By Roshani Chokshi & Collin Kelley

There are a number of parks in the metro that have set up off-leash areas for dogs, but Chastain Park is not one of them – yet.

Randall Fox, co-director of the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces and a Chastain resident, is spearheading the creation of the park. He has set up www.chastaindogpark.org so supporters can sign a petition (which has more than 700 signatures so far), make donations and find out more information.

Fox said so many residents (and non-residents) bring their dogs to Chastain Park, but there is no dedicated area to let them romp and socialize.

“We have to walk our dogs along two busy roads in the neighborhood and it’s not safe,” Fox said. He also noted that when residents were asked to fill out a survey for the Chastain Park master plan, a dog park wasn’t included.

Fox said the goal was not to take back greenspace, but re-purpose it for the dog park. He said 11 potential sites have been found in Chastain Park, and the plan is to have the city’s parks and recreation department narrow it to two.

While Chastain’s dog park might be some years away, here are some existing parks where Fido can run free:

  • Piedmont Park has Atlanta’s largest fenced dog park. The park is equipped with running water and ample space to run and is located at the intersection of 10th street and Monroe Drive.
  • ParkGrounds not only offers dogs a fenced-in area to roam around in, but also give dogs’ exhausted owners a quick pick-me-up in the form of coffee and a bite to eat. ParkGrounds charges $1 per dog admittance to the off-leash area, with the exception of Pit Bulls and are located at 142 Flat Shoals Ave.
  • Mason Mill Dog Park is a new half-acre public dog park, which offers a water fountain for dogs within a fenced area located at 1400 McConnell Drive.
  • With roughly four acres for off-leashed dogs to run around in, the Henry Jones Dog Park maintains a vibrant area for man’s best friends to stretch out their paws. Though there is no water fountain, a community bucket is provided. Henry Jones Dog Park is located inside Brook Run Park at 4770 North Peachtree Road.
  • Adair Park is a four-acre park adjacent to the historic Mary Gay House, Swanton House and log cabin, which hosts Decatur’s annual Heritage Festival. The Park offers picnic tables, trash receptacles and a playground area. An off-leash area is provided for Decatur residents whose dogs obey voice commands.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.