Alabama is located deep in the south of the U.S. Here in the Yellowhammer State; you’ll find a surprising combination of vibrant culture, city lights, beautiful countryside, and expansive beaches. In fact, there’s something for everyone in Alabama, including dog lovers!
If you’re planning to take a vacation in Alabama or you’re thinking of relocating and bringing your canine companion along too, you’ll need to know what to expect when you get here. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are plenty of well-maintained and well-equipped off-leash dog parks that you can visit all around the state.
Although Alabama doesn’t have an official state dog, the American Kennel Club has named the state’s favorite breed as the Lab. So, if you have one of these friendly, sociable dogs, you’ll be in good company here, just like you will in the dog friendly state across the country in Arizona.
In this guide, we check out ten of the best dog parks that Alabama has to offer. Also, we’ve highlighted some important information that you’ll need to know before you come.
- 1 Licenses
- 2 Leash Laws
- 3 Park Rules
- 4 Our 10 Picks
- 4.1 Loch Haven, Hoover
- 4.2 Cooters Pond, Prattville
- 4.3 Julien Marx , Mobile
- 4.4 Beneful Alabaster Dream, Alabaster
- 4.5 Railroad Park, Birmingham
- 4.6 Remy’s Park at Red Mountain, Birmingham
- 4.7 Hannah Daye Ridling Bark Park, Montgomery
- 4.8 Mill Creek, Madison
- 4.9 Foley Dog Park, Foley
- 4.10 Black Creek Bark Park, Fultondale
- 5 Final Thoughts
If you own a dog in any of the counties in Alabama, you must have a license for it. If you don’t, local law enforcement could issue you with a citation, or you could even risk arrest!
In addition to a license, all dogs visiting Alabama must have a valid vaccination certificate for rabies. Only puppies under three months of age may be admitted to the state without a vaccination. Also, if you are visiting Alabama to attend a dog show and you do not intend to remain in the state for more than 21 days, you are exempt.
It’s a good idea before you travel to ask a vet in the local area that you intend to visit what the local vaccination and licensing laws are.
In Alabama, most counties, cities, and municipalities have their own leash laws and requirements.
As a general rule of thumb, dogs are not allowed to run loose in Alabama, unless they are in a designated off-leash dog park. You must keep your dog appropriately confined at all other times, either on a leash when off your property, or kept securely when at home.
Dog owners who fail to leash or confine their pets accordingly may face a fine of up to $50.
As in most other U.S. states, rules and regulations for Alabama’s dog parks are on display outside each park. Although there may be some variances, typically dog park rules are as follows:
- All dogs must have a current rabies vaccination certificate.
- You must remove all feces deposited by your pet. All dog parks provide dog waste stations where you can dispose of your pet’s poop.
- You must keep your dog leashed outside of the park. Once safely inside the park’s confines, you are required to unleash your dog.
- Two dogs per person are allowed in the dog parks.
- You must supervise your dog at all times. Do not leave your pet unattended at any time while he is in the park.
- Aggressive dogs must be removed from the park immediately.
- Do not allow your dog to dig in the park; digging leads to the park area becoming very muddy.
- Your dog must be over four months of age and fully vaccinated before he is allowed in the dog park.
- Female dogs in heat are not allowed in the dog park. Ideally, all dogs should be sterilized before their first birthday.
Please read each park’s rules carefully and in full before allowing your dog to play.
Our 10 Picks
So, here’s our list of ten great dog parks in Alabama that we’re sure your pet will love.
Take a look at what’s on offer in the area you intend to visit. It’s a good idea to make sure your dog is well behaved, and possibly even gone through one of the AKC programs like the Canine Good Citizen, or the AKC Star Puppy program.
Loch Haven, Hoover
This 17-acre park features two separate fenced areas where dogs can play off-leash. One area is set aside for smaller dogs up to 35 pounds, and the other space is for large dogs. Your dog can enjoy burning off his energy around the canine obstacle course. Alternatively, there’s a four-mile walking track, a large recreation field, and a covered picnic pavilion.
There is a dog watering station, but it isn’t set on a concrete base, so the area tends to get pretty muddy. Also, there are a few benches for owners to sit on but most of these are very close to the dumpster where the poop bags are left, so it can get pretty smelly, especially in hot weather.
Cooters Pond, Prattville
There’s a large, fenced dog park area with poop bags and trash cans provided for you to clean up after your pet. There’s plenty of parking here, and there are picnic areas available outside of the dog park area. The park is huge with plenty of space to throw a ball for your dog and burn off some of his excess energy. If you have a dog that finds too much company overwhelming, Cooters Pond Dog Park will suit him perfectly, as it’s usually very quiet.
Plenty of tree-shaded benches are provided for owners to take the weight off their feet while their pet plays with his new friends, and there’s a doggy watering station too.
Julien Marx , Mobile
The park is very scenic with plenty of trees for shade and ample space for your dog to play, explore, and meet new friends. There are separate areas for small and large dogs, and the whole park is double-gated to ensure that no dogs escape.
There are water fountains provided for both dogs and their owners, as well as poop bags and cleanup stations.
Beneful Alabaster Dream, Alabaster
Beneful Alabaster Dream Dog Park is located (here) within Veteran’s Park in the city of Alabaster.
Alabaster is only the second city in the U.S. to host a Beneful Dream Dog Park. The park was designed by DIY network TV star, Jason Cameron, and was built at the cost of $500,000, opening in July 2012. Since then, the park has become a firm favorite with local dog owners and visitors alike.
