What’s to Love: A fan on my Facebook page recommended the Hondo Dog Park in Hillsboro, and I’m thankful for the recommendation! Hondo is the nicest city dog park I’ve ever seen, and it’s well worth the drive from Portland, especially if you have some other Hillsboro destinations in mind.
So what makes this dog park so special? Perhaps, it’s the well kept lawn, which is on a rotation schedule to avoid becoming a mud pit. The large green space has a level walking trail along its perimeter. I like how they built up the center section to create a nice rolling hill. Even though it was crowded, I could always find a space to throw my dog a ball without other dogs stealing it.
In addition to the main area, there is a separate area (also a large space) for small and/or timid dogs, and a separate space (filled with gravel) with some obstacles that dogs might want to try out. The park has double-entry fence, shady spots, nice benches, and water stations.
Caveats: Not exactly a “back to nature” destination for your dog. It’s right next to the Hillsboro stadium and right in the middle of a pretty congested area. If you want your dog to have more of a wilderness experience, try the Delta Dog Park out near Troutdale.
Website: Hillsboro’s Hondo site
Distance from Portland: It’s about 15 miles on highway 26. Here is a Google Map.
Recommended Ages: Kids under 12 must be supervised at all times by an adult.
Parental Stress Factor: I don’t think you can ever be too comfortable around off-leash dogs, especially with kids. If I would have had my kids, I think I would have been fairly stressed. I know I would have kept them close to me and watched them at all times. I certainly would not want them to accidentally end-up in the middle of a dog fight.
Physical Difficulty: It’s not difficult walking around the park. The main green-space-areas appear to be handicap accessible. The porta-potty on site is also handicap accessible.
Family Fun Factor: If you have young kids who like to play with dogs, this might be a good option for the whole family. For the most part, you’ll want to combine this with other fun destinations in and around Hillsboro.
Pet Friendly: YES!!!
Weather Considerations: Open year round with no special weather considerations.
Insider Info: The park is named after a dog that used to be part of the Hillsboro K9 unit. Make sure you keep your dogs leashed outside of the fenced areas, especially when walking to and from your car.
Check the website for closures due to maintenance. Right now, it reports that the main area is closed every Thursday until noon. However, this closure is subject to change due to weather conditions.
Family Tips: If you don’t want to sit in traffic with the family while heading out to Hillsboro, I suggest taking roads on the north side of highway 26. Often times, the traffic coming back from the beach is awful. As far out as North Plains, you can exit off the highway and take pleasant backroads back into town.
This is an off-leash dog park! Although it was very mellow and respectful while I was there, dogs can be unpredictable. Make sure to keep a close eye on your kids while they are inside the park.
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Sisters, Oregon on August 24th, 2009