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Central Durham Hidden Gem

Durham, North Carolina
Fully Fenced
0.4 acres
5.047 reviews
Top spot
Host avatar
Hosted by Beth & Joe L.



Fully Fenced

Fencing height (at lowest point)

4 ft

100% of guests said fencing at this spot was secure enough to contain their dogs

Gaps or holes in fence: No gaps

Fencing details: Welded wire fencing attached to posts and/or trees. Most of the fenceline is also secured along the bottom with underground fencing and/or vines. Gate fits securely, with no gaps.

Audible/visible from spot


Other domestic animalsNo


Private entryYes


Dog drinking water


Dog treats

Dog toys



$14 per dog per hour

50% off all dogs after the 1st dog



(Please keep our spot safe, open, and welcome in our neighborhood by keeping your dogs leashed up in the driveway area! Every dog. Every time.) Just 5 minutes from downtown, our Central Durham Hidden Gem is surrounded by an unexpectedly natural environment. A well-maintained combination of open play space and lightly wooded area, it is nearly half an acre and fully fenced. The entire romping area can be conveniently monitored from the outdoor seating. Owners of sensitive or reactive dogs will appreciate the buffer zones around our spot. There are no shared fence lines. (Be aware that, from some parts of our backyard, your dog might see and hear neighbors walking their dogs by the front of the house.) High-energy dogs love to run laps around our trail loop, which is big enough for an intense game of chase or wide-open "zoomies." The gentle slope of the land and thick natural mulch provide good drainage so mud is minimal. Relax in the rocking chair on the screened porch or in the hammock among the trees. (Purchase the "Poop Patrol" extra for guilt-free relaxation and to keep our spot safe and clean!) The entire space is neat, clean, and pleasant but not at all "fussy." No plants are off-limits and it's okay if your dogs dig a hole or two. (For safety, please try to fill in holes somewhat before you leave. Tools are provided.) The wooded area has lots of ground-cover plants and no poison ivy. (The Virginia Creeper looks similar but has five leaves rather than three.) Fortunately, we have never seen ticks here. Our spot is easy to find and has plenty of flat off-street parking. Just give us a heads-up if you need accessibility for use of crutches, walker, or wheelchair. Upon request and if we're available, we're happy to participate in your dog's socialization by being calmly seated in the driveway upon your arrival. Generally, visits are limited to 3 dogs, 5 humans, and 3 vehicles. (Please inquire for potential exceptions.) We look forward to hosting you and your pups soon!


100% of guests said this spot was as clean as expected during their visit.


Please keep EVERY dog leashed (coming and going) in our driveway area. Leashing up every time keeps our our spot safe, open, and welcome in our neighborhood. Whenever dogs share space, toys, bowls, and/or pools, there is a risk of communicable disease. The risk level varies depending on the prevalence of canine illness in the Durham area. Use your own judgment (perhaps with input from your veterinarian) when deciding whether visiting a Sniffspot play area is within your risk tolerance and whether you want to bring your own toys and bowls. Potential trip/splinter hazards are the usual: Ivy vines, wooden steps, wooden handrails, sweet gum balls, pine cones, sticks, uneven ground. Plants include: Various Kinds of Trees, Aucuba, English Ivy, Nandina, Honeysuckle, Grape Holly, Clematis, and Virginia Creeper. We cannot guarantee 100% removal of any plant, but we're vigilant in pulling any sprouts of poison ivy if they appear, and we try our best to keep the area free of pokeweed and mushrooms. (Please note that Virginia Creeper resembles poison ivy but has 5 leaves.) Highest retaining wall is only about 2 feet. If that's too high for your dogs, you may use the garden fence panels provided to make barriers. While we try to orient all sharp parts of fencing to the outside of the enclosure, it is possible for a dog to encounter a wire. You may want to redirect a dog that is vigorously rooting around the base of the fence. Home construction can sometimes be heard from our spot. The closest is about 60 yards away, through the woods.


Poop Patrol$6.0

For the price of a cafe latte, we will provide "dog poop patrol" after your visit to ensure a safe and clean park for our next guests. No guilt on your end. No resentment on ours. Most importantly, no poop spread among all these precious dogs. (Dependent on availability.)

Sponsor a Foster Dog Romp$14.0

Treat a foster dog from a local shelter or rescue program to an hour of "sniffins" and wide-open play at our hidden gem.


Poop Patrol$6.0

For the price of a cafe latte, we will provide "dog poop patrol" after your visit to ensure a safe and clean park for our next guests. No guilt on your end. No resentment on ours. Most importantly, no poop spread among all these precious dogs. (Dependent on availability.)

Sponsor a Foster Dog Romp$14.0

Treat a foster dog from a local shelter or rescue program to an hour of "sniffins" and wide-open play at our hidden gem.

Host Rules

Minimum visit length
1.0 hour
Required advanced notice for visits
1 hour
Maximum dogs allowed
Is the host present?
I generally do not meet my guests
Additional rules

Keep our spot safe, open, and welcome in our neighborhood by keeping your dogs leashed in the driveway area--EVERY DOG, EVERY TIME. An occasional woof or yap is fine, but extended barked is not permitted. (We understand that your dogs may bark when a neighbor's dogs bark.) Maximum of 3 dogs, 5 humans, and 3 vehicles per visit. (Please message to request exceptions.)

