One of the least known dog parks around San Antonio is the Alamo Heights Bark Park. You can find this dog park a few blocks east of US-281, in Alamo Heights, just north of the San Antonio Zoo. We visited the Bark Park this past weekend, and there were several dogs playing in the evening, even though the temperature was above ninety degrees. There is little information to find about this dog park online, and it has not aged well. What happened to this dog park?
The Time and Place
The Bark Park of Alamo Heights is open from dusk until dawn. It is located on the west side of Alamo Heights, in the Olmos Basin region. I was unable to determine the dog parks exact size, but it appeared to be equal to most of the larger parks in San Antonio. If I had to guess, I would say it is 1.5 acres. Like most dog parks it has a transition area at the front. One side of the Bark Park is much larger than the other. I imagine the small area is used by smaller dogs, or those who do not play well with others.
What it Contains
There were no restrooms, or portable toilets at the Bark Park. However, there are sports fields a short walk away where you may find relief. Upon entering the park, I noticed one dog friendly fountain near the entrance. Unfortunately, it had created mud at the gate which needed to be crossed. The park was larger than I expected, but it appeared to be a sea of dirt. Don’t expect to leave the Bark Park of Alamo Heights with a clean pup.
How it Looks
There are many taller trees providing adequate shade, but the lack of ground cover leaves more to be desired. I saw a photo of the Bark Park online which revealed a lush, and vibrant park (photo not included because it does not belong to me). I’m not sure how old the lush photo is, but the current state of the park is dusty, and desolate. What happened to this place? It is going to take some work to improve the landscape of this park.
To the right of the gate I noticed a large, concrete water trough. What a great feature, I thought! However, it was completely dry. The spout had been plugged, locked, and there was no sign of recent use. If there was a good time for the dogs to play in the water, right now would be it, in the month of August. At the same time, every dog would be leaving the park wearing plenty of mud due to the lack of ground cover. The drinking fountain is good, but the water trough would be better.
How Does it Compare?
The Bark Park is large enough, but I’m surprised by its lack of agility equipment. Some dogs require other activities besides sniffing, and chasing. You will find plenty of shade beneath the tall trees, but it will take some creativity to host dog agility training. Two drinking fountains are available on either side of the park, but the water trough, which would help keep dogs cooler, was out of order. There are two concrete blocks, and benches inside the dog park. There were more than a few metal, folding chairs, which someone had obviously donated to the cause.
Dogs Will Have Fun
The Bark Park of Alamo Heights lacks several amenities I have seen at other dog parks. Even so, most dogs will find ways to have fun inside the park. Our girl, Abbey, met another dog named, Indy, and they had a blast. They played together, drank together, and explored the area together. Due to the prevalence of dirt, she was in need of a bath after leaving the dog park. She did have a great time getting dirty though.
It’s still hard to believe the Bark Park was once an extremely green, and inviting playground. I’m not sure what happened to this place, but it is in need of a little help. Grass is probably out of the question at this point. Some other type of ground cover, a functioning water feature, benches, and a gate that works properly would drastically improve the look, and feel of the Bark Park. Dogs continue to show up to play, but for how long?
Looking for more dog friendly places around Alamo Heights? Take your pup to Snooze, or several other outdoor patios in the Alamo Quarry. Checkout Olmos Basin Park a few blocks to the west, or Headwaters Sanctuary to the south. See why we called it, “The Spookiest Place to Hike in San Antonio“.
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