Guidelines for our Dog Playgrounds
Recommendations for Fun and Safety

Both Pawster Pooch Playground and Camp Canine are open from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily.  The maximum number of dogs in the playgrounds at any given time is 50. Please limit your visit to one hour during times of peak use.

  • All dogs must have their "Pass" visibly displayed on their collar while inside the playground.
  • Rabies tags must be worn and displayed by all dogs at all times
  • Always keep an eye on your dog. Never leave your dog unattended.
  • Dogs known to exhibit vicious, fierce, aggressive, or dangerous behavior are not permitted in the Dog Playgrounds. If your dog becomes unruly or aggressive toward other dogs, you must leash your dog and exit the enclosure.
  • Always clean up after your dog. It's the law. A container is available in the park for this purpose. Please bring your own bags.
  • Female dogs in season are not permitted in the playground and should not be brought to the park.
  • Dogs, owners, and users creating a disturbance or violating posted rules must leave the playground if requested by law enforcement personnel, park personnel, or their designated agents.
  • Don't bring more than three dogs to the playground.
  • Dogs under four (4) months of age are not permitted in the playground. Puppies are not fully vaccinated, and are vulnerable to disease and injury.
  • Children under fourteen (14) years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Dogs may not be left unattended or out of sight range or voice command.
  • Dogs must be on a 6' leash until safely inside the playground enclosure (corral). It's the law.
  • Please remove pinch (prong) collars and spike collars from dogs before entering the park. Other dogs can be injured while playing.
  • No wolves or wolf hybrids allowed.
  • Do not bring glass containers to the facility.
  • Do not bring food (people food, dog food or dog treats) into the playground. Many owners do not feed treats and some dogs may be allergic. Food may also make a docile dog aggressive.
  • Do not smoke in or around the playground. Cigarette butts and food wrappers are unhealthy for dogs.
  • Maintenance needs of the site will vary based on weather and use. You are asked to vacate the playground during maintenance activities.
  • Check all entrances before unleashing your dog.
  • Dogs should receive year-round heartworm prevention treatment.
  • Have drinking water readily available for your dog before and especially after exercise.  You must provide your own water and bowls.
  • ALL dogs benefit from guidance and structure.  Basic obedience is a must for a well-socialized happy dog.
  • Do not open the outside gate if an inside gate is open.

Be Aware of Risks

While it may be tempting to stand back and be a passive observer, all users will have a much more rewarding experience if basic rules are actively observed. Use of the Dog Playground is not a right - it is a privilege. Please do not allow unacceptable or irresponsible behavior to ruin the fun for other users.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation strives to provide a fun, safe environment for you and your dog. However, by using this facility you agree that you understand and assume all responsibility and liability for the risks of unleashing your dog in the facility.

Potential risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Infectious diseases such as rabies, kennel cough or Lyme disease.
  • Dog theft or unlawful capture by other people.
  • Dog escapes over or under fences.
  • Plants and/or water sources in the park that may be poisonous to dogs.
  • Park vegetation that may have burrs or seeds that could get tangled in a dog's coat or lodge in a dog's feet, ears, or eyes.
  • Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas or other insects that may be present.
  • Dog fights, dog bites and injuries to humans and other dogs.
  • Wild animals in the parks such as skunks, raccoons, or stray dogs, all of which might injure or infect your dog.
  • Young children are easily knocked over or trampled by running dogs.
  • Herding dogs may nip at children while attempting to round them up.
  • This is the dog's park. There are plenty of other parks and playgrounds where children can be socialized. Not all dogs are child-friendly. Never allow your child to approach or pet a dog without the owner's presence and approval.
  • Parents: If you do bring your children into the Dog Playground, please teach them how to behave with animals and what to do in an emergency:

Never run! Hide face. Tuck arms and legs into body. Curl up in a ball, face down on hands and knees. Be as still and quiet as possible. Wait for help or until the dog has left.

In order for the bite to be defined as a bite - it must break the skin and must have been caused by oral contact (not a nail scratch).

A dog bite to a human or another animal must be reported. The biting animal will be quarantined for ten days to ensure it is healthy and does not pose a rabies risk. In this case, the bite most likely happened inside the confines of the Dog Playground so the dog will be considered legally restrained at the time of the bite. If a dog bite happens while at the park:

  • Immediately secure the biting dog and the victim dog. Leash them and keep separated.
  • Any wounds should be washed immediately with clean water.
  • Owners of dogs involved should exchange names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
  • Owners should then take their dog home or to a veterinarian for necessary medical care. If a bite has occurred to a person, consult a physician.
  • If the biting dog's owner lives inside the city limits of Fort Wayne they should call to dispatch an Animal Control Officer to take a bite report and enact quarantine.

    Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control: 427-1244
    On weekends and holidays call: 427-1222

  • If the biting dog's owner lives in Allen County outside the city limits, call:

Allen County Sheriff's Animal Control at 449-7491

  • Dogs who have bitten while at the Dog Playgrounds will not be allowed to return.

**Dog Playgrounds are not staffed or supervised by any agent or employee of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department or the City of Fort Wayne. Users therefore are required to abide by posted rules and etiquette at all times while on the premises. Police and Animal Control Officers will make periodic site visits.**

Dog owners and individuals accompanying them use the facility entirely at their own risk and that of their dogs.  Owners are responsible and liable for the actions and behavior of their dogs at all times.  Neither Parks and Recreation nor the City of Fort Wayne assumes liability for loss, damage, or any kind of injury sustained by any human or dog while using the Dog Playground.

It is important to familiarize yourself with pertinent City Ordinances that apply to this playground as well as parks and park facilities in general.  Visit our Park Ordinances  page for more information.


Photo courtesy of Denny Beck

Lindenwood Nature Preserve protects a piece of Fort Wayne’s natural woodland habitat in an undisturbed manner. Please abide by these simple rules when visiting the preserve:

  • No collecting. This includes plants, animals, leaves, feathers, rocks, nuts, mushrooms, etc.
  • Remain on the marked trails when exploring the preserve.
  • No littering; Carry out what you carry in.
  • No camping, fires, hunting, trapping, fishing or digging.
  • No pets.
  • No bikes or motorized vehicles.

Stewards of the Woods

The volunteer opportunities at Lindenwood Nature Preserve are endless. Our Stewards of the Woods act as trail guides (training provided), desk attendants, wildlife observers, water quality monitors and more. Volunteers of all ages are invited to become Stewards. Call Eden Lamb 260-427-6008 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.   

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Reservoir Guidelines

Please Do:

remove your trash.
carry one life jacket per person in all boats at all times.
tilt up gasoline motors from your boat before launching.
be courteous to others.
have a good time!

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Please Don't:

swim in the reservoir.
bring alcoholic beverages into the reservoir.
bring pets unless they are on a leash.
use gasoline powered motors.
lose rental tickets (the daily fee will be charged).
exceed your rental time (any fraction of an hour will be charged a full hour).
overload rental boats (limit 3 persons per boat).
remove or disturb large rocks on bank - they are for ice control. clean fish on the premises.
disturb wildlife such as snakes, ducks, birds

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Upcoming Events of Interest to Nature Lovers     

Sunny Saturday Hikes

Join the Lindenwood naturalist for a Saturday morning hike through the nature preserve. Each hike will focus on a different topic. We’ll meet in the parking lot and head for the trail promptly at the scheduled time. Guided hikes are free and open to all ages. No pre-registration is required. The Trail of Reflection is wheelchair and stroller accessible for approximately ¼ mile from the trailhead to the pond; ground conditions may vary.

Date Day Time      Topic
7/13 Sa 8-9 am      Indiana Invasives
7/27 Sa 10-11 am      Creepy Crawlers
8/10 Sa 8-9 am & 10-11 am      Turtle Talk - Trail of Reflection
8/24 Sa 10-11 am      Mammals of the Midwest or Fethered Friends

*Accessible hikes on the Trail of Reflection Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Nature Story Time


Join the naturalist for a story and short hike along Trillium Trail. Search for beautiful wildflowers that adorn this path during the spring and summer. Ages 10 and under. The program is free, however, pre-registration is required and space is limited. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code              Date                 Day                          Time
348114-S3     7/28                 Su                             1-2 pm


Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.


Birdwatching Basics

Ever wanted to know more about the birds you see in your backyard or on your hikes? Learn how to get started finding and identifying local birds in the field with the Lindenwood Naturalist. Topics covered will include bird anatomy, field identification by sight and sound and how to properly adjust binoculars. Program is free but registration is required. Registration deadline: August 5. Min. 5 Max 20.

