Park
After entering Marymoor Off-leash dog park, there is a large meadow. It is left unmowed so the grass can get very tall in the summer. Many dogs, including mine, seem to enjoy bounding and leaping over the clumps of tall grass in the summer. As a cautionary note, it is possible to lose sight of small dogs. When the grass dies down in the fall and winter it is must be full of great smells because dogs seem to love sniffing around the area.
A large field of grass with great smells
Gulpy Dog Water Dispenser
I have several of these water dispensers - they work great since they have the water bottle and drinking basin all in one compact unit. The 20 oz size is usually a large enough capacity for both of my medium-size dogs for a trip to the dog park. On extremely warm days or on a long hike, I take one or two for each of them.
Stay Hydrated at the Dog Park
Although there there are many amenities at the dog park there are no drinking fountains for either humans or canines. There is access to the Sammamish River for dogs to take a drink, but the river borders one edge and the park is large. Another consideration is that the river can have bacteria or parasites, so if you are concerned about your dog having an adequate amount clean drinking water, your might want to bring water for both you and your dog.
Is Marymoor Dog Park Famous?
Have you ever heard of Marymoor Dog Park?
Marymoor Dog Park on TV
Marymoor dog park has been featured on segments of television shows, has been referred to as Doggie Heaven and "Doggie Disneyland" and been mentioned as possibly the best dog park in the US. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, naturally everyone around where I live knows about it, but I don't know if it is well-known in other parts of the country and the rest of the world.
Take a Virtual Visit to Marymoor Park with Gary Berghoff
Marymoor Dog Park Large Barked Play Area
Multiple Areas For Dogs to Play at Marymoor
Another area on the edge of the grassy meadow is this large barked play area - a great place for playing fetch, frisbie or chase games with other dogs.
Miles of looping trails around Marymoor Dog Park
Miles of Looping Trails
The different areas of Marymoor Dog Park are connected with several miles of looping trails making it a great place for people to jog or run with their dogs off-leash. Tim seems to be enjoying jogging along the trail.
SODA Built and Maintained Trails and Bridges
The History of Marymoor Dog Park
A large portion of Marymoor park that was undeveloped and not designated for other uses had been used informally for many years by people to exercise and train their dogs. As the area became more populated open space and park land in the area became more scarce and precious. Many diverse interest groups petitioned the county to request designated areas of the park for their recreational uses that were not always compatible with dogs. June of 1987 Serve Our Dog Area (SODA) was formed by concerned area citizens to lobby King County to save and formally designate a 40 acre portion of Marymoor Park as an off-leash dog area. In addition to their successful lobbying efforts, SODA volunteers have also donated money and time to build and maintain the dog park. This photo shows one of many bridges built over wet areas to protect the wetlands and keep feet and paws from getting muddy.
Another Bridge Built by SODA
Numerous Dog Areas At Marymoor
The vegetation visually separates the park area into smaller sections which helps people who want to keep their dogs away from larger open areas.
Doggie Clean-up Bag Stations and Trash Cans
Donate to S.O.D.A. - Serve Our Dog Areas
Serve Our Dog Areas (S.O.D.A.) is a non-profit, 501c3 approved organization. S.O.D.A. is funded by membership fees and donations which are always appreciated. Click on the links below to learn more about SODA or to help support and maintain the wonderful off-leash dog area at Marymoor Park.
Save Our Dog Area - SODA
S.O.D.A. is a non-profit organization formed to provide ongoing support and stewardship for the Off-Leash dog exercising areas at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington and Grandview Park in SeaTac, washington
Earth Rated Doggie Clean-up Dispenser
After trying numerous other doggie-doo dispensers, this Earth Rated brand is my favorite. It has a cute design that is shaped like a toxic waste capsule in a "Mr Yuk" green color, but the built in features are what really make it stand out. The top screws off to easily replace a roll of bags, it has a handy velcro loop that attaches it securely to a leash and it even has a little clip to hold the used bags. Although most standard roll-type refill bags will fit the dispenser, the Earth Rated bags that are included are large and sturdy and are available in scented or unscented.
