The Bark Park at Ellicott Creek Island

Creekside Drive, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Park Type: 
Managing Organization: 
Friends of Ellicott Island Bark Park (Friends of Ellicott, Inc.)

about 14.25 acres

Notable Features: 
Natural surroundings; plenty of shade makes it great for hot days

This is the area's newest dog park. Many people (myself included) had been taking their dogs off leash to the island part of the park anyway, as the surrounding water made a natural barrier to keep dogs from running off. But technically, we were all in violation of leash laws. That all changed in January 2014, when Erie County officially made the Island at Ellicott Creek Park a dog park. Perhaps the county thought, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? As with the other Erie County owned location, this one is also called "The Bark Park."

This is very different from the other dog parks in the area. No fence is needed, except at the bridge leading onto the island. And you'll find more than just grass here - your dog will enjoy walking with you along the dirt paths, running through the plant growth, jumping over rocks, and even going for a swim where the water meets the shore.

Due to the natural setup, there is no divider to keep small and large dogs separate, so it's important to keep an eye on your dog in the case of large size differences. At this park, Ren is more interested in exploring than playing, so I usually do not have to worry about him trying to wrestle with a Great Dane, for example. Usually I just walk around the island, with Ren next to me, so it's just like we're going for a regular walk only without a leash. We also work in some jogging, a game of fetch, and some obedience training (a great way to practice overcoming distractions).

Erie County Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Forestry - Ellicott Creek
"New ‘Bark Park’ opens in Ellicott Creek Park" - Buffalo News, January 18, 2014
Friends of Ellicott Island Bark Park