Second Place: Bandy Field Nature Park
Third Place: Rockwood Park
Barker Field, Richmond's first dog park, is an off-leash dog park in the southeast corner of Byrd Park, just beyond the Carillon and Dogwood Dell. It's a backyard for many dogs living in the city, a place to get out, stretch some legs, socialize a little and sniff. It's as much about the human interaction, too: A strong sense of community means many folks know each other and each other's pets, welcoming them by name and becoming familiar with their play habits. Specialty-breed clubs, such as the Richmond Pugs Association, also hold meet-ups, and other pet organizations use the park and trails for organized walks and events. And there's even a fenced-off area for smaller dogs to play. It's all fueled by volunteers and contributions to the Friends of Barker Field. Bandy Field Nature Park is just off of Three Chopt Road, serving residents in the city and Henrico County. There's an abundance of nature and wildlife to enjoy. Although dogs must remain leashed, there are plenty of walking and running trails to enjoy. Rockwood Park in Chesterfield County has a separate dog park and walking and running trails. It's a family-friendly place, host to many sporting events — and animal competitions.