Seattle Off-Leash Dog Park Review: Magnuson
Magnuson off-leash area is Seattle’s biggest dog park.
It’s also one of the top 10 dog parks in the Seattle area.
The off-leash area sits within the larger Warren G. Magnuson Park located in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle along the shores of Lake Washington. It the only dog park in Seattle with water access.
The dog park is 9 acres and is so big we spent over two hours there so I could get photos of everything.
Gretel loves this park. It has a great small dog area.
It’s not so unlike most other small dog areas but this one is very busy so there are lots of other doggies for her to play with.
On an average day hundreds of people visit this off-leash park.
On a summer day the visitor count can reach over 1,000.
The pluses of this dog park are numerous.
There are three main entrances to the park from the parking lot, all with double gates, and several gates in the fence surrounding the dog park.
Some gates go up to the athletic fields and some seem to lead to other pathways.
When you enter the main gates you will find the dirt-surfaced play field and the fenced small/shy dog play area. This small play area also has a double gate.
Inside you will find several benches and chairs to sit on. Also inside the gate are some porta pottys and a water station.
The path down to the dog beach has a fence on either side of it to keep your dog on the trail.
It can get very congested in summer, as evidenced by signs along the trail asking you to keep moving along so as to not choke up the trail.
The beach area is a separate fenced area from the path to walk down there.
As with other areas of the park, you will find several benches and other places to sit here.
When we visited the park there were probably 30 dogs at the beach – most of which were swimming and chasing balls into the water.
There are great views across Lake Washington too.
There is a porta-potty at the beach and board and basket for toys which also serves as a make-shift lost and found.
All along the fences, including the fenced path down to the trail, are rolls of plastic poo bags hanging on ropes. There are plenty of garbage cans but they see a lot of poo so I suggest taking a wide berth – they are usually pretty smelly.
Most of the park surface is packed dirt or gravel.
There are no, if very few, muddy spots but if your dog loves to roll in the mud they will probably end of finding one of those spots.
The surface of the main play field is a little soft and may be somewhat muddy after a rain.
There is a lot of parking here but on weekends and summer days you will have to circle the main lot adjacent to the dog-park to find a spot…..if you are lucky.
That lot is pretty hard to get in and out of too.
I recommend that you park in the lot on the right just before you get to the main dog park lot, adjacent to the outdoor kids jungle gym.
If that lot is full, you may have to park in another area of the park and walk in.
There are no stores or restaurants nearby.
On occasion, I have seen a hot dog card or ice cream truck at this park in the summer but I wouldn’t count on it.
Bring your lunch with you or eat before you get here.
What is cool about the area though is the Burke-Gilman Trail – Seattle’s premier bike path that runs 27 miles from the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle to Redmond – runs right by here so you could ride your bike with your dog in a trailer or run to this park.
The bottom line is that this is by far one of our favorite parks in Seattle.
The streets are a little convoluted to get there but it only takes about a half hour from downtown Seattle and it is well worth the effort.
Allow at least a couple of hours to get the most out of this park – or rather to sufficiently explore the tip of the iceberg.
The path down to the beach gets you exercise along with your dog and the view from the beach is wonderful. There are a lot of other dogs to play with in the small dog area and everyone who visits this park is really friendly.
If you are in Seattle, this park is a definite must-visit!
For directions to this park, check out this map.
Since dogs are allowed to ride the Metro bus with you in Seattle, you can can also use this trip planner to find your bus route to the park.
Also, make sure you follow these dog park rules if you visit.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.
I have to admit that I am a bit leery of off leash dog parks, just because some people have no idea that their pooch may not be suited to that environment and just turn them loose. But with 9 acres, it seems that even on a busy day there is enough room that the dogs are not too crowded together.
It is true that in any park you have people who can’t control their dogs, yet choose to let them roam. We have that problem here too.
I love the pictures of all the different dogs in the park and can’t wait to hear more.
I don’t every worry about that stuff but I AM one of those people who watches their dogs closely so I like to believe I could prevent or quickly catch a problem if I was to occur. I have been going for years and never had a bad experience at a dog park. In Seattle, most people follow their dogs so closely doting on them that I never even worry. All it takes is one though…..
