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Dog parks offer plenty of play, spring weather enjoyment
by Tribune Staff
Mar 30, 2010 | 1473 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file/Debra Reid - Concrete sidewalks and a dirt beach provide access for handicapped dog owners at the Sparks Marina dog park.
Tribune file/Debra Reid - Concrete sidewalks and a dirt beach provide access for handicapped dog owners at the Sparks Marina dog park.

With the weather warming up and spring trying to bloom, it is time to start letting canine companions stretch their legs. Some dogs are able to be as free as their masters at area dog parks.

Take the family canine to play with peers and run off some of the excess energy built up by the winter.

Sparks Marina

According to the city of Sparks’ Web site the Sparks Marina is much more than walking paths, trees and beaches surrounding a 77-acre lake. 

The Sparks Marina, located at 300 Howard Drive, has a two-acre dog park and is specifically regulated by the people who use the facility. According to the posted regulations, dogs must be on a leash at all times outside of the fenced dog park and are prohibited in swimming areas except for the dog park.

At the marina people can bring their dog to play at the park with other dogs of various sizes and weights. Although the park is surrounded by a metal fence, small dogs might be able to slip through the bars. Owners should also know that large and small dogs play together at the Sparks Marina dog park and are not separated.

The Sparks Marina dog park is free and open to the public during the day, from about dawn to dusk. If the family dog loves the water and needs a quick place to cool off the marina is the place to go.

Hidden Valley Regional Park

The Link Piazzo Dog Park is located at the Hidden Valley Regional Park grounds at 4740 Parkway Drive in Reno. The area’s newest dog park, the gated play area opened in September 2008.

Separated by a conjoining fence line, Link Piazzo Dog Park is broken into two gated play areas for the dogs. This includes a small dog area for smaller breeds and a large dog area for big breeds. Occasionally large dog puppies can be found playing in the small dog side, but owners should make sure all dogs interact kindly and behave.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gates are closed after everyone leaves the park, so there is no nighttime access.

Although the park is the perfect pet play place, the Washoe County Parks and Recreation Web site states:

“Temporary Dog Park Closure: Washoe County’s Link Piazzo Dog Park in Hidden Valley Regional Park will be closed from April 5 through 19, 2010 so that the County’s Department of Regional Parks and Open Space may conduct seasonal turf maintenance. Annual turf maintenance is necessary in order to keep the dog park’s lawn areas healthy. Both the large and small dog areas will be closed during this two-week period.”

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Another dog park with more room to roam is the Rancho San Rafael Regional Dog Park, located at 1595 N. Sierra St. in Reno. According to the city of Reno park's information center, the dog park is open 8 a.m. to dusk and the park is partially enclosed with white fencing.

Although there is a fence, dogs can easily crawl under, jump through or walk out of so owners should bring well behaved dogs who come when called to Rancho San Rafael’s dog park.

The field is quite large and therefore there is an abundant amount of room to run. One drawback to this park that can be seen when driving past is the lack of trees, which means there is no shade on warm spring and summer days.

For more information about Link Piazzo Dog Park and Rancho San Rafael’s dog park, visit

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