Community safety rules
Dogs must be leashed when entering and exiting the spot.
Make sure the area is safe and secure before bringing your dog in.
Arrive and leave on time, this is important for safety.
Pick up after your dogs. Leave the spot as it was when you arrived.
Always review and abide by spot specific rules.
Unless otherwise stated, restrooms are not available on site.

Booking Policies

Booking Policies
Only one booking is allowed at a time at any spot and there is an enforced 30 min buffer between all bookings to ensure dogs in separate bookings do not meet.
This spot is set for Booking, which means you will be instantly confirmed for any booking you request. You will receive the address and access instruction immediately following booking.
Visits can be moved or cancelled up to 2 hours before a visit.
Visits can be extended and dogs can be added throughout the visit.

(47) Reviews

  • Bode N., Mar 20, 2023

    Amazing! Such a great space with every extra to make it a fun, comfy and safe time. Roger had the time of his life!

    Host replied: So happy to hear Roger had the time of his life! Love that name, by the way. .

  • Julia B., Mar 13, 2023

    We loved this spot! Our senior pug enjoyed just walking around, sniffing and exploring. Our Staffie Mix puppy loved chasing the balls that the hosts provided so thoughtfully and romping around among the trees. Such a beautiful space. Easy to find and clear instructions. We will be back for sure.

    Host replied: Very happy to have you with us, Julia! I love hearing that both your youngster and senior enjoyed our Hidden Gem. Joe and I have a big soft spot for senior dogs. (And, well....who doesn't love a puppy?!)

  • natasha b., Mar 11, 2023

    Well worth a membership to visit this gem! Rosie and Max may have had even more fun this time and their buddy Boone had a blast today too. And best of all, they’re all tired out from their hour of racing each other!

    Host replied: We're honored to call you a member, Natasha! Just brought more leaves in on Thursday, so it's especially fluffy out there right now. Seems to shift dog play up a gear!

  • Zoe C., Mar 5, 2023

    Well maintained and equipped spot! Had 3 dogs and owners with plenty of space. The site was marked from the driveway and easy to access. Definitely planning on booking again and for longer! There were people that the dogs could hear and other dogs barking nearby.

    Host replied: Glad y'all enjoyed your time here, Zoe! That's my idea of a perfect social outing--3 dogs with all of their owners. You're right, though; the time goes fast! Looking forward to having you back soon.

  • Lauren H., Mar 5, 2023

    Truly a beautiful little wooded oasis in the heart of Durham. A good sized yard with a nice little walking trail, plus lots of crunchy leaves for Leuk’s favorite activity—rolling in stuff! Entry/parking directions were clear, and the host was very friendly, offering more than enough supplies for a good romp :) Will definitely be returning!

    Host replied: We laughed aloud at Leuk's "favorite activity," Lauren! Don't you wish we were ALL that easy to please? Thanks for your nice review. See you soon.

  • natasha b., Mar 5, 2023

    Absolutely fantastic! Responsive host, convenient location, clearly marked entrance and parking, plenty of water, toys and supplies. Lovely sitting area plus a hammock! Plenty of sunny spots and lots of shade too. Dogs had a great time running around and I can’t wait to come back!

    Host replied: And we can't wait to have you and your dogs back, natasha! Thanks for your nice review.

  • Kevin S., Mar 1, 2023

    Great place to have your dog off leash!! My guy Major had so much fun chewing and fetching sticks and laying in the leaves!

    Host replied: Sounds like Major knows how to enjoy the gifts of nature! Thanks for your visit and nice review, Kevin.

  • Carla P., Feb 26, 2023

    This hidden gem is just that. Our hounds and terriers LOVED this wonderful SniffSpot. Beth & Joe our hosts, went the extra mile. There were toys and balls, poopey bags, and loads of fresh water on-hand for the doggos. The run was fantastic and the doggos whizzed around the play spot for 2-hours. The patio for the humans was perfect and we will 100% be coming back very soon!!!

    Host replied: We're so glad you all had a blast, Carla! I never EVER get tired of reading reviews describing joyful dog play at our spot!

  • Kimberly B., Feb 26, 2023

    We had the best time! Such a lovely spot. Benny & Ellie enjoyed running throughout the property and sniffing all the sniffs. Everything was so well thought out. There was water, toys, treats, bags, towels…we wanted for nothing. Thank you for providing such a safe and welcoming spot for our pups to enjoy! We will definitely be back!

    Host replied: We're so glad you all enjoyed your time at our spot, Kimberly! Thank you for sponsoring a romp for a foster dog so they get to experience the same joy of wide-open outdoor play!

  • Kristen L., Feb 19, 2023

    It is a definite hidden gem in Durham 🖤 My lab pup loved it and it took her mind off teething for a bit! This spot is so well maintained and you can definitely tell dog lovers are the ones that designed it. Thank you! And we’ll be back soon.

    Host replied: Thanks for your nice review, Kristen. I'm so glad that you and Betty enjoyed our spot! (Poor baby--I hope her teething pain passes quickly.)

Meet your host

Avid dog lovers. My partner and I understand that each dog has unique challenges and needs--just like each person.

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Central Durham Hidden Gem

$14 per dog per hour
$14 per dog per hour