Take your pooch with you as you hike, bike, run or let him run free and play fetch with you in any of Bend’s seven off-leash dog parks. Named the dog-friendliest city in the United States by Dog Fancy Magazine, Bend is full of loving pet parents. It is therefore fitting to find there are over 40 pet-friendly restaurants and breweries and over 51 miles of trails and recreational activities where your furry friend will be welcome.
Here are some of Bend’s best trails and off-leash areas for you to explore with your dog:
At Wanoga Sno-Park, your pal can play on the sledding hills or on Oregon’s first dog-friendly groomed ski/snowshoe trails. Your pet must be on a leash at the sno-park but when you’re on the trails, he may explore freely under voice control.
Have you heard of skijoring? It is a fun way to let your dog pull you along as you ski the trails and Wanoga is ideal.
The Deschutes National Forest in the Summer
In the summer months, you can hike with your dog off-leash on 95 percent of the 1,200 miles of trails in The Deschutes National Forest.
Upper Deschutes River Trail
Between Sept. 15 and April 15, this trail allows dogs off-leash and gives them easy access to a wonderful stretch of river. If you go for miles, you’ll get to Sunriver, or as far as you like. Dogs are allowed to swim off-leash in the river any time of year.
Green Lakes Trail
Between July 15 to September 15, this trail is busy so dogs are required to be on leash. Its soft trail surface, accessibility to water along the way, log crossings, and a bit of rock scrambling make for an interesting adventure for dogs.
Horse Ridge and Horse Butte
These spots just south of Bend, are perfect if you’re trying to avoid the snow in the winter or your dog isn’t a fan of the white stuff. Horse Ridge and Horse Butte are usually pretty dry, with soft sand that’s easy on the paws, and best of all, you can both enjoy the fantastic views.
If, on the other hand, your dog loves snow, you might want to check out Edison Butte and Skyliners sno-parks in the Deschutes National Forest between December and March, where pets are allowed off-leash but under voice command. Sledders and tubers will be on the trails as well but snowmobiles are prohibited in the snow play areas.
This trail, also known as Good Dog Trail, is highly-rated by locals and is on the way to Mt. Bachelor but as it is not as well known or as busy as other trails so pets are allowed to be off-leash. It features riverfront access, and you can hike it in a 5-mile loop or go for a shorter walk.
Another fun spot to explore with your pet is Tumalo Falls. There you can secure a rental from Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe and either kayak or stand up paddle on the river or the beautiful lake with your four-legged friend.
Bend’s REI has partnered with Ruff Wear to offer a free introductory class here to demonstrate the use of its comfortable dog harness.
As long as your dog has a full body harness, he can ride the pet-friendly chairlift as you both head out to explore the approved hiking trails on-leash. Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort welcomes quiet, non-aggressive pets who are well groomed and up to date on shots and vaccinations.
The Dog Park, located at the far west end of the West Village parking area, is the only off-leash area. This park avoids running any potential safety and sanitary issues as a result of dog owners not cleaning up after their unleashed pets in other areas of Mt. Bachelor and allows for better management of dogs visiting the resort area.
The Ruffwear Dog Park
Here your pet can frolic freely off-leash and can happily dig in the snow in the groomed “snow-play” area. This park is sponsored by Bend’s dog sportswear outfitters, Ruffwear, and is open only in the winter. Dog waste bags, doggie toys, and garbage cans are available.
This five-acre park is great for sports enthusiasts and dogs. It is a popular spot and there are four regulation soccer fields, a baseball field, a softball field, and a BMX track. It also caters to dogs with two areas, one unfenced area for on-leash play and an expansive fenced area designed for off-leash dogs. This off-leash area includes trails you and your pup can explore together. There’s a water spigot that any thirsty pet will appreciate and a refreshing doggy pond. Picnic tables in this area make it easy to grab a bite in a relaxed atmosphere.
With approximately 12 acres of developed park, 20 acres of open space surrounding a 3-acre lake, and a 1.6-acre fenced area, Discovery Park is made for exploration. The lake is for irrigation purposes only so swimming and water play are not encouraged at all. This park is located within the NorthWest Crossing neighborhood.
A small fenced area has been designated for off-leash play for dogs and there are also walking trails, restrooms, and picnicking areas.
This park is a top pick for water sports, such as river floating, paddle boarding, and kayaking. It is also one of the few spots that give your off-leash pup the opportunity to splash around in the river and have both fenced rock beach and grassy areas. This scenic spot includes an area for small dogs.
Located along the Deschutes River and its trail, near the Old Mill District, this 1.1-acre park is one of the few areas that offers year-round access to the river. Its central location provides access to a number of trails as well as other parks like McKay, Bend Whitewater, and Drake with its picturesque Mirror Pond.
