Thursday, June 19, 2014

- Point Defiance Dog Park -

If you somehow haven't, you absolutely must checkout The Point Defiance Park. I've lived around these parts for my whole life, so the park has been a staple for me over the years. I've always visited it, never living too far away from it... So at times I think I've taken it for granted, forgetting just how much rich history it has, and just how awesome and beautiful it truly is. From open fields, breath taking views, and beach access, to historic forts and wooded picnic areas, Point Defiance has it all. Of course, I am particularly fond of the "5 Mile Drive" and the off-leash dog park.

Finding the dog park that is nestled inside the heart of Point Defiance Park isn't too hard. Start from the park entrance at the end of Pearl Street, and follow the signs for five mile drive. If you like to jog, walk, or bike with your pooch, hit the park up on a Sunday before 10:00 A.M. The scenic five mile loop, paved amongst old growth forests, is closed off to car traffic at that time. Continue to follow the signs for five mile drive, past the backside of the zoo, Rustic Picnic Area, and the gorgeous Rhododendron Species Garden. As the drive loops around, you'll quickly see clear signage to the off-leash dog park area. Passing The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, you are almost to the doggy fun! Look out for the dog park (rather, parked cars) which will be on your right as you come down a steep hill. Parking is the only tricky part about this awesome spot, good luck with that lol. Also, be sure to keep your wits about you when driving through the park, there are several turns, twists and trails, with pedestrians poking out all over.

The entrance to the dog park, and "most" of the park itself is fully gated. There is a small "little dog area" near the entrance, but most folks and canines seem to congregate near the center of the main dog park, in the sunny clearing. This dog park at Point Defiance has really grown on me over the last couple of months, Gibson and I have been visiting it weekly. Although small compared to others, the beauty of it can't be compared. Gibson must feel like a real "wolf pack member", as I let him gallivant through the woods lol. He really enjoys time spent at this dog park and I do too. Even if we show up at a moment when there isn't any other canines, it's still great. It is about as peaceful and tranquil as a dog park can get.... Panoramically gorgeous, that's how I'll describe it haha.

A few things to note about this dog park, you defiantly want to keep an eye on your pooch more than usual... Only because there are trails that connect through the dog park, so essentially, your dog could wonder off on you if you aren't mindful. It's also easy to lose them among the salal lol! This park is covered in wood chips which I think makes for a great year-round turf. Although it can get muddy at times, it ends up being quite a nice play surface, even if poo becomes camouflaged in it haha. There are a few bag stations located throughout the park, and there is a covered area which is pretty nice on those stormy NW days. Communal dog water can be quite nasty at certain dog parks, at Point Defiance it's not bad. People seem to continuously flush out the water bowls in an attempt to keep things clean. One of my friends used to work for Metro Parks, he built the rain barrel/dog watering station that is attached to the covered area. It's most rad, nice work Dane old buddy!

Volunteers and or Good Samaritans monitor the park regularly, cleaning water bowls, refilling bag stations, and other tasks. They also act as "duties" a bit, reminding me of my old elementary play ground days lol... Luckily for me, Gibby, doesn't get into any donnybrooks. He's most certainly no angel, but since he works with me here at The Fort everyday, and has since puppyhood, he's a "professional socializer". Him and I stay clear of any dog park-drama and keep our beaks shut lol.

All in all, the Point Defiance Park and Dog Park is a real treat for us "Narrows Peeps". I'm very thankful that it's around for our canine companions to use. It is a wonderful place for them to exert some energy and make new dog friends. It's also a great place for us to unwind a bit in nature, on a late morning or early afternoon. Go check it out soon and have some fun with you and yours!

Be well,

P.S. One last note, the Antique Sandwich Company, at 51st and Pearl, is a wonderful time honored little spot that is great for coffee, breakfast, or lunch. I particularly love their whole-wheat waffle, with "real syrup" that is served on the weekends. This family friendly joint, is sweet to duck into before or after the park.

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