River’s favorite dog spots in Raleigh

I’ve had my golden retriever, River, for about nine months and we’ve found some awesome places in Raleigh to explore together. I’m going to share our favorite locations and what we like most about each one.

Dorothea Dix Dog Park 

This is my go-to spot to take River. Located in a large, fenced-in field at Dorothea Dix Park near downtown Raleigh, this dog park is a wonderful place to go because of how many friendly dogs and owners are always there. River recently met two new dog friends named Beau and Beasley while I sat at a picnic table and chatted with their owner, Miranda. It’s so fun to be able to meet adorable dogs and friendly owners, especially when it’s a fellow golden retriever mom like me! Compared to the other places I’ll be sharing, this one doesn’t have as many places to sit or as much shade, but it’s a wonderful spot to take your dog if you’d like them to run around freely with a bunch of four-legged friends.

Dorothea Dix Dog Park

Oakwood Dog Park 

This dog park will be perfect for a hot summer day because of how shaded it is, and there are plenty of picnic tables to sit at while your dog plays. There’s also a swinging bench that’s great for relaxing or reading a book. If your dog is a fan of water like mine, there’s a kiddy pool for them to cool off in so be prepared to bring some towels for the ride home! River will jump into any body of water she finds (fountains, puddles, creeks, etc.) so always keep a towel in my Jeep just in case.

Oakwood Dog Park

While you’re in this area, I highly recommend taking a stroll around Historic Oakwood. I love to go for a walk around the neighborhood and check out all the beautiful, historic homes and the perfectly maintained yards with blooming flowers.

Lake Johnson 

This is a wonderful place for a long walk or a run on-leash with your dog. The shaded paths through the woods at Lake Johnson are a beautiful getaway in nature. There are also places to sit and just enjoy water views.

North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) Trails

We love the North Carolina Museum of Art for a walk on-leash with beautiful sights to enjoy. I always begin with River by the museum then make our way down the hills to the greenway trails that are connected to the museum grounds. If you’d like a long walk or jog, the trails continue either past Meredith College or up the House Creek Greenway Trail.

NCMA Trails

Millbrook Exchange Dog Park

If you live in North Raleigh, Millbrook Exchange Dog Park is a great place too. I like this dog park because it has a covered picnic area and plenty of benches. Also half the space is wooded, and half is wide open, so you have the option of hanging out in the sun or the shade.


What are your favorite places to take your dog? Let me know! I’m always looking for new places to take River. I hope you enjoyed reading about our favorite spots.

This is why we bring plenty of towels. Never know what she’ll get into at the dog park…

I’m Jacqueline Lee and I’m a REALTOR® in Raleigh, NC assisting home buyers and sellers. If you’re new to the area or thinking of moving here and have questions about Raleigh, let’s talk! I can be reached at 336-354-3090 or jacqueline@societyrealtygroup.com.

Published by jacquelineleerealtor

I'm a realtor living in Raleigh with a great passion for this city. I strive to give clients the best experience possible for home buying and selling. My favorite thing to do is explore everything Raleigh has to offer including new restaurants, shops and events. I love to share my experiences with local businesses here to help new residents explore the city, or introduce a new place for Raleigh locals to try.

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