Great Dog Friendly Places Around Springfield

Today I want to talk about something other than the hot real estate market (really it’s hot).  I want to talk about dog friendly areas around Springfield and where we can spend quality time with our dogs.  Really, who does not like talking about their good puppy dogs?

With the weather getting warmer, we start spending more time outside. If you are like me you hate to always leave your dog behind. Luckily, Springfield has many great dog friendly places.  Below are some of my favorite destinations that are dog friendly.  Some on the list might surprise you as well.

Greenway Trails

Springfield has 68 miles of Greenway Trails offering great ribbons of nature throughout the community for you and your best friend to explore.  These hard-surfaced paths have minimal grade and provide free public access and are typically along stream corridors or abandoned railroad right-of-ways. Most of the Greenway Trails connect to parks around town and are a great way to let your dog work off some of that energy.

Cruse Dog Park

Cruse Dog Park is the first off-leash dog park in Springfield, Missouri. Officially ‘unleashed’ in November, 2008, the park is a 6-acre, fenced facility for dogs to go off-leash to run, play, socialize and exercise. There is a 4 1/2-acre section for large dogs and a one and a half-acre section for small dogs.

Dog parks are a great place for your dog to socialize and exercise. A socialized dog makes a better pet for you, your children, other humans and other dogs. Dog parks offer larger areas for dogs to play than most backyards allow. This provides a much larger place for your pet to run off-leash in a safe environment.

Lake Springfield

Lake Springfield offers 153 acres of parkland, featuring trails, woods, bluffs, and more than a mile of shoreline.  The park and trails are dog friendly.  You will need to bring your own canoe or kayak to take your buddy on the water as boat rentals do not allow dogs.  Lake Springfield Park trail is 1.4 miles wood chip trail with quarter mile markers.  James River Greenway Trail is 1.7 mile paved trail.  The Greater Ozark Audubon Trail is a wood chip trail along the bluffs over looking Lake Springfield.  Lots of great areas for you and your dog to explore and enjoy the great views.

Fantastic Caverns

Fantastic Caverns is unique in terms of cave attractions in that dogs are welcome to take the eerie underground tour with you, for it was a dog that first discovered the caves back in 1862, out on a stroll with his Ozarks’ farmer master! Five years later 12 bold Springfield women answered an ad for cave explorers and, by flickering lantern-light, began to discover the wonders within. Their names are still clearly etched in black on a protruding rock. Since then the caverns have been home to Prohibition parties, high school proms and live bands with over 1,000 toe-tappers in attendance.

“Along the roomy, brightly lit passageways, visitors can see thousands of speleothems – cave formations that include stalactites and stalagmites, tiny soda straws, cave pearls, massive columns and flowstones, each one like no other, and all created by water a drop at a time, taking us back through the ages to a day when no human footstep was heard here.” Fantastic Caverns Website

Dogs and owners ride up front in the tour guide’s buggy. The rest of the visitors rattle along in the trolley behind. The temperature is a comfortably cool 60 degrees year-round and the geologically and historically fascinating tour takes about an hour.

Bass Pro Shops

Welcome to the original and frankly jaw-dropping Bass Pro Shops.  At 500,000 square feet this is the biggest Outdoor World in existence, complete with waterfalls, alligators, stuffed animal displays and this friendly black bear greeting you at the door…

Exploring Bass Pro feels like a cross between being out in the wilds and visiting an amusement park. There’s just so much to take in from the soaring foliage-draped ceilings to the freshly-made fudge counter. There’s even a museum showcasing Jesse James’ revolver and holster. Lots of great areas to explore throughout the store with your dog.  Bass Pro Shops also has a yearly Dog Days event with photos, health and wellness checkups, micro chipping, and grooming demos.

Andy’s Frozen Custard

After a long day of hanging out with your furry buddy, you might need a cool treat. Andy’s Frozen Custard offers free Pup Cones for your dog. It does not get much better than that, a cool treat for you and a great treat for your sweet puppy dog. I just recommend letting you dog enjoy their treat outside of your car.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is a national park dedicated to preserving the history of the Civil War battle.  The best part is that all of the outdoor areas of the park are dog friendly.

A 4.9 mile paved tour road is accessible by private vehicle, bicycle, or on foot (rollerblades, skateboards and other similar modes of transport are prohibited). There are eight interpretive stops at significant points on the tour road. There are five walking trails off the tour road for individual exploration, varying in length from 1/4 to 3/4 of a mile. A 7-mile trail system for horseback riding and hiking is accessible from the tour road. Parking is available in the Visitor Center parking area as well as at each of the eight interpretive stops.

Area Dog Events

Annual Dog swim occurs around the first of September at Fassnight Park swimming pool.  One dog per person and proceeds go to the development of another off leash dog park.

Bark in the Park is a fun and exciting day in at Nathaniel Greene/Close Memorial Park with your family and beloved canine. Kick off the day with a guided walk around Lake Drummond at 11 a.m.  Then check out demonstrations, doggy yoga and other activities at the Canine Vendor Village.  Proceeds benefit Cruse Dog Park.

Dog Fest at Chesterfield Family Center Park is an annual dog fest towards the end of September with demonstrations, over 40 booths, a silent auction, and more. The proceeds benefit Cruse Dog Park.

Needing a dog?

If you are looking to get a new dog there are many great organizations around Springfield.  The Springfield Humane Society is an open admission, no kill shelter that helped place 6,000 animals in 2016.

Rescue One is a licensed, no kill rescue helping animals in Southwest Missouri.  Animals in our care are spayed or neutered, receive all appropriate veterinary care, and placed into nurturing foster homes while they wait for their permanent homes.

C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue was founded in 1992 and is dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals.  CARE is a licensed no kill animal rescue.  Their adoption center is located in Springfield.

Wonder Weims is the rescue organization I got Jax from.   Wonder Weims is a no-kill animal rescue group dedicated to rescuing Weimaraners in Missouri and Nebraska. They focus on helping to heal their emotional and physical wounds, educate the public on the breed, temperament, training, exercise and leadership.

These are just a few of the many great organizations around helping to protect a care for dogs in need.  Many of these organizations also need foster families to help these dogs until they can find their forever home.

As always if you and your pup need a bigger dog house give me a call at 417-693-3254 or email me at  Feel free to visit to check out all the homes for sale around your favorite dog hangout. If you like this blog feel free to share it with your fiends.

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