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 Rules sm     Cigarette Buttssm



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.
  • No camping. 


Lindenwood no dogs path

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.   

IMG 2749IMG 2752


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!

IMG 2762

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

Hike Summer slide


Summer Programs

Tree ID Hike

What kind of tree is it? Join the Lindenwood naturalist for a hike in the woods and learn how to identify the various trees found there. You’ll discover simple tips and tricks for identifying the most common trees! All ages are welcome. Pre-registration is required by June 15. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                     Date      Day                         Time

348123-S1            6/22       Sa           9:30-10:30 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Cómo identificar los árboles

¿Qué tipo de árbol es este? Únase al guía naturalista de Lindenwood para una caminata en el bosque y aprenda a identificar los diversos árboles que se encuentran allí. ¡Descubrirás consejos y trucos sencillos para identificar los árboles más comunes! Todas las edades son bienvenidas. Se requiere inscripción previa. Llama a la Red de Servicios Linguisticos – LSN al 260-426-6764 para registrarse.

22 de junio

Caminata en inglés - 9:30-10:30 am

Caminata en español - 10:45-11:45 am

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. The hikes 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 by July 12 and August 9. Min 5. Max 25.

Code                    Date        Day          Time

Buck Moon – Youth Hike

348000-S1            7/20       Sa           8-9 pm

Buck Moon – Adult Hike

348000-S2            7/20       Sa           9:15-10:15 pm

Sturgeon Moon – Youth Hike

348000-S3            8/17       Sa           8-9 pm

Sturgeon Moon – Adult Hike

348000-S4            8/17       Sa           9:15-10:15 pm


Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Woodland Plants Hike

Sometimes they say “you can’t see the forest for the trees” but out at Lindenwood, we try to focus on every part of the environment! If you’d like to learn about some of the smaller woodland plants you may find on your visits, come along on this hike! Pre-register by August 16. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                     Date      Day                        Time

348125-S1            8/24       Sa           9:30-10:30 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

Plantas que habitan en los bosques

Muchas veces hemos escuchado decir: “no se puede ver el bosque por los árboles”, pero en Lindenwood, ¡tratamos de centrarnos en cada parte del medio ambiente! Si desea aprender sobre algunas de las plantas forestales más pequeñas que puede encontrar en sus visitas al lugar, ¡venga a esta caminata para ver qué plantas podemos encontrar! Llama a la Red de Servicios Linguisticos – LSN al 260-426-6764 para registrarse.

24 de agosto

Caminata en inglés - 9:30-10:30 am

Caminata en español - 10:45-11:45 am


Twinkle, twinkle little star! Lindenwood Nature Preserve is the perfect place for stargazing! From super moons to meteor showers come join us as we learn about the wonders of the night sky. You will be able to use a telescope to locate planets and constellations in our galaxy. There is no charge, however, registration is required for planning purposes. All ages are welcome. Registration deadlines are 5 working days prior to each hike. Min. 5. Max. 25.

Code                    Date      Day              Time

Clear View

348006-R2           7/18       Th           9-10 pm

Perseids Meteor Shower

348006-T1            8/13       T              9-10 pm


Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.


Photo credit: Chuck Milledge

Nature Story Time

Join our naturalist for a story and short hike along Trillium Trail. Search for beautiful wildflowers that adorn this path during the spring and summer. Story Time is free; however, pre-registration is required by the previous Monday and space is limited. Ages 10 and under. Min. 5. Max. 15.

Code                     Date      Day                     Time

348114-S2            7/13       Sa           10-10:30 am

348114-S3            8/10       Sa           10-10:30 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/Free

Location: Lindenwood Nature Preserve, 600 Lindenwood Ave.

 Lindenwood bridge



Always enjoy Maggie as the hike guide, very knowledgeable, personable, and so enthusiastic about her work.  Cheri


Field Trips

This is a great hands-on nature exploration-gives students a chance to see things in their habitat.-Amy F.

What a fun and educational time we had at the Harvest Moon Hike! The naturalist was able to connect with all age levels and make it fun not only for the kids but adults as well.  It was interactive and exciting to learn about the different animals at night, view the world through their senses and actually see some animals as well.  Thank you Maria.  Joelle R. 

Lwood Field Trips bro 22sm  


Lindenwood Guided Hikes & Field Trips

May – October 31

Let us plan a nature outing for your class or group. Lindenwood Nature Preserve offers a variety of hands-on environmental education opportunities perfect for class field trips, birthday parties or other group outings. For a complete list of programs/topics, please visit the Lindenwood page at The cost is $3/participant/hour with a minimum fee of $30 for a 1-hour program . Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance by contacting Eden at 427-6008 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Volunteer Opportunities

Is your business, club, or scout group looking for service hours? Lindenwood Nature Preserve has various volunteer opportunities such as trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, and small-scale construction projects. If your organization is ready to lend a hand contact Eden at 260-427-6008

Wild spring


Wild Walkers 2024 

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. 

2024 Wild Walkers Schedule 

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



Annual Kids' Fishing Derby!


Enjoy some pictures from previous Fishing Derby events!

Catfish Adjusted2 

IMG_1626  IMG_1631

IMG_1627  IMG_1633

rock bass 2


RFW Logo Hori RGB 01



NOW AVAILABLE!  Search for parks, trails, activities and more.

We want your feedback!

new_blue_64x64Take our on-line survey now!
This quick and easy survey will only take 1 minute or less and will provide us with valuable information!

Translate Content