You know your canine family members need to get out and romp as much as you do. Socialization is important too—no matter how much you walk your best friends, the more they learn to play well with others, the easier it is to take them on trips or drop them off at doggy day care. Here are some dog-friendly trails and off-leash dog parks in Skagit County where you can let your doggos run around and be silly, sniff new rear ends and chase friends. You’ll be rewarded with happy, tired pups!
Dog Parks in Anacortes
Residents of Anacortes agree: the dog park portion of The Ace of Hearts Rotary Park is a good place to bring Rover. It has grass for chasing toys and friends, and benches for pup parents to relax. On warm days its shady areas, pooch pools and water fountain are appreciated by all. Anacortes resident Ralph brings his little sidekick Jerry to the park often, and Jerry makes himself right at home. “A lot of wonderful people come here regularly,” says Ralph.
One feature many visitors find important is the separate area for smaller dogs. Poop bags are provided and there’s a restroom too. The entire park includes a creek, walking trails and a baseball diamond. It’s located on H Avenue between 37th and 39th.
If you’re in Old Town and your dog needs some convenient exercise, there’s another off-leash park in Anacortes at the corner of R Avenue and 9th. Aside from a play tunnel, a picnic table and some water jugs, there’s not much in the way of amenities. But the people and dogs are friendly, and Fidalgo Bay is nearby for walks.
Dog Park in Sedro-Woolley
The aptly-named Riverfront Park is nestled up to the Skagit River on the south end of Sedro-Woolley. Its 35 acres host amenities that make the park a go-to destination for the community, including a boat launch, playgrounds, sports courts, covered picnic areas with grills and a swing made for folks in wheelchairs.
Bark Park is a fenced area for dogs within Riverfront Park. It’s mostly grass with a small rain shelter, so when other parks are damp and muddy, people from other Skagit County towns come here to let Molly and Max run. Bark Park is in the northeast corner of Riverfront Park, at the intersection of River Road and Elm Lane.
Dog Park in Mount Vernon
Bakerview Park, a 40-acre multi-use facility in Mount Vernon, is home to a nice off-leash dog park with a separate space for smaller canines. It has a covered seating area for two-legged creatures and a few obstacles for four-legged fun. The terrain is a mix of grass, gravel and bark, and it can get messy in wet weather. Bring towels!
Most days you’ll find at least a few dogs racing around the securely fenced areas. Maria Camacho brings her Ray-Ray about once a week, unless he prefers to drive up to Riverfront Park in Sedro-Woolley for a change. A foster fail through and through, Ray-Ray has a leading role in Maria’s life. “He’s everything to me,” she says. “He’s only nine months old, so he needs to get out.”
Bakerview Park is located on E Fir Street, several blocks east of Riverside Drive.
Dog-Friendly Trails in Skagit County
Along with off-leash dog parks in Skagit County, there are the hundreds of acres of parkland and forest the county and towns have set aside for citizens to enjoy. Your pups are welcome in most of them. Here are some places Buddy and Boomer will enjoy so much they will not mind being on leashes.
It goes without saying that Washington Park in Anacortes is a good place to be a dog. Walking/sniffing opportunities range from the paved, 2 1/8-mile loop (great for muddy days!) and trails through the woods. If your pooch likes to get in the water, take her down to Sunset Beach just inside the park entrance for some beach fun. Poop bags are provided near many of the park’s signs.
The Anacortes Community Forest Lands (ACFL) cover almost 3,000 acres on Fidalgo Island and include 50 miles of trails. This rare community treasure welcomes hikers, equestrians and bicyclists—some trails accommodate motorcycles. The well-maintained trails offer an occasional bench, but “improvements” are few. People come for the quiet, the lush forest scenery and the wildlife. Bring your own water, poop bags and anything else you and your dog might need. There are several places to access the ACFL; download a map to find one.
On a warm day, the Padilla Bay Shore Trail is a great walking trail for you and your pal. You’re bound to catch a breeze off the water, and the smells along the sloughs and the bay are so enticing! It’s over four miles round trip.
The Kulshan Trail in Mount Vernon is a good option if you appreciate a level, paved walk. The former logging rail line winds through a light industrial part of town, then through neighborhoods, natural areas and community gardens. It’s a 2.5-mile walk—5 miles out and back—suitable for the whole family, including strollers and dogs.
Dogs are integral members of many families in our area. Take yours on an outing to a dog park or on a hike and you’re sure to meet other friendly people and dogs! Bonus!