A New Dog Owner’s Guide to Central Park
Have you recently welcomed a dog into your life? There are a few rules in place to help everyone enjoy their time and stay safe in Central Park.
Have you recently welcomed a dog into your life? You’re in luck! Central Park is equally loved by its two- and four-legged visitors. There are a few rules to help everyone enjoy their time and stay safe in the Park. But don’t worry, it’s nothing more complicated than “Sit, stay, fetch!”
Why are these regulations in place? The Conservancy staff works tirelessly to support flourishing Park plant life and wildlife, and we’re dedicated to protecting essential ecosystems found in the Park’s garden beds, root zones around trees, and lawns from heavy foot (and paw) traffic.
We appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration as we work together to keep Central Park a safe space for all species—our human and canine visitors, as well as the wildlife and plant life that live here.
Off-leash hours are from 6:00 am–9:00 am and 9:00 pm–1:00 am. Dogs must be leashed from 9:00 am–9:00 pm daily.
Please note: Even during off-leash hours, dogs must always be leashed in these locations:
- Arthur Ross Pinetum (Mid-Park between 84th and 86th Street)
- Bridle Path (Loop surrounding the Reservoir)
- Children’s Glade (West Side between 103rd and 106th Street)
- Conservatory Garden (East Side between 104th and 106th Street)
- East Green (East Side at 69th Street)
- East Meadow Oval (East Side between 97th and 100th Street)
- Kerbs Boathouse Plaza (East Side at 74th Street)
- North Woods (Mid-Park between 101st and 110th Street)
- The Ramble (Mid-Park between 73rd and 79th Street)
- Shakespeare Garden (West Side at 79th Street)
- Strawberry Fields (West Side between 71st and 74th Street)
- Turtle Pond Lawn (Mid-Park at 80th Street)
- West 86-90th Street Lawn
- Central Park Drives
- Other areas where signs requiring dogs to be leashed are posted
The Only Places Your Pup Isn’t Allowed
While there are plenty of places in the Park (it’s an abundant 843 acres, after all) that are fair game for fetch, the following locations are always off limits to dogs for the safety of our visitors, wildlife, and landscapes.
Other Ways to be a Good Boy (or Girl)
The following are City-wide dog rules and regulations, outlined by NYC Parks. Thank you for helping us care for our 843-acre backyard!
- Dogs must always be under the control of their owner.
- Dogs must have a NYC license tag and valid rabies tag.
- Dogs must not dig, chase, or harm wildlife; damage Park property; or interfere with other Park users.
- Always clean up after your dog, including dog hair that you brush off in the Park.
- Please respect signs, fences, and red flags that may indicate temporary closure due to restoration, maintenance, or weather conditions.
- These rules are part of the NYC legal code; dog owners may be fined for any violation.
In the event that you happen upon a lost dog or your dog goes missing, please contact the Animal Care Centers of NYC.