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Off Leash
New Trial Off Leash Areas Open To Public
Lower Spring Creek, Blackmere, Butcherknife & Whistler Park Provide Room to Roam

Dogs are now free to run at four new off leash areas which opened to the public ushering in a one-year trial use period.  These new locations complement Rita Valentine Park and Spring Creek Park at the Lower Pond for canine off leash activities.

  • Blackmere
  • Butcherknife
  • Lower Spring Creek
  • Whistler Park

City Council approved the provisional use for a one-year period based on the recommendation from the Parks & Recreation Commission.  The program may be rescinded by City Council if issues arise during this first year. Outside of these areas, current leash laws still apply within city limits and on all city property outside city limits. 

The trial off leash areas, which are open an hour after sunrise to an hour before sunset, include the following trails and also come with some seasonal wildlife restrictions as outlined below:

Blackmere Trail: Upper Blackmere is off leash year-round.  Lower Blackmere carries off leash opportunities during the winter only from Sept 2 to May 31 and all dogs must be leashed in summer from June 1-Sept 1.

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Butcherknife Trail: This trail carries restrictions during school hours where the leash law applies from 7:30am to 8:30am and 3:00pm to 4:30pm from August 21 to June 8.  

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Lower Spring Creek Trail: The off leash trail runs directly behind the high school.  Outside of designated hours, dogs are to be leashed at all times. 

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Whistler Park: This area has three designated areas with the park for off leash activities. The west portion is off leash from May 1 to Oct. 31 and leashes are required during the elk winter season from Nov. 1 to April 31.  Trail users are asked to remain on existing trails in this section of the park.  The south sections will be off leash during the winter (Nov. 1 to April 31) and leashes will be required during the summer (May 1 to April 31). The north portion is off leash year-round.

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Each off leash area will be clearly signed at entry/exit points with a map outlining the off leash area.  Off leash trails apply to the trail only and not outside of the designated trail.  Voice and sight control is required within these area. For example, when a dog is commanded to come, it does so on the first time, regardless of distracting circumstances. In addition, dogs harassing people or wildlife are not considered under voice control. 

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Animal Complaints
When using these areas, dog waste removal and disposal is required by law.  Individuals can report animal complaints to Police Dispatch at 970.879.1144. Additionally, Steamboat Digs Dogs is developing a volunteer patrol to assist with education and will monitor these area during the trial period.