In any season besides winter, you’ll find adult softball and youth soccer games happening here. This park is located near Bear Creek grade school, in an older neighborhood. It is fully fenced and is also home to a skatepark, pickleball and basketball courts, and playground for kids and adults alike.
The 2.9-acre off-leash dog park is fenced and has a separate small dog area. From the park, You and your furry friend can access walking trails from this park as well as a picnic area. Poop bags, restrooms, and water are also available.
Bob Wenger Memorial at Pine Nursery Park
Measuring 18.8 acres, this is one of the largest parks in Bend and you’ll also find one the largest off-leash areas here, a whopping 14 acres in size to be precise, with a large grassy run area
and best of all, it’s fenced. Grab a free poop bag and take your pooch for a walk along the Pine Nursery Park Trail, a fully paved, wide 1.3-mile long trail that loops around the perimeter of the park and cuts through the middle. The terrain is fairly even so it’s great for running and biking as well as walking.
There’s also a designated small dog area and a seasonal splash pad to keep dogs cool on warm summer days, as well as water fountains for dogs and people.
This charming 3.7-acre park is partially fenced and was once the home of a working ranch and to this day you can see several of the original buildings, including the restored Hollinshead Barn. You’ll find open grassy fields and shady orchards where you can stroll with your dog on-leash. There’s also a picnic space, and a sizable, fenced off-leash area, for your dog to run free.
Overturf Butte Reservoir
Located in the center of Bend’s west side, this hilly 4.6-acre area near the Skyliner Summit Loop, doesn’t attract much attention but it gives you access to several trails and overlooks the city, offering amazing views
The fenced off-leash dog area is situated adjacent to the reservoir property so it’s very easy to find. It is partially fenced, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your dog at all times. Complimentary poop bags are available on-site, but you will need to bring your own water and dog dishes.
Overturf Park is nearby and provides access to the Cascade Highlands. The entire family will enjoy the horseshoe pit and playground here.
Awbrey Reservoir (NW 10th and Trenton) 5 acres, unfenced.Note: acreage is approximate.
The entire 5-acre area is unfenced so it may not be suitable for all dogs. It is appropriate for dogs with good recall, in case they wander off. However, on the plus side, there is plenty of open space to run and play with your high-energy pup.
You can access a variety of trails from here so there are multiple options for exploring together beyond the open area.
Small Dog Areas
As we’ve mentioned, there are fenced small dog areas at the Riverbend, Pine Nursery, and Ponderosa Park off-leash areas. The criteria for small dogs is that they must be less than 15 inches at the shoulder and under 25 pounds. These areas have been provided so small dogs don’t get trampled or feel left out in the midst of big dog play.
Tips for Dog Owners Exploring Bend
Bend locals love their dogs and seek to include them in their recreational activities. There are even many dog-friendly pubs. Although your canine friend won’t be allowed inside, he can join you on the patio at GoodLife Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, Cascade Lakes Brewing, Crux Fermentation Project, and McMenamins Old St. Francis School.
For any activity, it’s important that dog owners manage their dog responsibly so that everyone can enjoy the parks and trails comfortably and safely. City of Bend law and Bend Park & Recreation District rules require dog owners to always walk with a leash and use it in public, except in official off-leash areas. They are also required to clean up after their dog. Dog waste bags and trash receptacles are available at many Bend parks and trails.
Here are the Off-leash Area Rules:
- No aggressive dogs allowed. Immediately remove your dog from the park if it is misbehaving or acting in an aggressive manner.
- Keep dogs on-leash outside designated off-leash areas.
- Pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste.
- Remain in visual sight and voice control of your dog at all times.
- Carry a leash for each dog in your care.
- Closely supervise young children. Children under the age of 12 may not be in the off-leash area unsupervised.
- Accept responsibility for any damage or injury caused by your dog.
- Bring no more than three dogs to the off-leash area at any time.
- Do not bring a dog in heat to a Bend park.
- Do not bring a puppy without a complete cycle of vaccinations to a Bend park.
- Display tags showing proof of current license and rabies vaccinations on all dogs.
- Comply with all other park rules.
- Please be courteous to neighbors and control excessive barking.
Here are a few more tips:
- If your dog is not relaxed and friendly around people or other dogs, keep him on-leash (and out of dog parks).
- If you meet children, dog-averse people, dogs on-leash, mountain bikers, or horses on the trail, have your dog sit and stay, or leash up while they pass by.
- If your dog does get into a problem situation, don’t stand there and yell – go get him!
- Even a good dog can be unpredictable, and so you should err on the side of caution and courtesy. Remember, you are liable for any damage or injury caused by your dog.
Keep these simple tips and rules in mind and you and your dog, as long as everyone else, will be able to enjoy this dog-lover’s town to the fullest.