Dog-Friendly Areas in Central Park

No trip to the big city with your dog would be complete without a visit to Central Park. Most sections of Central Park allow dogs wherever it is open to the public. But it is important to know the best areas to take your dogs and the rules for dogs in the park.

What are the rules for dogs in Central Park?

Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. dugs must be on a leash that is no more than six feet long. From 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. dogs may be off-leash. New York City Health Codes and New York State law require all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. Every dog owner must carry proof of rabies vaccination and a current dog license while in public. Dog owners must also pick up after their dogs and dispose of waste in provided containers. Otherwise, dog owners may be fined for a violation of these laws. It is also important to keep your dog hydrated while visiting Central Park, and there are 29 dog fountains placed throughout the park.

What are the most dog-friendly areas of Central Park?

Dogs are welcome, but must ALWAYS be on-leash in the following areas:

Bridle Path

Cedar Hill

East Green

The Ramble

Strawberry Fields

Children’s Glade

Shakespeare Garden

East Meadow Oval

Arthur Ross Pinetum

Conservatory Garden

Kerbs Boathouse Plaza

Turtle Pond Lawn and Woodlands

The North Woods and the Ravine

Where are dogs prohibited in Central Park?

There are areas in Central Park where dogs are not permitted, including:


Lilac Walk


East Green

Sheep Meadow

Bodies of water

Swimming pool

Great Hill Glade

Elm Island at the Mall

Hallet Nature Sanctuary

Ornamental Fountains

Reservoir Running Track

Sand volleyball courts

Basketball, handball, or tennis courts

What are some other special considerations to know before bringing a dog to Central Park?

If you bring a dog to Central Park, you are urged to have fun but also be respectful of other park-goers. Do not let your dog disrupt or endanger others or their pets. Keep your dog on a short leash while crossing drives. Do not let your dog chase after other animals, including wild animals like birds and squirrels. While dogs are allowed to play on the lawns, do not allow them to dig.

Does Central Park have an off-leash dog park?

Not at this time. That said, Central Park is still a great place to visit with your canine.

Are there dog meet-ups and events in Central Park?

Yes. The Central Park Conservancy hosts the My Dog Loves Central Park fair every year and takes place at Naumburg Bandshell. This is a fun and free event where dogs in the community can come together to play, learn, and celebrate Central Park. The event is typically put on in the fall and includes training tips, games, contests, and more.

Dogs Central Park

What are some dog-friendly things to do in Central Park?

Aside from the usual romping and roaming, here are some specific activities you might consider:

Touring Seneca Village

Visiting the Balto statue

Exploring the North Woods

Walking through the Ramble

Wander around the Reservoir

Take a photo at Strawberry Fields

Smell the flowers at the Conservatory Garden

Picnic on the lawn

Walk down the Mall

Hang out during off-leash hours

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