Dog Park Rules and Regulations
Essex County Off-Leash Dog Facility
Essex County Watsessing Park, Locust Avenue, Bloomfield
Access to Locust Avenue from Prospect Street
Open dawn to dusk
Essex County South Mountain Dog Park
Essex County South Mountain Reservation, Crest Drive, Maplewood/Millburn.
Entrance to Crest Drive is off of South Orange Avenue in South Orange
Open dawn to dusk
Essex County Brookdale Park Dog Park
Essex County Brookdale Park, Bloomfield/Montclair
Access from Bellevue Avenue in Bloomfield or Grove Street in Montclair
Parking is available inside Essex County Brookdale Park
Open November 1st to March 31st from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 1st to October 31st from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Off-Leash Dog Facilities – or Dog Parks – are the most recent new amenity to be added to the Essex County Park System. While Essex County enforces a leash law in all of its parks, the dog parks enable family pets an opportunity to roam free, get exercise and socialize with other dogs. The idea for a dog park in the Essex County Park System arose during annual park tours held by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. to hear citizens’ input and again in the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. Essex County currently has three dog parks: the Off-Leash Dog Facility in Essex County Watsessing Park, the South Mountain Dog Park in Essex County South Mountain Reservation and the Brookdale Dog Park in Essex County Brookdale Park.
The Off-Leash Dog Facility in Essex County Watsessing Park, the first facility to open in 2004, is 19,500 square feet. The fenced in play area has a stone dust surface, park benches, water fountains for pets and owners, and DogiPot stations with bags and waste receptacles. A dual entrance gate system assures pet owners and their dogs can enter the facility without the dogs running away. This facility was constructed in partnership with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and was built at no cost to the County of Essex.
The South Mountain Dog Park in Essex County South Mountain Reservation, opened in July 2006, is located in a portion of an old deer paddock. The two-acre facility is divided into two sections – 1.3 acres for large dogs and 0.7 acres for small dogs. Both areas have a crushed stone and compacted stone dust surface, dual drinking fountains, park benches, agility equipment for the dogs, a wash and spray area, “time out” sections for dogs, and DogiPot stations. At the entrance to the Dog Park is a memorial honoring emergency service dogs that lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 tragedies. There also are a steel portico, ornamental concrete pavers, and an informal path around the perimeter of the complex where owners can walk their dogs on a leash.
The third facility – the Dog Park in Essex County Brookdale Park – opened in November 2007 in a clearing that residents were already using as an informal area to walk their dogs. The dog park is a total 1.2 acres with an 0.8 acre fenced in area for large dogs and a 0.4 acre fenced in area for small dogs. Both sections have a stone dust surface and various pieces of apparatus where the dogs can play and exercise. A steel archway welcomes visitors, and a pathway designed with ornamental brick pavers leads them to the play areas. There are safety enclosures at each entrance to prevent unleashed dogs from running away, time out areas where excited dogs can be brought to calm down, dog washing areas and water fountains.