Here in Rose City, folks are dropping their masks, attending semi-normal sporting events and generally applying slightly less hand sanitizer than they were last June; as strange as it is to write, things feel borderline optimistic right now.
That's why we've decided to release a revised list of the best dog parks in Portland to visit with your favorite four-legged pals.
Considering all they've done for your sanity these last 16 months, it's really the least you can do.
Where: 9360 N. Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR 97255
Dating back to the Hoover administration, Chimney Park boasts over 18 acres of fenced-in adventure for you and your fur baby. Keep in mind that weekday hours are best if you're looking to avoid larger gatherings, though the park has been considerably less crowded throughout the pandemic.
Just make sure you bring your own water source, as we've been grappling with historic temperatures on and off all summer, and there are no on-site refreshments available.
Where: SE Cesar Chavez Blvd. and Stark St., Portland, OR 97214
A longtime personal favorite, Laurelhurst Park is easily one of the most beautiful public spaces in all of Portland. The park's nearly 27 acres were originally owned by former Portland mayor William S. Ladd (of Ladd's Addition fame).
Beyond the sprawling off-leash dog area, Laurelhurst features a plethora of amenities for humans to enjoy, including basketball hoops, bicycle paths and Firewood Lake.
Where: 6336 SE Lincoln St., Portland, OR 97215
One of the city's largest public spaces, Mt. Tabor Park is home to 200 acres of trails, bike paths and picnic spots. Nearly all of then offer stunning views of West Portland.
Perhaps most importantly, nestled within this urban oasis are four acres designated entirely for off-leash pups. Come for the park's famous sunsets, stay for the opportunity to render your dog completely exhausted.
Where: Crown Point Hwy., Troutdale, OR 97060
This popular dog park is a bit of a drive from Downtown Portland (about 25 minutes east). But, if you take nothing else away from this article, remember that your puppers will love you forever for making the trek.
Located along the Sandy River, Thousand Acre Dog Park boasts a vast array of narrow bike paths, hiking trails and, in cooler climes, plenty of puddles to annoy even the messiest among us. In short: dog heaven.
Where: NE 33rd Ave. and U.S. Grant Place, Portland, OR 97212
Grant Park is a popular gathering spot popular with swimmers, athletes and high schoolers. Complete with reading benches, public bathrooms and a litany of bronze statutes commemorating author Beverly Cleary, the eponymously-named neighborhood's most famous resident, Grant Park is part-literary monument, part-community watering hole.
Plus, a significant portion of Grant Park is off-leash, perfect for puppy shenanigans.
If you're buoyed by the (mostly) nationwide decline in Covid cases or merely itching to make the most of the warmer season, consider visiting one of the best dog parks in Portland. After all, can you think of a better way to reorient yourself in society than shoving your hand in yet another poop bag while simultaneously waving to someone you only maybe, sort of recognize?