By Elayza Gonzalez

Outdoor activities and exercise are just as important for pets as they are for us. There are countless benefits to spending time outside with your pet, including good health and behavior. Research shows a lack of sufficient outdoor activity can lead to problems such as destructive chewing or digging, rough play and excessive barking. Spending quality time outside and bonding with your four-legged family member is as an excellent way to improve the well-being of both of you. If you are stumped for ways to get active, consider one of the following parks to get started on your outdoor fun together!

Dogwood Park

This is a private park with 15 acres of land and two ponds where your dog can roam leash free. Non-members pay a fee of $12.

5505 SW Archer Rd.

Gainesville, FL 32608

Dogwoodpark.com

Smokey Bear Park

This park has an off-leash dog area, as well as picnic tables, grills and a playground — perfect for a family outing.

2300 NE 15th Street

Gainesville, FL 32609

Haisley Lynch Park

Located in downtown Gainesville, this park has the added security feature of a double gate fence, so owners won’t have to worry about their pets getting too far.

450 S. Main Street

Gainesville, FL 32601

Northeast Park

Known by some as the “hidden gem of the Gainesville park system,” this park is loaded with fun-filled activities for pet owners and their pets.

400 NE 16th Ave.

Gainesville, FL 32601

Possum Creek

This park doubles as a skate park, but it also houses two separate dog parks, one for large dogs and one for small.

4009 NW 53rd Ave.

Gainesville, FL 32653

Forest Park

This is the perfect place for your dog to run and play, with leisure spots for owners to play football, basketball or soccer.

4501 SW 20th Ave.

Gainesville, FL 32607

Squirrel Ridge Park

This park has a fenced area for smaller dogs, as well as kiddie pools and sand pits for your other little ones.

1603 SW Williston Rd

Gainesville, FL 32608

*Did we miss your favorite park? Let us know in the comments!