I’d been looking forward to visiting the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, because it’s one of the few parks in the city that welcomes dogs — and by that I mean that dogs are still required to be leashed, but at least they can walk with you throughout the park (the official rules say that they are allowed on “les allées périphériques seulement,” so don’t be offended in the unlikely event that you’re challenged).
The park is every bit as lovely as I’d anticipated. It was created in the 1860′s from a combination trash dump and quarry, and the designer did a bang-up job. The centerpiece is a lake at the foot of a cliff; a footbridge leads to a path spiraling up to the top, crowned with a gazebo where you can catch your breath and admire the views (including a good one of Sacré-Coeur).
Add in expanses of lawn, more walks, and adorable little huts and other charming features (many aimed at children, like a Guignol theatre and a tiny carousel), and you have yourself a good time. Chloe, entirely focused on pigeons and the possibility of squirrels, was in heaven. None of us minded that on the day we visited, a good chunk of the park was cordoned off for repair and reconstruction.
The park is open everyday, from 7 am to 10 pm in the summer and from 7 am to 8 pm in the winter.