Little dogs and big dogs all enjoy getting outside in the fresh air and back to the roots of their wild ancestors. Luckily, Minnesota is a dog-friendly state that offers dog parks, trails and treks around the lake for pooches to get some exercise. Put your own pair of tennis shoes on and jog along with your dog on dog-friendly running trails as well. As the winter fades and the snow melts, take advantage of all that Minnesota has to offer.
Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Byway
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation
2117 W. River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55411
The Chain of Lakes Scenic Byway threads a path around three lakes right outside of downtown Minneapolis. The entire trail consists of over 13 miles of walking and biking paths, perfect for you and your pooch. Thread around Lake Harriet during the summer and check out live music at the Bandshell or see the old Como-Harriet Streetcar run a quick route between lakes. Other attractions along the byway include the Bird Sanctuary, Rose Gardens and the Peace Gardens. Playgrounds and picnic spots are adjacent to the trails for more opportunities to run and play.
Arlington-Arkwright Dog Park
400 Arlington Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55145
An off-leash dog park in St. Paul, Arlington-Arkwright offers 4.5 acres of running, walking and playing for your pooch. The park offers some of the features of the wild including hills, grassy knolls and small ponds for dogs that love to swim. Wooded trails are lined with wood chips to minimize the mud that can be created on the paths and the park is enclosed to keep pets inside of the area. Five entrances with swing gates surround the park and picnic tables can be found throughout the open space so humans can rest.
Dale Road Dog Park
11664 Dale Road
Woodbury, MN 55125
A larger, more vast dog park in a suburb of the Twin Cities, the Dale Road Dog Park offers about 70 acres of land for your dog to romp around. Part of the park is left unfenced, however, so be careful where your dog romps off to. The park offers short or long walks through wooded areas, wide open fields for running and forests and hills for some fun terrain. The park is equipped with running water for pet watering stations and benches for resting. Be sure your dog has a license as it is required at this park.
Related: Best Dog Walking Trails In Minnesota
Luce Line State Trail
63 miles between Plymouth, MN and Cosmos, MN
The Luce Line State Trail was created as a recreational pathway for hikers, bikers, walkers, joggers and all Minnesotans who wish to get outside year-round. Once a railroad line, the Luce Line Trail was renovated and is maintained by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, an organization dedicated to preserving the historical significance of railways. The trail runs through areas of limestone and natural landscapes as it was once the main path between downtown Minneapolis and western central Minnesota. You and your pooch can enjoy vast areas of developed and undeveloped areas, pastures, farm fields and many other sites along this trek.
Bayfront Festival Park
350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802
Bring Fido to this scenic and beautiful park for a day of fun and exercise. The Bayfront Park Pavilion is the center of activity along the shores of Lake Superior. Outdoor concerts and events occur frequently with fun festivals and entertainment. Take your dog for a jaunt around the Duluth Lakewalk as well to see the beautiful gardens, beaches and parks surrounding the lake. Doggie trash bags are available at certain points around the walk to help pick up after your pooch and the park is always dog friendly.
Related: Best Doggy Day Care In Minnesota
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.