Elm Creek Park Reserve’s Dog Park was voted one of the 10 best in the country by USA Today!

Elm Creek Park Reserve is the Top-Dog in Dog Parks

Who says you have to leave your dog at home during your visit to Minneapolis Northwest?

These days, more and more people are travleing with their pets and many hotesl are now pet friendly. In fact, you'll be getting puppy dog eyes if you try to leave your pooch at home on this next trip!

Believe it or not, Maple Grove's Elm Creek Park Reserve is home to one of the top 10 dog parks in the country, according to USA Today! Elm Creek's dog off-leash area is one of the largest in the Twin Cities: it offers 29 acres of open fields, ponds, and forested trails where dogs have the freedom to run around to their heart's content. USA Today gives the park top marks because of its size along with the unique and varied activities available. The editor notes, ït seems like a completely different park, depending on the season." 

Dogs pulling man on skis

One unique opportunity available at Elm Creek's dog park is a winter activity called skijoirng. Most of us are familliar with dog sledding, the sport where a dog or team of dogs pulls a person on asled. Skijoring is similar, except that the human is pulled on cross-country skis. A popular sport in Scandanavian countries, it is quickly gaining popularity here in the US.

In 'dog powered' sports like skijoring, your dog is pulling you rather than just running beside you (simply skiing with your dog is not the same). In fact, the Norwegian word 'skijoring' literally translates to 'ski driving.' If your pup has pent-up winter energy, it's a terrific way to get them some exercise. At Elm Creek there are 4.3 miles of skijoring trails. 

Want to give skijoring a try?

Anyone with a dog that is at least 30 lbs can do it! You don't even need a ski permit to skijor the mixed-use trails at Elm Creek. Howerver, there are some things to know if you've never done it before:

  1. Most dogs have an instinct to pull, but some need to be taught. In general, dogs love it!
  2. ​All breeds are trainable, but some dogs 'get it' quicker than others
  3. The equipment needed (apart from cross-country skis) are harnesses for both human and dog, and a specially designed belt with tugline to tether you to your dog
  4. For your dog's sake, start small and incrementally eease into it
  5. Make sure you stick to designated skijoring trails (at Elm Creek the trails are mixed use, but certain trails are off limits to skijoring. Check their map before you go)

Minneapolis Northwest Dog Parks

Brookdale Park
Brooklyn Park
Completely fenced in and dotted with picnic tables and benches. $3.00 daily fee/ $10 per year

Brooklyn Park Environmental Nature Area
Brooklyn Park
The city's newest dog park boasts big grassy spaces and complete fencing around the park. $3.00 daily fee/ $10 per year

Crystal Community Dog Park
Fenced in park containing picnic tablesa nd benches.

Fish Lake Regional Park Off-Leash Park
Maple Grove
Fully fenced-in dog park adjacent to the Fish Lake Regional Pakr. Separate area for small dogs.

Plymouth Dog Park
This 10-acre park has agility obstacles such as tunnesl and weave poles for an added element of fun. There is also a separate fenced area for small dogs.

Check out our pet-friendly hotels on the right side of the screen!

Cross country skiing at Elm Creek Park Reserve

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