Nov 13, 2023 - Food and Drink

Scoop: Whitewater Center will add a massive off-leash dog park, biergarten and beach

USNWC dog park

USNWC dog park. Rendering: Courtesy of the U.S. National Whitewater Center

The U.S. National Whitewater Center will open a massive off-leash dog park.

Driving the news: The 70-acre dog park was expected to open in November, but has been pushed back due to construction delays, a Whitewater Center spokesperson tells Axios.

Why it matters: The Whitewater Center is basically a 1,300-acre dog park in its current form, but dogs are supposed to be on a leash. The new space allows them tons of space to roam freely, and yes, all dog breeds and sizes are welcome.

Details: The dog park will encompass the existing 3-mile Lake Loop trail, and the Whitewater Center will add a new trail around the perimeter of the dog park to allow other guests to continue to access the area.

  • It will have an open-air biergarten, a lakefront beach, water and trail access, retail, the new Lake Center (a 1,960-square-foot building and an 1,800-square-foot shaded pavilion) and space for special events and groups. People can use the park for free (you do still have to pay for parking, which is $12 per day and $40 for an annual parking pass).
  • There is a $10 dog pass fee for the park per dog. If their accompanying human has an annual, single-activity or a day pass, the dog is included. You can add an additional dog to your annual pass for $50 per dog per pass.
  • The park is open to dogs only — no other pets.
  • The Whitewater Center is located at 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.

What’s next: The dog park’s anticipated opening is March 2024.

Whitewater Center off-leash dog park. Rendering: Courtesy of the Whitewater Center
Whitewater Center off-leash dog park. Rendering: Courtesy of the Whitewater Center

A few other big changes are coming to the Whitewater Center.

1. Two new ziplines, high ropes and two swinging bridges opened over the canyon in September.

  • The north zipline is 300 feet and the south zipline is 500 feet. The suspension bridges span 700 feet and the swinging bridges are 80 feet tall. The space spans more than half a mile.
  • You need a day or annual pass to access the area. You must weigh 45-265lbs to participate in the activities.
USNWC new section
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
One of two new ziplines at the Whitewater Center. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
One of two new ziplines at the Whitewater Center. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
One of two new ropes sections at the Whitewater Center. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
One of two new ropes sections. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
One of two new swinging bridges at the Whitewater Center. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
One of two new swinging bridges. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

2. The first phase of Wildwoods, a 3-acre site, will open in winter 2024. It will be open to all ages and will include a challenge course with tree houses, bouldering walls, swinging bridges, cargo net climbs and floating hammocks.

  • Future phases of the project will include new food and beverage options, outdoor classrooms and art installations.
  • A $10 single activity pass for those ages 3 and up gives you access to Wildwoods Challenge, Long Point Obstacle Challenge and Ridge Obstacle Challenge. The challenges are free for those 2 years old and under. They are also included in an annual or day pass.
Project Examples by Beanstalk Builders. Photo: Courtesy of the Whitewater Center
Project Examples by Beanstalk Builders. Photo: Courtesy of the Whitewater Center
Whitewater Center map. Photo: Courtesy of the Whitewater Center
Whitewater Center map. Photo: Courtesy of the Whitewater Center

Go deeper: 13 ways to spend a day at the Whitewater Center

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Aug. 24, 2023 and was updated on Nov. 13, 2023 to reflect the new opening timeframe.

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