In Manhattan and on Fort Riley there are several well-maintained dog parks where your dog can meet the locals. Each park offers something unique, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
It’s highly advised that you don’t visit a dog park until your pup is at least three months old and has all of his shots, especially since puppies don’t receive their Rabies and final Parvovirus vaccines until they’re 12 weeks old. No, you won’t have an autistic dog if you get them vaccinated.
Most of the parks on this list ban intact male dogs, and all ban females in heat. Sure, the parks don’t hire cops to roam around and lift dogs’ tails to see if they’re packing. But if a fight breaks out and your unneutered dog is involved, there could be hefty consequences.
Fort Riley Dog Parks
Fort Riley has two dog parks on post: one in Historic Main Post and one in the Forsyth housing community across from the PX. The Forsyth park is split into two parks based on the size of your dog. Intact males are banned at both parks.
Right and Up Tip: Be advised that in the summer the grass in this park is covered in tiny spike-covered burrs that like to find themselves in between the pads of dogs’ feet.
The Historic Main Post park is massive, which is why it’s the more frequented of the two. In fact, Fort Riley used to keep bison in the enclosure. The bison were donated to the Konza Prairie in 1987, and Fort Riley let the post’s horses roam free in there before it was eventually turned into a dog park. On a warm spring day there are at least 15 pooches out there burning off energy. Both this park and the Forsyth one provide doggy waste bags, waste bins and water.
Right and Up Tip: Bring a tennis ball or Frisbee to help your dog reach a new level of exhaustion. Just don’t be surprised if another dog (i.e. mine) steals it because he’s a jerk.
Manhattan Dog Parks
Cico Park in Manhattan is widely considered the nicest of the dog parks. Located at 3246 Kimball Avenue and nestled within the city’s recreational area, the park provides plenty of space for your dog to get nice and tired. The area also has several picnic tables where you can relax on a nice day. The coolest part of this park is the dog water fountain. The fountain looks like a regular drinking fountain we all had in our middle school, but it’s on the ground at dog level. Run the water to fill the basin, and after a few seconds the excess water will drain away so every dog gets a fresh drink.
Right and Up Tip: Be friendly with fellow dog owners! This is a popular park and a great place to make friends.
Stretch Park can be a challenge to find since it’s part of Tuttle Creek State Park and hidden behind trailers. Just when you think you’re definitely in the wrong place, you’ll see it. The one-acre park has agility equipment, so maybe youre dog will surprise you with some sweet skills.
Right and Up Tip: Bring lots of water and a bowl since this park doesn’t have anywhere for your dog to get a drink.
Just a few minutes away from downtown Manhattan is this gem of a park that’s separated into large and small dog areas. Inside the large dog area you’ll find agility equipment like an A-frame, weaving polls and an elevated tire so your dog can show off his circus tricks. Fairmont Park is equipped with water and dog waste stations, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own bags just in case.
Right and Up Tip: Alongside the large dog area is a path that leads to the Kansas River and a perfect spot for your dog to take a dip.
About the Author
Rachel is an Auburn grad (War Damn Eagle!) and holds a degree in journalism. While working as a sports writer covering the Tigers, she met a cute, tall officer stationed at Fort Benning. A few margaritas, conversations about why a no-huddle offense is superior and 18 months later, they got married. They have PCS’d to Fort Huachuca, Fort Riley and will soon head to Washington DC. They have a ridiculously adorable son named Gavin and two furry children, Jeter and Lilly.