If your four-legged friend is feeling fenced-in this summer, it's time for a doggie vacation. Try a trip to the dog beach at Alum Creek Dog Park, a place where both dogs and their people can sunbathe and socialize.

If your four-legged friend is feeling fenced-in this summer, it's time for a doggie vacation. Try a trip to the dog beach at Alum Creek Dog Park, a place where both dogs and their people can sunbathe and socialize.

Sitting along the Alum Creek reservoir, the public dog park provides four acres of space for canines to run and play off-leash.

Three separate, fenced-in areas provide fun for dogs of all sizes. There's an area for large dogs, one for smaller dogs, plus the beach, voted best dog beach at a dog park by Dog Fancy magazine.

Sarah Blouch, a volunteer for Friends of the Alum Creek Dog Park and the group's board secretary, said her three Labs love to hit the beach. "They're water dogs," she said.

Other dogs just enjoy running untethered.

"You see every breed out there," Blouch said. "Pure-breeds, mixed-breeds and three-legged dogs. People tell us all the time that they couldn't have adopted a dog without this park - they need a place to run."

Large and small pups are kept separate since larger dogs often become a bit rambunctious while they play, and smaller dogs can get knocked down in the midst of all that running and chasing, Blouch said.

While your dog is playing, you can relax and enjoy the scenic lake and the sounds of dogs having fun.

"It's so peaceful out there," Blouch said. "It's a beautiful setting. The dogs are happy, everyone is happy. It's a destination."

Besides the beach, the dog park offers shade trees, picnic tables, benches and water bowls, along with fresh water from spigots for the dogs and, most importantly, bags and trash cans for cleaning up.

"Volunteers come out daily to wash and sanitize the dog bowls and empty and sanitize the trash cans," Blouch said. "We just ask people to pick up after their own dogs."

Those volunteers are integral to the dog park. Friends of the Alum Creek Dog Park members not only funded and helped build the park, they also keep it beautiful by pulling weeds, planting grass, trimming trees and fixing fences.

"I got involved because I bring my dogs out here," Blouch explained. "We have a really great group of volunteers."