Places to Walk Dog in Des Moines Ia

Are you new to the capital city of Iowa and fretting about where you can take your best friend to exercise? If you live in a trendy downtown loft, the best place for a scenic walk with your pooch is Gray’s Lake Park. Don’t even go to the trouble of getting the car from the underground garage. Just put a leash on Lassie and hook up with the downtown Bill Riley Trail.

BEST PLACE DOWNTOWN

With a distance of a mile and a half, the trail might be the best place for every day exercise or the routine stroll. But for an extra treat on a long weekend or a day off work, grab a pooper scooper and a bag and head to Gray’s Lake. Just obey the leash law and clean up after bathroom breaks like any responsible pet owner would do.

Located off Fleur Dr on the southern edge of downtown, Gray’s Lake Park offers a 2-mile trail looping around the lake. Known as a favorite meeting place and popular recreation area for locals, you will see many other people with their pets. If you’re looking for the opportunity to meet other dogs and their owners, this is a hot spot. The loop around the water is well lit with safety phones interspersed along the trail. A unique pedestrian bridge offers shining lights to welcome walkers. The spectacular scenery with a downtown sky line frame will leave Lassie asking for return visits. You can read more about this great place and all the parks and trail networks for dog walking in Des Moines at http://www.ci.des-moines.ia.us/departments/pr/grayslake.htm .

BEST PLACE OUTLYING AREA

If you don’t live in the downtown area and want a closer location for canine walking opportunities, you will hit the jackpot with Raccoon River Dog Park. If your dog isn’t too hyper to handle the freedom, this 10 acre park is completely fenced and Lassie can lose the leash! Find Grand Avenue which cuts through the city and suburbs to the east and the west and head to West Des Moines. Raccoon River Park is on the south side of Grand. Stay to the left as the road winds around the lake and past softball diamonds. The park is behind the last group of the south softball diamonds. Take a right at Beach Corner and your puppy will probably have the scent of new furry friends by the time you hit the entrance. A membership is required. But if you decide this made-just-for-dogs park is the best place to walk and play, then a year-long membership for only $30 for non-residents or $15 for people who live in West Des Moines, is a small price to pay. You can’t beat all the fun and games for your pet. Plus, the park is open from 6:30 in the morning until dusk. If you need more details check out this site http://www.wdm-ia.com/Index.aspx?page=222 .

BEST RURAL PLACE

If you want to head out to the country and discover the best place to walk your dog, head north on Highway 415 to Polk City and follow signs to Big Creek State Park located 11 miles north of Des Moines. If you are a real nature freak, you might hike the 26 miles trail winding from Des Moines to the south beach area at Big Creek Lake. The choice of this state park as the best rural place to walk your dog rates off the chart. Just ask the dog. The park itself is home to a wildlife refuge, so you know that means Lassie will love scaring up a squirrel or staring at a pheasant. After romping around in the brush, she can jump in the lake for a swim. You can buy her a snack at the concession stand or have a picnic at one of the shelters. You can even rent a sailboat or a pontoon at Big Creek Marina if you your dog wants to go for a ride on the water. With over 3550 acres and an 866 acre lake, you won’t run out of places to walk. If you do, go to the adjoining much larger Saylorville Lake Area. For more information on Big Creek, look at the DNR site http://www.iowadnr.gov/parks/state_park_list/big_creek.html .

Des Moines, IA offers an abundance of dog-friendly places to walk. The best place for you and your pal will depend on your personal list of important features. The trail system and city parks all allow leashed dogs under control of their owner who must pick up their waste products.