Thinking about where in Durham to take your dog for a stroll this summer? Our four-legged friends love a good time in the Bull City just as much as we do, so throw them a bone sometime. Whether you’re moseying to the pup-themed watering hole, Barley Labs, or trying to catch fly balls at The Bulls Stadium’s Bark in the Park, let us guide you and your pack to more fun than you can throw a stick at.

Dog Friendly Events

Bark in the Park 🐾

Durham Bulls Athletic Park
409 Blackwell St
When: June 13, July 25, and August 22

Let’s play ball!

Right in the heart of downtown, bring your dogs along to a Durham Bulls game with Bark in the Park. Your pup can score plenty of free pet swag like bowls, treats, frisbees and more from a rotating list of Durham’s finest boutique vendors, pet boarding facilities like Suite Paws Pet Resort & Spa, and animal hospitals. Get there early for a pre-game pet parade and reserve a prime spot on the Foothills Brewing Homerun Hill, where you are sure to rack up on extra licks and tail wags.

Human tickets for the event are priced at just $7.99 + tax, and canine tickets are priced at $5 per dog + tax to cover seating/space. Proceeds from the canine tickets will be donated to our friends at Second Chance Pet Adoptions.

Click here for tickets to Bark in the Park.

Dog Parks and Hiking Trails

Wanna go for a walk!? If you are just as excited as your pooch to hit the trail, Durham has no shortage of hiking hotspots and dog parks for everyone to enjoy.

Please note that dog park fees and a vaccination registration are both required for each dog you take to any of Durham’s three dog parks, ensuring your pet’s health and safety. Visit the Durham Parks and Recreation website to find out more.  

Northgate Dog Park 🐾
300 West Club Blvd

Located on the north side of Northgate Park, off of Lavender Avenue, you’ll find the family-friendly Northgate Dog Park. It’s a great place to make new friends big and small.

The park features two enclosed areas:

  • one for small dogs 15 inches or smaller and 30 pounds and under
  • one for large dogs over 15 inches and 30 pounds and over

There’s also plenty of amenities like water fountains, waste bag dispensers, benches and a kiosk. Bring your dog’s favorite chew toys! Rumor has it the Durham Parks & Recreation area is also looking to open a new dog park at Rock Quarry Park soon and will eventually convert the large dog area into a play meadow.

Click here to learn more about Northgate Dog Park and check for updates.

American Tobacco Trail 🐾
Trail end points: Durham Bulls Athletic Park at Morehead Ave. and Blackwell St. (Durham) and New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd. (southwest of Apex)

Photo: Gabriel Guillory

Enjoy 23 miles worth of walking trails extending from Durham to Chapel Hill. Since 2014, Bull City owners and their dogs have been getting their steps in with style. The American Tobacco Trail stands out with its urban sprawl and keen view of the city at major points along the hike. On hot summer nights, you and your pup can get a clear view of the fireworks popping out from the Bulls Games at the Durham Athletic Stadium.

The trail opens at 8:00 AM and closes one hour before sunset. Benches are located throughout the trail and within 400 yards of each trailhead. There are mile-markers to let you know how far you’ve gone every half-mile along the trail but be sure to pack a water and a bowl for your pets – there is no drinking water available at any trailhead.

Click here to visit the American Tobacco Trail’s website.

Duke University Forest Trails 🐾
Duke Forest

Photo: Gabriel Guillory

Since 1931, Durham residents have traversed the 7,060-acre nature area for research and forestry study. With multiple public subdivisions available for hiking, running, and biking, the Duke University Forest Trails are the perfect place to go for a sprint with your pack, or take a morning stroll with your favorite Rover clients.

Click here to learn more about the Duke University Forest Trails.

Piney Wood Dog Park 🐾
400 E. Woodcroft Pkwy

Another favorite hotspot for off-leash doggy play dates is the Piney Wood Dog Park. There are open and wooded areas for owners looking to park their hot-dogs in the shade.

This park features four separate enclosed areas:

  • one for small dogs 15 inches or smaller and 30 pounds and under
  • one for large dogs over 15 inches and 30 pounds and over
  • one program area used mostly for special playgroups and organized activities
  • one entrance area that can be used as a “time-out” for overly-excited dogs

Park amenities include a parking lot, benches, water fountains, waste bag dispensers, and a kiosk.  

Click here to find out more about Piney Wood Dog Park.

Eno River State Park 🐾
Office: 6101 Cole Mill Road

Photo: Gabriel Guillory

The Eno River State Park offers some of the most beautiful scenery Durham has to offer. With five scattered access areas throughout both Durham and Orange counties, dogs can explore the wondrous scents around 30 miles trails through the forest, the historic mill and home sites, river bluffs, and shallow streams where you’ll spot plenty of fish – and golden retrievers getting in a refreshing swim.

Click here to visit Eno River State Park’s website.

Downtown Durham Dog Park 🐾
101 City Hall Plz

Want quick access to a dog park near downtown? Downtown Durham Dog Park (DDDP) has got you covered. Located on the corner of Roxboro and Elliot Street, you could easily make the trek from dog-friendly Fullsteam Brewery to DDDP in 12 minutes. Take advantage of the day and cover the best of both worlds.

DDDP has two separate enclosed areas for small dogs and large dogs. Other amenities include benches and waste dispensers. Local reviews mention this is the best squirrel-chasing spot in the city (just don’t say the “S-word” too loud in front of you-know-who).

