Say What: Fultondale now has a dog park. Bring your pooches out to play in their (about) 2 acre facility. There is one entrance that splits into the large and small dog sections. There is 10,000 square feet for small dogs and 17,500 square feet for larger dogs. (The Large Dog section was locked when I got there 😦 btw)
Where: From 65 North bound take exit 267 (Walker Chapel Road exit) and turn Right at the end of the off ramp. Turn L onto 31 North. Then turn L again at the next light (bear to your right once you cross 31 so you’re following parallel to where you’d been traveling anyway) and look for the park on your Left. You will need to turn L onto Fulton Road to park and enter the park.
When: I didn’t see a sign (it was probably right in front of my face) but I found a newspaper article that said it had the same hours as Black Creek (5am-10pm) but this seems wrong. I’d stick with what most dog park hours are (dawn to dusk) until you can see for your self.
Doggie details: They have bags and garbage receptacles. They also have a water faucet in the fenced in small dog area (I couldn’t go in the large dog, and didn’t notice…) but bring your own bowl. There was a bench in the small dog area (1!) but NOT a lot of trees for shade. There was a mud puddle in the back that I couldn’t keep Whiskey out of but at least kept him from drinking. It looked like a mini sized (4 ft) swamp area. I’m fine with that, just if you have a mud digger, beware!
What to do when you get there you barkers you!:There are a few nice picnic tables with grills. They look new and inviting. Beautiful patches of thick new grass to lounge about and chase grasshoppers in (dogs, not the humans). A fantastically clear flat rock/pebble bed stream that was *perfect* for getting into and tromping around. A kiddie park for those inclined to take a moment to play. There is a walking track around the park but I imagine you’d have to make many a loop to get in a mile.
Secrets!: Take the trail out of the park and under hwy 31 to go to the other side- Black Creek Park which has a nice running track and the stream continues along the park. Lots of beautiful places to walk your dog (on leash please per the human rules!)
Complaints:The large dog section was locked when I went and I politely asked if I could come into the small dog section with their wee doggie. The couple said yes, and seemed nice. But their dog snapped at my dog and the dog seemed upset that Whiskey was there. Whiskey tried to smell the dog and make nice but something about him just rubbed the poor little dog the wrong way. I tried to keep him away from the dog at times but Whiskey is too friendly wanting to be petted by the humans and sniff the little dog. The dog didn’t like it and the owner commented a few times that their dog was jealous. I felt bad we had to share but felt like that was on Fultondale, and not me. I’d driven all that way and wasn’t about to leave! But I hate the position it put us in having to invade the clearly marked “small dog” section. They left early and I hate to think it was because my big dog ruined their little dog play area.
Rumors!: The couple there said that houses had once been on the spot and that it was in a flood plain and so the houses were removed and the park built.
Rumor #2: I found at least one comment on an article by a man, angry that he could not take his bully breed to the dog park because Fultondale has a bully breed ban. I don’t know where he got this info (talked to the Mayor? or just assumed it) but while I did find an article from 2008 stating that
As of Friday, it is now unlawful for any resident within the city limits to bring a pit bull or any other dangerous dog into the city. Those who currently own the dogs must register the dog with the city for a fee of $50. Any puppies born to what the city considers dangerous dogs must also be removed from the city six weeks after birth.
…I did not see anything clearly saying no one could bring their type dog to their dog park. Note that this is aimed towards Residents having dogs while living there. Not on you and I passing through… I saw nothing on the current Bark Park information saying that bully breed owners could not use the park. I think this person is making a jump in logic based out of anger about bias towards the breed. If I had a bully breed I would not hesitate to go to the park. People are allowed to live there with those breeds assuming they are registered and not brought in after the ordinance. If you are visiting the park and live out of the city I don’t see how you are violating that ordinance unless they have amended it to include that no bully breed dog is allowed into public (some cities do have this strict language, some allowing these dogs out only if they have on a muzzle!) For the record I just want to be clear I think this ordinance is bias and ignorance and absolutely wrong. So- if anyone has *direct* information or proof of these dogs not being allowed at the park let me know so I can notate it.
By the way, if any one is brave City of Fultondale and Black Creek Park have face book pages if anyone is brave enough to straight out ask!
Overall Rating: 6 pretty satisfied wags out of 10. I’m sure my wagging tail will improve when the big dog park is unlocked!