Here are some of the more popular dog parks in the Austin area near popular student communities. Free to enter, of course.
1. Eastwoods Park
Eastwoods Park is a beautiful community with very spacious playgrounds, courts, and trails. While usually known for families and their kids to spend a nice day out, many people bring their dogs to this park to enjoy the space as well. Plus, due to its close proximity to UT Austin, just north of the university’s School of Law, it could easily be walking distance for students living in the West or North campus neighborhoods. This park, however, isn’t leash-off, so keep that in mind if you bring your pup here.
2. Hancock Dog Park
Well, it isn’t technically called a dog park, but the Hancock area is known to be very dog-friendly due to its spacious green lands. This is where the Hancock Recreation Center is located and it is home to a great golf course that dogs can hang out and run around even as you pay to play a couple of rounds. It’s a bit further north of UT Austin, but still relatively close by, particularly for those living in the North Campus neighborhood. So, if you like golf or just enjoy spacious green walks with your dog, Hancock is a great location.
3. Shoal Creek Greenbelt Dog Park
The Shoal Creek Greenbelt is an open space with trails, meadows, and oaks for dogs to explore with you, on-leash. There are off-leash zones for your pup to run around and socialize with other dogs and people as you take in the beauty of Shoal Creek. Similar to the above two parks, this one is also relatively close to students living near UT Austin, especially those living on the westernmost side of the West Campus neighborhood — an easy walking distance for you and your furbaby.
4. Pease District Park
Just a bit south of Shoal Creek is this beautiful park, also full of courts, playgrounds, and trails for hiking and strolling. Pease District Park is popular with UT students due to its proximity to campus, especially for those living in southern West Campus. Similar to Eastwoods Park, it is an on-leash park, so keep that in mind if you want to take on the trails here with your furry companion.
5. Auditorium Shores
Despite being the furthest away from campus or most student communities on this list, I couldn’t help but mention this dog park. This is a very popular dog park with plenty of off-leash areas. With a view like this, on the southern shores of Lady Bird Lake, at the heart of the city, it’s no wonder why it’s so popular with dog owners in Austin. Despite it being a drive away, it’s definitely worth the trip, especially since there’s a lot of parking in the area. And because it’s so popular with the dogs, don’t be surprised if you find yourself and your pooch making lots of new doggy friends.
6. Peace Point at Lady Bird Lake Metropolitan Park
Don’t think I forgot about the students living on East Riverside. This is a dog park for you and your pup, only a few minutes from home with easy to find parking spots. It’s a great area for your dog to play and splash around in the water or walk along the trails as you view the beautiful scenery or Austin city skyline.
7. Mabel Davis District Park
This is another great park for those living on East Riverside, especially if you’re living on the southern side of the street. It’s a hidden gem, just a few minutes down south, so it tends to be quieter and not as crowded. If that is your forte, this may be a better choice for you and your pooch. You can find skate parks and trails here, so if you’re interested in doing some sweet ollies or just going for a nice jog with your dog, this is your spot. However, similar to some other Austin parks, this park is an on-leash park.
8. Norwood Estate Dog Park
This one is a bit further off, but it follows the East Riverside road as well. This relatively popular and frequented dog park is located right off I-35, and features large fenced-in areas, separated between large and small dogs, so it’s off-leash and caters to your fur baby’s need to run freely. Not to mention, there are some obstacles for your dogs to challenge their agility skills.