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What is a bark park?

Bark Park

A "bark park" or "dog park" is a public park where people can exercise, socialize and play with their pets off-leash.

Community parks cater to pursuits as diverse as soccer, softball, swimming, and skateboarding. Off-leash dog areas or “dog parks” can now be added to the list.  These areas dedicated to dog-and-owner exercise, socialization and play have become one of the most often requested park facilities across the country. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reports that about 40% of U.S. households own one or more dogs, with western states maintaining even higher numbers of dog ownership than the national average (APPMA 2004). While baseball complexes and tennis courts can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build and are only used seasonally, a well-equipped dog park can be used by a diverse range of taxpaying citizens every day, all year round.

Where to take your pooch...

Most public city and county parks in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area allow dogs if they are on-leash. No dogs are allowed at the Ross Park pool/zoo/park area on South 2nd or at the NOP Park Athletic Complex. The list below provides information about places where you can legally take your dogs off-leash. Responsible pet owners help dog-friendly locations stay open to pets, so please scoop those poops, have a reasonable control of your dog and keep Fido away from wildlife and people-only activities. Have fun!

Old Town Bark Park

Old Town Bark Park

Portneuf Valley's FIRST fenced off-leash dog park is OPEN! Built by your donations to Bannock Bark Parks, this 1/2 acre park is tucked into a shady corner on UP Avenue and Center Street, just west of the railroad underpass in Old Town (take the first right as you come out of the railroad underpass and go to the back (east) side of the public parking; you should be on the north side of Center St.). There are benches, a dog-friendly drinking fountain, Mutt Mit bag dispensers and a trash bin. We extend a big thank you to the City of Pocatello for their support and continuing maintenance of the irrigation and landscape of that area. This is a public park and a nice little corner
for play time from sun-up to sun-down.

Can't wait to see you all there! 

NOTE: In the winter, there is no water to the fountain when the sprinklers are shut off. You can bring water to put in the fountain’s built-in doggie bowl, though!

Bartz Field (Idaho State University campus)

Bartz Field, located on Bartz Way (behind Reed Gym on the ISU campus) next to the new Stephens Performing Arts Center, is open to off-leash use by dogs. This is an unfenced park with bag dispensers and trash cans. The University has generously opened its property to dog exercise so let's not wear out our welcome at this multi-use park - please pick up after your dog! The adjacent ISU Red Hill area and nearby cross-country course on Alvin Ricken Drive also offer nice walks and great views; these other areas don't have bags, so bring your own.
Bartz Field

City Creek Management Area

City Creek

City Creek Management Area lands are primarily owned by the City of Pocatello but include private owner partnerships for access. Since they are City property, these lands technically fall within the bounds of the City leash law for parks. However, due to the impracticality of enforcing on-leash use here, the City Creek trails are treated as de facto off-leash areas. These fabulous trails are, for the most part, heavily trafficked and multi-use, so good trail etiquette is a must.

The 2009 City Creek Management Plan identifies dog waste as important enough to

be a stand-alone item of concern. Notably, one possible outcome proposed in the Plan is to establish "no pets allowed" areas if the waste problem cannot be corrected. Here's the soap box: we dog owners need to shoulder a little more responsibility in order to keep feces off the trails at City Creek, especially the main trailhead and lower City Creek trail. It doesn't seem like a big deal - and it's not a big deal to just pick it up - but it could cost pet owners their dog access to City Creek. SO: please bring an extra bag and commit to removing an extra orphan poop or two EVERY TIME you bring your dogs to the trail, regardless if you saw your dogs "go" or not. More than likely, they did. 

Edson Fichter Nature Area

Edson Fichter

The Portneuf Greenway offers paved walking/biking trails throughout the Pocatello valley, terminating at Edson Fichter at their southern end. Edson Fichter Nature Area (owned by Idaho Fish and Game) has become a favorite
off-leash dog area due to river access and 9 ac of open space (unfenced). Also, the new urban fishery pond is now open, designed by landscape architect and BBP Board member Bill Jackson of Jackson Land Design! The trailhead is behind the Indian Hills Elementary School soccer fields. Bag dispensers and trash cans have been added - please make an extra effort to pick up after your pet here, since pet waste has also become an issue at this site.

Other public lands

US Forest Service and BLM lands are always an option. Local trailheads can be found around Mink Creek, Scout Mountain, Gibson Jack and China Peak (off Barton Rd) for starters. Forest Service policy says that while in parking lots, trail heads and camping areas, dogs should be on-leash. National Park Service lands usually require dogs to be on-leash at all times (e.g. City of Rocks, Yellowstone). While on public lands, be aware that you are likely to encounter and must share the trail with runners, hikers, cyclists, skiers, off-road vehicles, equestrian trail users and livestock.

One drawback to off-leash use of public lands is that dogs can pose a danger to wildlife and may be in danger themselves from wildlife.

Other Public Lands
Please do not let your pets harass or harm wildlife - or livestock, for that matter. Also, water source areas including Gibson Jack and Cherry Springs are considered sensitive to surface pollution, including contamination from dog feces.

Regional dog parks

Boise City Dog Off-Leash Areas - dog-friendly recreation in SW Idaho

Utah Dog Parks - places to go 'south of the border'

Nampa Dog Park - an amazing 6-acre, off-leash park located at the corner of 2nd St. and E. Amity in Nampa, Idaho (20 min west of Boise).

Island Park - Off-leash area on island in Salmon River off Highway 93 (Main Street) next to skateboard park. Bounded by water, with one side fenced. Bag dispenser onsite.

Regional Dog Parks
Kootenai County- "Central Bark" at Atlas Road and Nez Perce Drive, Coeur d’Alene, adjacent to Northshire Park

Moscow - 5 ac fenced dog park adjacent to Animal Shelter on White Ave.

Idaho Falls - Snake River Animal Shelter opened a new dog park in November 2011 as part of their new facility.

Let us know if we've missed a dog-friendly park in the area!

Other links...
Traveling? Check out this nation-wide dog park finder. or this one.
Pocatello Animal Shelter and Animal Control
Bannock Humane Society
Pocatello Kennel Club
City of Pocatello
City of Chubbuck
Idaho State University
Old Town Pocatello

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Bannock Bark Parks - 208.406.3294 - bannockbarkparks@yahoo.com