“Top-tier, leash-free dog beach therapy! There's something for everyone here. Furry friends can romp around in the soft sand, socialize, swim, play fetch, and use the agility area. Us bi-pedals can sit on benches or driftwood, enjoy the sunshine and take in the view of the Olympic Mountains, the ocean, and the ferry boats on the water. There's even a hydration station and water hose to rinse the sand off of everyone. Very well-maintained park that also provides doody bag and trash cans. This beach park is a must for all!” —Sarah Herrin

You’re not the only one lovin’ summer and those summer views. Your fur-baby does too. The all-volunteer-run Edmonds Waterfront Dog Park gives both of you a free pass to swim, frolic, make friends, and just take it all in.

A dog lover named B.B. first noticed the possibilities straight away. She took special care to leave the stretch of beach — between Marina Beach Park and Edwards Point — better than she found it, picking up trash and dog poo “early in the morning, every morning, for over eight years,” according to the Off-Leash Area Edmonds (OLAE) website.

“Her passion for keeping our off-leash area clean and watching over it as a valuable asset finally caught fire in 2005 when she teamed up with a few volunteers who decided it was time to get organized. [OLAE]”

A year later, OLAE became a fully-functioning non-profit, looking after a prime piece of beachfront for the benefit of dogs and their doting owners.

With the help of other volunteers, including the Boy Scouts, the fully-enclosed, off-leash park blossomed into a safe, clean, fun-filled destination — Disneyland for dogs — featuring an agility course (added in 2011), a watering hole, pet waste cleanup stations, and the annual Halloween Howl costume contest (Oct. 2, 11 am-1 pm, this year), a fundraising tradition unique to Edmonds, giving free reign to pups and their owners to dress as outrageously as they want.

Sarah Herrin visited recently from Everett with Lady, and loved every minute of it. The friendly Boxer did too, even though she’s a little skittish around water and other dogs. 

The open sea, fresh, salty air, distant ferry boats, one or two other dogs gleefully exploring — soft sand beneath their paws… all worked their magic.

In no time, Lady forgot her fears and joined in, even venturing closer, where the water met the shore. The special moment wasn’t lost on Herrin, who takes Lady for hikes near and far from home.

“I forgot how cool this dog park is,” she says. “There's something for all dog types: swimmers, diggers, runners, fetchers, sleepers, socializers, driftwood lovers, and even the rock eaters. One of my favorite features is the watering hole for the dogs to stay hydrated and also a hose for owners to rinse their feet/shoes. There are logs for kids to build forts. Not super-crowded. When the weather cooperates and the sun is out, the views are stunning. Everyone is great about picking up their dogs’ excrement in the bags provided in the park.”

It’s not too late to splash around, spread your toes — and paws — in the sand, and just chill. Bring your fur-babies to enjoy summer with you and your family.

Rules to live by: dogs must be licensed and vaccinated, puppies younger than four months and dogs in heat are not allowed, pick up after your dog, and close the gate after you.

Feature photos of Lady c/o Sarah Herrin.
Splashing Golden Retriever by Janine Harles.