Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Area Parks: Pets / No Pets

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a dog park (Downey Dog Park) not far from where I live. This is actually quite wonderful, as this is the only place where Mochi can run around off the leash - and he loves running around off the leash. Unfortunately, this past it just so happened that every time I took him to the dog park, a torrential Florida thunderstorm would whip up out of nowhere and leave us completely drenched. This was the first day that did not happen. I also hadn't brought my camera (not wanting to risk getting it soaked), so while I did snap a couple of quick pics, they were with my 1.5 megapixel crap phone. Still, Mochi had a great time. There was only one other dog there, a lab mix female puppy. She was a lot bigger than him, but they still had a lot of fun playing together. Mochi was exhausted when he got home.

Left: dog park, Right: Mochi

The Downey Dog Park is part of the Downey Park, a park that surrounds about three quarters of Lake Downey in the Union Park area of Orlando. The entrance to the dog park is off of Hwy 50 (East Colonial), whereas the entrance for humans is around the corner on Flowers Ave. The dog park is completely fenced in - and fenced off from the rest of the park. Sadly, even leashed pets are not allowed inside Downey Park proper. I love to walk around and take photographs of things - if you read this blog, you're aware of this. I also love to take Mochi with me. (I'd take Charlie, but I'm not sure she'd appreciate it, much less cooperate.) To me, it is horrible that there are parks that do not allow pets. I can understand requiring pets to be leashed/vaccinated/healthy, and requiring owners to pick up after them, but banning them? While I'm thrilled to live so close to the Downey Dog Park, I find it quite disappointing that the large lakeside picnicking and sports park is entirely off limits to Mochi and other canines. That being said, Downey Park is quite pleasant. It encompasses roughly three quarters of the lake, and has numerous picnic tables under shade trees, playgrounds, baseball fields and volley ball courts, as well as a 'splash pad' (allegedly a place to play under various fountains, although it was closed when I stopped by on Saturday - a time you'd think it would be open). Sadly, there is no swimming at the lake, despite the remnants of what was obviously once a pleasant swimming beach.

Lake Downey at Downey Park

In the same general area of Orlando is the Little Econ Greenway, a park that runs along several miles of the Econlockhatchee River. This park is pet friendly - as long as your dog (or, I suppose, cooperative cat) is leashed. It offers several miles of paved trail for walking, biking, jogging, etc. along the river, as well as places for various sports and picnicking. I haven't taken Mochi there yet, but I certainly intend to. I took a short walk along part of the Little Econ Greenway this afternoon, but boy was it hot out. Unfortunately, the paved trail is not very shady (at least not the part where I walked).

Econlockhatchee River

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