Click here to find out more about Downtown Durham Dog Park.

Dog Friendly Breweries

Your and your pooch could potentially both be howling at the moon at these Durham night spots that are great for scratching an itch. While there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs and breweries in Durham, on-tap pints and hind legs always seem to be lifted a little higher at Barley Labs, Bull City Ciderworks, and Fullsteam Brewery. Fetch a brew and beat the heat together.

Barley Labs  🐾
4015 University Dr

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Barley Labs co-owners Theresa, Scott, and their black lab, Barley, thought it would be a great idea to open a dog-focused bar where all canines and their beer-loving owners are welcome. Not only can you get a variety of locally-brewed beers and crisp ciders on tap, they also use fresh ingredients and the leftover spelt grain from Fullsteam Brewery to make their tasty dog treats.

Barley Labs has games, a hydration station, dog-docking carabiners, a bottle and gift shop, trivia nights, and a host of other events like movie nights, birthday parties, and Best Friend Pet Adoption drives.

This summer, look for these awesome events at Barley Labs:

  • Father’s Day Cannoli & Beer Flight night – Sunday, June 17 at 12:00 PM
  • Take Your Dog to Work Celebration – Friday, June 22 at 12:00 PM (featuring $3 NC drafts and “The Office” marathon!!!)
  • Yappy Hour Workout – Friday, June 22 at 6:30 PM
  • Biz and Brews: Show Me the Money – Tuesday, June 26 at 6:15 PM

At Barley Labs you’re invited to sit, stay, and sip.  

Click here to visit the Barley Labs website.

Bull City Ciderworks 🐾
305 S Roxboro St

Nothing says summer like citrus! Enjoy this family and dog-friendly cider bar featuring 24 draft cider taps and a wide selection of local craft beers.

There’s open-spaced indoor seating as well as outdoor picnic tables and a fire pit if you want to splay out for warmer belly-scratches in the moonlight. Besides the crisp ciders and friendly staff, other draws include Trivia Thursday, yoga and a rotating list of local food trucks.

Click here to visit the Bull City Cider website.

Fullsteam Brewery 🐾
726 Rigsbee Ave

Fullsteam Brewery is a pet-friendly tavern with plenty of games, events, and live music kept to dog-appropriate volumes. On most weekends you’ll find local craft and farmer’s markets and bake sales in the lobby, and there’s ALWAYS a food truck parked outside to keep you and your pup well-fed.

Click here to visit the Fullsteam Brewery website.

For more dog-friendly food and drink establishments in Durham and the Triangle, Barley Labs has been kind enough to create a running list that you can view by clicking here.

Locally Owned Dog Friendly Shopping

Who’s a good dog?!? Reward your favorite furry friend with a locally crafted boutique collar, some freshly baked gourmet treats, or some new hand-woven chew toys from one of Durham’s premiere pet specialty shops.  

Other End of the Leash Pet Boutique & Bakery 🐾
1000 W Main St

Photo: Gabriel Guillory

If pampering your pets is a priority, then Other End of the Leash Pet Boutique & Bakery (OEOTL) is your one-stop shop. Located conveniently across from the historic Brightleaf Square, OEOTL brings education, wellness, and quality to every item and service. According to owners Dr. Diane Groff and LeAnn Hinson, for the past five years OEOTL has been “Durham’s locally owned source for the highest quality, fairly traded pet supplies, holistic nutrition and wellness product expertise.”  

I recently spoke with Dr. Groff about events this summer, and it seems they’ve got lots of tail-wagging fun lined up for dog and cat owners across the Triangle:

  • Every 2nd Saturday, enjoy in-store specials featuring discounts and more.
  • Yappy Hour includes games, specials, plenty of human refreshments AND “pupsicles” to help cool the whole gang off. Yappy Hour is on June 9 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and other TBD dates throughout the year.

Click here to visit Other End of the Leash Boutique & Bakery’s website.

Oliver’s Collar Dog Treat Bakery & Boutique 🐾
4711 Hope Valley Rd #4b

Photo: Gabriel Guillory

We all want to spoil our best friends. Get your pup’s tail wagging with a shopping spree at Oliver’s Collar. They have on-site baking, home-made treats, cookies, cakes, and ice cream for your summer sweet-tooth. Browse from their selection of top-tier cakes and order a themed-cake to celebrate every milestone in your favorite dog’s life!

They also have an assortment of raw foods for finicky eaters, and collars, leashes, beds, food, local art, and more for your canine (and feline) companions.

Click here to visit Oliver’s Collar Dog Treat Bakery & Boutique’s website.

It’s hot out there, so no matter where you’re taking your good boys and girls, be sure to bring along plenty of water, as well as treats and biodegradable bags. Let’s keep the Bull City clean!

Gabriel Guillory
Author: Gabriel Guillory

I’m a freelance content writer and musician who is fueled by equal parts coffee, eclectic local menus, and the outdoors. I moved to the Bull City in the summer of 2015, having spent my whole life as a Louisiana native. Brick by brick, I’ve fallen in love with Durham’s entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to art, down-and-dirty nightlife, world-class food, and social diversity. When I’m not fumbling around with words and ideas, you can find me on a local hiking trail with my pack of five dogs or downtown catching a live band or pop-up dance party.