Best Place to Walk a Dog - 2011
Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park
Pity the poor dog whose exercise is limited to the minimal exertions of a walk around the block. Can such creatures really be blamed for releasing their pent-up energy by devouring home furnishings? Thankfully dog owners have their choice of six off-leash parks throughout Minneapolis where dogs can run free, the crown jewel of which is the Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park. Set on 4.5 acres at the south end of Minnehaha Park, the sprawling grounds include shady trails, sandy beaches, and enough sprinting space to leave even the hardiest of canines panting. Open year-round, the dog park comes with dense woods for foraging, steep hills for climbing, and access to the Mississippi for a refreshing dip. While there's no entry fee, each dog must have a permit from the city, which carries an annual fee of $35 for residents and $60 for non-residents. Ultimately it's a small price to pay for the rewarding sight of your dog rushing headlong over the trails, tongue dangling, eyes sparked with joy. And, of course, the reassuring knowledge that by the time you get home, your canine will be too exhausted for anything but an appreciative nap.