Doggie Clean-up Supplies - Handy Bag Containers and Bags
Although Marymoor Park is has clean-up bags provided by SODA, 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 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
Marymoor Dog Park Trail Along the River
My border collies Tim and Hank enjoy running along this wide graveled path that borders the Sammamish River. There are numerous places with openings to access the river.
Swimming in the Sammamish River at Marymoor Dog Park
Dog Swimming Area
The west edge of the Marymoor Dog Park is along the Sammamish River. This is a photo is one of the several access points where dogs who enjoy the water can splash around or take a swim in the slow moving current.
Marymoor Dog Park Large Grassy Area
Long Lead for Recall Training
A long lead is an essential tool for teaching your dog a good recall. A 50 foot lead allows them to get a long distance away, but still be able to keep them under control if they forget to come when called.
The Vast Open Space at Marymoor
This is another view of the large grass meadow looking back toward the parking lot that shows how open and vast the off-leash dog area is. Marymoor is not totally fenced - the entrances to the parking lot don't have gates, so if you are still working on your dog's recall, I recommend bringing a long lead to keep your dog safe. This size of the meadow area makes it a great place to do some advanced recall training. With plenty of great scents and other dogs causing distractions, you can let your dog get a long distance away and still be able to reel them back in to teach them that "come" means come no matter what is going on.
The Exit From Marymoor Dog Park
The End of Our Visit
Unfortunately our time at doggie heaven at Marymoor off-leash dog park has come to end for today and we head for the exit and parking lot. We'll be back soon! To see how the Marymoor Dog Park changes with the seasons, come along on another trip to the park in the spring with the Border Collies in the Burbs.
Leash-up When You Leave the Dog Park - Non-Slip Martingale Collars and Great Leashes
Martingale collars (also called non-slip collars) prevent a dog from slipping out of their collar. After having a couple of dogs that could do what we called "the Houdini move" and slip out their collar in the blink of an eye, I started using Martingale collars that will prevent most dogs 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. A glow in the dark leash is a handy safety feature when walking your dog on those long, dark winter nights.
Marymoor Park Dog Washing Station
Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo
Earthbath dog shampoo includes all natural ingredients including oatmeal and aloe that keep canine skin and coats in great shape. This top-selling brand is our favorite.
Give Your Dog a Bath Before You Go Home
After a trip to the dog park, especially in the Pacific Northwest, you may have a dirty dog! At Marymoor Park, they've thought of everything! Across the parking lot from the off-leash dog area, there is a handy dog washing station to give your dog a bath or just clean up any muddy paws before you go home. Just bring along your dog shampoo and a towel and take home a clean dog.
Microfiber Dog Bath Towel
Microfiber towels are soft and absorbent and the cute embroidered paw print helps to quickly identify it as the "dog towel". This towel is available in several colors, so if you have more than one dog, each one can have their own in a different color. Once you've tried a microfiber towel, you'll never want to go back to a regular towel again!
Where is Marymoor Park? - Redmond, Washington about 30 minutes from Seattle
Although not actually IN Seattle, the Marymoor Park off leash dog area is only about 30 minutes east of Seattle. From Seattle by car, take either I-90 or Highway 520 across Lake Washington and continue east to Redmond. For those who want to hike, bike or skate with their dog to the park, the Sammamish River Trail runs along the edge of the park.
Map and Directions to Marymoor Park from Seattle
Finding the Marymoor Park Off-Leash Area at Marymoor Park
Finding the Dog Park at Marymoor Park
Marymoor Park is a huge park and although the off-leash dog area is 48 acres, it is only one small part of the park. The off-leash area is in the southwest corner. The King County Parks and Recreation Department website has a handy printable map of Marymoor Park that is helpful for locating all of the park features. See the link below to print off a copy from the King County Parks and Recreation Department website.
A Printable Map of Marymoor Park - Print a Map Before You Go
- Marymoor Park Map
A printable map of Marymoor Park from the King County Parks and Recreation Department.
© 2011 Vicki Green