Code                            Date                             Day                              Time

3481                            8/11                             Su                                9am -11am

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Wild Eats! Intro to Wild Edible Hike

If you had to forage for food in the wilderness, would you be able to distinguish between those plants that are safe to eat and those that are not?  In this fun and informative field-class you will learn how to identify wild edibles while passing up the poisonous mushrooms and berries. This program is free, however pre-registration is required. Registration deadline: July 19. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Date     Day      Time
7/27     Sa 12-2 pm

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

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Traditional Miami Lacrosse stick making demonstration       

Lacrosse is the original game of North America and is one of the oldest sports in the western hemisphere. Please join us around the campfire as a representative of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma discusses Miami history and culture while demonstrating the process of making a traditional Miami lacrosse stick using modern tools and techniques. Guests will get opportunities to try out tools and techniques by assisting in the build! This outdoor program is free to attend and open to all ages, but space is limited to 25 participants and pre-registration is required. Participants will meet at the campfire circle at Lindenwood Nature Preserve.  Registration deadline: July 5.

Date      Day Time
7/13     Sa 10-11:30 am

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

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Full Moon Hikes       

There’s nothing like hiking under a full moon. Join us for a special moonlit adventure and experience nature in a completely different perspective. We’ll meet in the parking lot at the entrance to the preserve and hike the Trail of Reflection for a scenic stop at the pond. This ¼ mile trail is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible to the pond, although ground conditions may vary.  The hike will last approximately one hour. Youth hikes are for ages 17 and under with an adult.  Adult hikes are for those 18 and older. The hikes are free, however, pre-registration is required.  Registration deadlines: June 10, July 9 and August 8. Min. 5. Max. 25. Please note that pets are not allowed at Lindenwood.

Date Day      Time      Hike
7/16 Tu      8 pm      Buck Moon Hike - Youth
7/16 Tu      9:15 pm      Buck Moon Hike - Adult
8/15 F      9:15 pm      Sturgeon Moon Hike - Adult
  • Accessible hikes on the Trail of Reflection Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.
Birdwatching Basics       

Looking to learn more about our fine feathered friends in the sky? Birdwatching continues to grow in popularity among folks of all ages. It is an excellent way to enjoy nature and become acquainted with all things winged. We’ll teach you a little about bird anatomy, field identification by sight and sound, and how to properly adjust your binoculars.  You just might find you have a new hobby! The program is free but registration is required. Registration deadline: August 5. Min. 5. Max. 20. 

Date Day Time
8/11 Su 9-11 am


Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave. 


Lindenwood Field Trips & Outings

May 1-October 31

Let us plan a nature outing for your class or group. Lindenwood  Nature  Preserve  offers  a variety of hands-on environmental education field trip opportunities. Our programs can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers and walkers on our ADA compliant Trail of Reflection. For a complete list of programs/topics, please visit the Lindenwood page at The cost is $2/participant/ hour; a minimum fee of $20 / $40 will be charged for 1-hour / 2-hour programs, respectively. Teach- ers, care givers, and adult chaperones are free-of- charge. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance by contacting Eden at 427-6008 oThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Wild Walkers Pokagon Group Shot
Wild Walkers pose for a group picture at Pokagon State Park.  Photo credit: Steve Hague

Wild Walkers 2019 

Wild Walkers is an adult hiking group that meets the second and fourth Fridays of each month for a walk on the wild side. Each hike features a different natural area in the region (parks, wetlands, nature preserve, etc.) and carpooling is available when necessary. Please call Eden at 427-6008 or e-mail eden.lamb@cityof if you have questions. 

2019 Wild Walker Schedule


 For additional ways to "Plug-In To Nature" check out the following link:



Upcoming Events

 Fishing Derby 2019 sm
Hurshtown 50th Anniversary Celebration & Family Fishing Derby

Hurshtown Reservoir, 16000 Roth Rd., Grabill IN
June 1st, 8 am-1:00 pm
Hurshtown Reservoir
16000 Roth Road in Grabill

See the flier for additional details.

A free community picnic will be held across the road courtesy of Countryside Church of Christ immediately following the 12:00pm fishing derby awards. Food is limited to a first come-first-serve basis

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Free Fishing Days in Fort Wayne Parks

Indiana’s free fishing days are  April  20,  May 18, and June 1-2. Indiana residents do not need  a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish the state’s public waters. Enjoy fishing at Salomon Farm Park, Hurshtown Reservoir, Shoaff Park, Johnny Appleseed, Franke, Guldlin or Headwaters Park. Check out Salomon Farm Park for special youth fishing events and mark your calendar for Hurshtown Reservoir’s June 1st Family Fishing Derby!


Enjoy some photos from previous events:

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