If you've listened to me for even one second on WRRV, you've heard me mention my new puppy, Arthur. My wife and I have had him for just five weeks and we are already neck-deep in anything canine related. Doggy daycare? Researched and ranked. Finding out which local predators could harm our little fluffball? Done. But as he gets older, our sights are turning to the next step in his socialization: dog parks.

It's the 3-month birthday boy! (Amanda M)
It's the 3-month birthday boy! (Amanda M)
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There are a ton of amazing options in the Hudson Valley for our four-legged friends, but many of them are members-only. There are a few great reasons for this: first, many private parks use their membership fees to support maintenance needs that arise from high-energy dogs going wild every day. Secondly, many membership screenings are used to confirm that dogs are correctly vaccinated. That being said, sometimes you want some variety, or maybe you're just quickly visiting a new town with your perro (that's your Spanish lesson for the day). That's why I'm focusing this list on the best dog parks that are open to the public, no membership required.

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Google Maps
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Gardiner Dog Park, Gardiner

No website, but you can find directions here. Also, some insider information: the majority of the reviews for this park mention (positively) that this park is rarely crowded, so if you want to take your dog somewhere to avoid crowds, this may be your best option.

Peekskill Dog Park, Peekskill

Finding yourself in the lower Hudson Valley? Peekskill Dog Park is free and open to the public. They also have a 4.3-star Google rating from 72 reviews. Open dawn-dusk.

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Google Maps
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Milton Landing Dog Park, Milton

Newly renovated, this public dog park is ready to welcome you and your pooch (I've never used that word before in my life, not sure how I feel about it...). We also have an Eagle Scout to thank for this project. Find it at 28 Sands Avenue in Milton.

Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Montgomery

For our west-Orange county friends, this park looks awesome. From their website:

This fenced-in off-leash area is approximately 1.5 acres and features separate areas for “Small Dogs” and “All Dogs,” water fountains, benches and shade areas. The landscape of the park has contrasts of flat open areas and rolling hills for dogs of all sizes to enjoy.

Plus, like all the parks on this list, there's no membership required. Open 7am-dusk. 4.7 stars on Google from over 800 reviewers.

Ulster County Dog Park, New Paltz

Also known as For Paws Park, they do not require membership but always accept donations. They currently have a 4.4-star rating from 36 reviews.

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Google Maps
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Kingston Point Dog Park

No membership requirement, but Kingston Point does stress the importance of your dog's vaccinations, and says park officials will stop by to do random checks. Over one hundred reviews average out to a 4.5-star Google rating. Open dawn-dusk.

Hudson Dog Park, Hudson

Calling themselves "a fun place to exercise and play", Hodson Dog Park has a 4.5-star Google rating and is open 365 days a year from dawn-dusk.

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Google Maps
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Woodstock Dog Park, Woodstock

Another great destination for your best friend. They currently have a 4.2-star Google rating and are located in a beautiful woodland setting. Visit them here.

It's also important to make sure your dog is up to date with all its shots. Check out the list below to make sure your puppy is safe before you hit the parks.

If Your Dog Hangs Out With Other Dogs In NY, It's At Risk For 7 Diseases

City of Newburgh Firefighters Save Dog on Frozen Hudson River

Lilly, the dog needed a little help from Truck 1 and the City of Newburgh Fire Department back on February 11th. Thankfully, she was returned to her owners without injury. Round of ap-PAWS for the City of Newburgh Fire Department for their quick response and heroic efforts.