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Last weekend, Zara and I explored a new dog park. I’ve actually only taken her to three different dog parks – two near my house and one in DC. With trails and other places to explore, I like to visit new locations frequently. However, I like consistency in a dog park. You get to know the other owners and dogs who go there and not only do I feel safer that way, Zara is able to develop relationships with many of the other regulars. Also, going to the dog park already takes up a fair amount of my time as it is. I’d rather go to the closest one instead of driving all around.

I wanted to check out a different park because I am organizing a DC area vizsla meet-up in May and I needed to make sure that this park would be a good place to hold it. The park is called Glencarlyn Dog Park and it is an unfenced Arlington County dog park.

I was doing some research online and I stumbled across this park. After reading Yelp reviews, I could see that this park is different than many of the other ones around. To start, it’s unfenced, which could be concerning depending on its location, and it has woods, some short trails, and a stream. Since Zara and I like to go hiking, this seemed like a good fit. A couple months ago, I would have been more concerned that it is unfenced but she is good when off leash and usually comes to me right away when I call her.

We went to the park on a Sunday evening around 5pm and no one else was there, which was not a surprise since it was about to rain. People are definitely flaky when it comes to weather and going to the dog park.

The dog area is nestled behind a neighborhood and is park of the larger Glencarlyn Park. The Four Mile Run bike path runs through the main park and there are picnic areas and bathrooms. I actually had a bit of trouble finding the dog park but I expected this because the Yelp reviews had indicated that it was tucked away in the woods. I finally found the sign next to the stream (Four Mile Run). You cross a little bridge that goes over the stream and the open space next to the stream is the dog park. Zara ran around, sniffing everything and looking confused as to why there weren’t any other dogs there. The open area was large, definitely big enough to throw a ball and have a bunch of crazy vizslas run around.

The county has also built a set of wide stone steps that go down into the stream so dogs and humans can play in the water. It’s not deep enough for swimming, though.



Behind the open space is a big wooded hill that has a bunch of intersecting trails. We walked along some of these. At the top of the hill were some houses and an apartment complex.

Overall, it’s a nice park. The bike trail runs on the other side of the stream so you would have to keep a closer eye on your dog than you would in a fenced park. But it was secluded enough that I felt comfortable being there with Zara running free.

It’ll be interesting to see if it gets crowded on the weekends when the weather is nice. I’m guessing that this park wouldn’t be as popular as others since it is unfenced and not every dog can be trusted off leash.

It should be a good place for the meet-up, though. Zara and I are looking forward to it. :)