Minnehaha Falls Off-leash Dog Park

54th Street and Hiawatha Ave
Minneapolis, MN
Operating Hours:
6am - 10pm
Days Closed:
$30 (altered) or $50 (unaltered) annual dog park permit, (612) 661-4800
Park Size:
4.3 acres or 75 acres ?
Type of Park:
Other Notes:

The fencing is not 100% dog proof. This dog park has woods, a trail, and a beach for doggy swimming in the Mississippi river. Dog park permits can be purchased through the city.

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Emma777's picture
Best summertime park in the cities!!!

This is my dog's favorite park, and mine too! When you enter there's a nice walk through the woods until you get to the river, then you can walk on the beach for quite a ways while your dog plays in the water. If you don't want to be on the beach there are trails through the woods too. Your dog is definitely getting wet here!! HUGE park, so much to explore! Only cautions - it's not completely fenced in, also you have to buy a pass AND pay to park each time. Also also, dress like you're going to have wet muddy sandy dogs shaking off and jumping on you, because it's going to happen.

mr.watson's picture
great park 1 problem

I love this place, my dog loves this place. One problem, they have started enforcing that dogs be leashed from the first gate of the park down to the gate that leads to the river. They issue 100$ fines for people with no leash, I did not get one but turned around when I heard someone coming back telling people about it. I take my dog to the park because he has leash aggression issues and its stressful to take him for walks around the lake. He is like a completely different dog on the leash and off the leash.

We love this park but wont come here anymore because they started enforcing that least policy for the first 1/3 mile of the park.

yunfamily5@yahoo.com's picture
This is my all time favorite park

I use to go to this park when I lived in Richfield and LOVED it. It was fun to walk on the trails off leash with my dogs and one of my dogs loved to swim in the river. I can't imagine a better dog park than this one!

Ruth79's picture
Owners responsibilities

My dog has been to two Minneapolis dog parks in the last two month probably over 25 times. He is under 6 months old, and loves to play with other dogs. Some times other dogs will give him some little sign that he is out of line, and I am totally fine with this. He was involved in one situation which could be characterised as an attack. My dog howled and ran away tail between his legs and the other dog chased him. Eventually both dogs were stopped and the owner of the more aggressive dog, took her dog and acted appropriately-by intervening and "punishing" the dog for what he did. When the dog wanted to go back toward my dog-she left the park. Under these circumstances I felt that the situation was handled well and did not say anything to the owner of the aggressive dog- she apologized and I told her it was okay that dogs need to sort out things on their own. My dog was not hurt and not really that upset. The next time we went to the dog park everything went well- and he seemed fine and happy to return.

Recently at Minnehaha park there was another incident that was similar-and this time my dog was pinned down in a gully neat the entrance and not able to get away and run, the incident was longer in duration then the previous one, and there was a lot more growling and yelping. It was so serious that another dog owner came forward to help. When the dogs got separated, the owner of the aggressive dog did nothing at all to address this with her dog- and the dog started back toward my dog-at which point I yelled and I told her that her dog was still going after my dog- she responded that he wasn't going after my dog- but then did say that they would go elsewhere. She seemed rather cavalier about the whole thing. While physically unhurt- my dog was shaking and wet around the neck from the saliva of the other dog-and wouldn't leave my lap-it took at least five minutes for him to settle down and thanks to the kind support of a few other dog owners and the dog there we stayed and had a good time.

Having read some of the previous posts-and being some what new to dog parks I wonder what is the appropriate behavior for owner at dog parks when things like this happen? I believe that dogs usually can sort things out-and that my dog may have some lessons that he needs to lean-however, I feel that this dog owner needs to get her dog under control, and look for signs that he may act aggressively. How can I help my dog by preventing these sort of incidence from occurring and is there something that I can teach him?


AngieS's picture
went for the first time a few

went for the first time a few days ago. Didn't realize HOW big it was until the trail leading to the off leash part went on and on. It was a great walk (which my kids enjoyed as well) but the best part imo is the beach. In spite of not having a water breed (Greyhound) I think this was her favorite part too. She ran around and even took a few dips in the river. I agree with the comments about not having command of your dog. Mine has selective hearing so I was a little nervous about that but all in all this is the BEST one we have been to yet.

OLDA User's picture
#1 Dog Park in Minnesota!!

Wonderful park... providing you have control of your dog(s). The park is constantly changing with the flow of the river. When the river is low, the beach is gorgeous! Even when the lower area is flooded, there are so many other trails to explore. This park alone is worth the cost of an annual pass. A true gem!!

chinghila's picture
Fantastic park for well behaved and socialized dogs

Incredible park that is way more than the usual fenced-in runaround. Extensive trails through a huge wooded area and water access to the Mississippi River. Impossible to keep visual contact at all times with your dog in this huge off-leash park, so if your dog doesn't come when called or needs lots of reminding when it comes to interacting with other dogs, this park may be a little "advanced" for your dog. Also, even if your dog doesn't like the water, this park is water-dog heaven, so be prepared to get dirty when wet dogs shake off or run past. The best dog park I've ever been to in terms of size and natural beauty, but could be very anxiety-inducing for dog owners with dogs that haven't developed good dog manners; great for my current dog, would have been a nightmare for me with some of my former dogs! Trails down to the main park area is also a bit steep and rocky in places, so also not ideal for dog owners with mobility issues.

whitestag's picture

it is NOT totally fenced in so if you have a runner on your hands they could end up running on Hiawatha Ave ... it is NOT huge, that end of Snelling state park and Minnehaha park add a lot of space below Coldwater Springs, but we are authorized only in the few acres by the lower gate, they say the'll be patrolling for violations more now ... the peninsula was an island that belonged to Saint Paul, but it's part of the National Forest Service park; yes it was such a wonderful park for dogs that few others were using much and ya were supposed to stay calm and quiet about that

Visitor's picture
Best dog park on the planet!!

The desciption above says the size of this dog park is a mere 4.3 acres--boy, is that ever wrong!! This place is huge, I'd guess maybe 75 acres. And much varied terrain, including bluffs, ridges, streams, of course the Big Muddy, woods, trails, etc.
Just the best! Dog heaven,..

donnylutz's picture
Great place!!!!

It's gigantic, TOTALLY fenced in, and has the Missisippi to play in! Don't think a better park exists.

Visitor's picture

This is a great dog park. It's huge and opens up to the river. My dogs LOVE it.

Visitor's picture
Our home away from home!

Our home away from home! Awesome people, awesome trails, great elevation changes, woods, open clearings, beaches, this park has it all!