Wowzas! 9 acres?! What a fantastic space for doggers to roam and play.
I’m with 2browndawgs on being cautious at off-leash areas. We normally take Gus to our off-leash park early on Sunday mornings – when there are less people.
Looking forward to part 2!
I didn’t realize so many people were leery of dog parks. Better safe than sorry though.
what a great idea to review dog parks!
We are going to review all of the dog parks in the Seattle area and then start with some farther out.
let me know if you do any in bellingham. we’ll be there in july!
Bellingham has several park areas where dogs are allowed off-leash (like Arroyo Park which is awesome) but no proper, fenced off-leash dog parks that I have been able to find. Since my guys can’t be trusted off leash I probably won’t get to reviewing these for this series. However, we LOVE Bellingham (It’s where I went to College) so we will be likely doing some general trip reports.
That looks like a great park. I can’t wait to see your pictures of Banff, I’ve heard it’s gorgeous there. Funny, we’re in the red rock desert and your in the high mountains. Happy hiking, we are.
Yeah, they won’t have Chester and Gretel in them but I will probably still post them to the You Did What With Your Weiner Facebook page so everyone can see. Both the red rock desert and high mountains are just as beautiful I think…just for different reasons of course 🙂
I love the weiners in the grass!
One uncomfortable story from my own dog park exploration: we recently went to a park and there were prominent signs posted at both entrances that basically said, if you’re the owner of the aggressive white german shepherd dog that attacked my dog, please contact me (along with pics of a poor, battered pup with stitches). Needless to say, the few dogs in the park cleared out when I came in with Toki. : (
I see signs like that periodically at dog parks in our area (so I know stuff DOES happen). Too bad they mistook Toki for that dog and left so there was no one to play with 🙁
I’ve never been to a dog park. To my knowledge, there are only two in Richmond, and the one I’ve checked out is not worth the trouble. You are fortunate to have such a place with such responsible owners (for the most part). A thousand visitors in a day? Wow.
Yes, I think we are really fortunate that Seattlites are responsibel dog owners for the most part. What I didn’t quite ralize before I started wrting these reviews was how lucky we were to have to many dog parks in our area. There are over 20 in the City of Seattle alone!
We really enjoy taking Maple to dog parks and she obviously has a great time there. But there’s always this initial fear of not knowing how the dogs may react to one another, so I absolutely agree with you 100% that the onus is on the owners to keep their eyes on their dogs and watch out for (anticipate) any potential scuffles.
The Magnuson dog park looks amazing, by the way—how we wish we lived near a 9-acre park!
It is really great except it DOES get so crowded and when you have so many dogs in a “small” space it can increase the chance of having dog skirmishes.
I love going to off-leash parks! Actually mine are quite spoiled and only enjoy off leash parks or walks – otherwise they drive me nuts and I end up dragging them half the way! Both of them love to play with other dogs and I like to keep them both very well socialized because of their breeds/natures. We have an awesome park here in Orlando that sounds a lot like the one you’re talking about. Great place!
Hi! I found your blog through your comment at happybarkdays. The word “Seattle” immediately caught my eye! I’m not sure which part of Seattle you live in, but if you don’t mind a drive and you havn’t been to the Marina Beach off leash park in Edmonds you should try it when the weather gets warmer…(although sadly that may take a while now that it’s winter)
There is some sand (not pure sand, it’s mixed with pebbles and what not) and its open to the water. Some of the bigger dog owners throw toys into the water for their dogs to fetch. But I’ve seen smaller dogs come too. It’s usually best to visit when the weather is nice and warm out because a lot more people come with their dogs. I used to go there with my puppy Kip during the Summer.
Thanks so much for coming over to check us out! Actually, the Edmonds off-leash dog park is one of our favorites. I just haven’t had time to fit in a review about it yet. It’s extra special for us because most of my family has worked or works on the ferry boats and I used to ride them back and forth all the time as a kid. It’s great to get such a wonderful view of the mountains and ferry there.
We love summers there but we usually make it at least a handful of times in the fall and winter (on non-rainy days of course). Do you live in Seattle or Edmonds? Or did you move? You say you “used to go there”.