The dog park is carpeted with synthetic grass so that your pup won’t get covered in mud on wet days. There are separate off-leash areas for both large and small dogs. Your dog will love the water splash pads, hoops, tunnels, and miniature fetch football field. There’s also a walking course for more sedate pups and owners!
Benches and shade trees provide respite for exhausted dog owners to sit and pass the time of day with like-minded companions.
You can see just what Alabaster’s Dream dog park has to offer by checking out the video at this link.
Railroad Park, Birmingham
At Railroad Park, there’s a walking trail and nine acres of open lawn area. Railroad Park is not an off-leash dog park, but the facility is well worth a visit if your pup is well-behaved and is happy to stay on his leash while you enjoy a stroll through this tranquil city oasis of grass, rivers, and streams.
There are small playgrounds dotted throughout the park for your kids, and there’s even a lake with fish living in it. A novel feature attraction is a parked train that looks just awesome against the backdrop of the city skyline.
The park is kept scrupulously clean, and there are doggy waste stations provided throughout. Note that you will need to bring water for your dog.
Remy’s Park at Red Mountain, Birmingham
Remy’s Dog Park is located (here) within beautiful Red Mountain Park in Birmingham. Remy’s Dog Park was featured and recognized in 2016 by Southern Living Magazine as one of the “10 Great Southern Dog Parks.” The dog park covers six acres of forest and open fields where your pup can have the time of his life, playing with his new furry friends.
There’s a 1.7-acre area designated for large dogs and a .7-acre space for smaller pooches. Also, a small .3-acre area is set aside for dogs with special needs such as elderly, injured, or physically challenged pups who want a quiet place to potter about in without being bowled over by livelier canines. Each area is fenced so that your dog can play off-leash without fear of him escaping.
You’ll find pet waste stations, complete with poop bags, and drinking fountains conveniently on hand. And while your dog is having fun, you can rest your legs on one of the many shaded benches that you will find around the park.
When your dog has finished playing and has burned off his excess energy, you can both take a walk on one of the many hiking trails. Although dogs are permitted on the trails, they must be on a leash.
The dog park follows regular Red Mountain Park opening hours, except for Wednesdays when maintenance work is carried out, and the dog park opens at 10 am.
Hannah Daye Ridling Bark Park, Montgomery
The Hannah Daye Ridling Bark Park is located (here) in Montgomery. The park opened in 2013 in memory of a local councilor’s late teenage daughter, and it has remained an extremely popular destination for local dog owners ever since.
The park has two main areas, one for large dogs and one for small pups. Both areas offer gazebos, lots of benches, doggy water fountains, dog washing stations, and poop bag stations. Also, the park has a dedicated dog park ranger on duty who checks each dog’s vaccination certificate before entry. Note that you will need to have your rabies tags or paperwork on hand when you visit.
The local council keeps the park scrupulously clean, apart from one small muddy hole where dogs love to dig and wallow, given a chance! There’s also a wading pool where your dog can cool off on warm days, and the park has plenty of shade trees with benches underneath where you can chill out while you watch Fido. Outside of the dog park, you’ll find plenty of walking trails crossed by quaint, wooden bridges where you can take your pup for a stroll on his leash.
Mill Creek, Madison
Mill Creek is a 1.43-acre off-leash dog park that has two individual sections for small and large dogs. The two areas are both fenced so that your dog is kept safely enclosed. The small dog area is for pooches weighing 25 pounds or less, and the large dog section is for dogs that weigh over 25 pounds. At the entrance to the dog park, there’s a 20 x 30-foot staging area where owners can unleash their dogs before allowing them to enter the play areas.
There are plenty of poop bags, waste stations, and trash baskets provided, so the park is always lovely and clean. On hot days, you and your dog will appreciate the drinking water that’s on offer for both pets and owners, and the abundance of shade trees with benches beneath.
Foley Dog Park, Foley
Here you’ll find two separate areas for large and small dogs, both of which have lots of young trees that will eventually grow to provide a canopy of shade for dogs and their owners.
Opened in 2016, this new dog park offers poop bags, waste collection stations, and drinking water for thirsty pups. There are benches for owners to sit and pass the time of day, talking all things canine while their pups play.
The park is open every day from dawn till dusk.
Black Creek Bark Park, Fultondale
The Bark Park is part of Black Creek Park in Fultondale. This popular dog park has two separate sections for small and big dogs.
There’s lots of room for unleashed pups to run free and play, as well as a babbling creek right outside the fenced area where you and your dog can cool off on hot days. If your dog loves digging, he’ll have a great time burrowing in the sandbox provided. You’ll also find drinking fountains for humans and dogs, and there are several waste stations too, although you’ll need to bring your own poop bags.
The park itself is glorious with lots of shade trees and trails to explore. There’s a mile-long walking path surrounded by the creek, and the area is well-lit for safe nighttime walks. Picnicking is popular here in the summer months, and as well as picnic tables throughout the park, there’s a pavilion with tables for large groups. You can even organize entertainment on the bandstand for your party if a celebration is in order!
Way down south in Alabama you’ll find a wealth of well-tended, friendly dog parks for you and your canine companion to enjoy. Most of the parks provide poop bags and waste collection stations, water fountains, shade trees, and benches so that you can look forward to a comfortable, fun experience with your pet.
Before you visit Alabama with your dog, be sure to familiarize yourself with the local area’s licensing and vaccination rules. If in doubt, contact a local veterinarian in the area for advice before you travel.