If a dog is a man’s best friend, then they deserve to be allowed to join us humans in some of our favorite activities, right? Sure, we can take our dogs on the same walk around the block every day but that gets boring for everyone involved rather quickly. Downtown Appleton and the surrounding Fox Cities are currently undergoing a “dog friendly initiative,” which is great news for our four legged pals. Here are 10+ of the best spots in our neck of the woods to spend some quality time with our furry friends.
1. CU Saloon in Appleton
“Yappy hour,” the next best thing to “happy hour.” Take your Wednesday night to a whole new level, and bring your pup with you for a midweek recess and enjoy a beer with a friend while your dog socializes with other people’s dogs who clearly have the same interests as you do. CU Saloon offers a couple different beers from Bare Bones Brewery for their two legged guests to enjoy, and $1 from each of those beer purchases gets donated to Downtown Appleton’s Dog Friendly Initiative as well as the Grey Muzzle Organization. It really doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
2. Drool in the Pool
It’s really not as gross as it sounds! With summer being right around the corner, (we hope,) our pups need to cool off just like we do every once in a while. Thankfully, local pools such as Mead Pool in Appleton and Neenah Public in Neenah will sometimes host all the well behaved neighborhood dogs for an evening in the pool. Typically, humans are to stay out of the pool while the dogs swim and do dog-like things in the water. Follow our local pools on Facebook for updates on when these unique events are hosted. The best part is, most of the proceeds typically go towards local animal shelters.
3. Lucy’s Closet
You just heard about “Drool in the Pool,” so now you have to find the perfect swimsuit for your favorite companion to debut on their first swimming outing of the summer. Well you’re in luck, Lucy’s Closet in Neenah is likely to carry something that is fashionable enough for your pup. They carry everything from dog jackets to dog carriers, and they allow your dog to shop with you. After all, they will be wearing it so they might as well help in the shopping process.
P.S. No, swimsuits aren’t required at Drool in the Pool, though appreciated for humorous purposes.
4. The Depawsitory
Very similar to Lucy’s Closet but The Depawsitory is located right in downtown Appleton. Stop in this cute little boutique during any of their fun pet related events, or just when you’re feeling extra generous and want to get your furry friend a homemade healthy treat. Follow them on their Facebook page to hear about all of their fun events.
5. High Cliff State Park
It is no hidden gem, almost everyone in the area has spent a day hiking here or climbing the infamous lookout tower but it is one of those places that you don’t get sick of. Pack a leash and a baggy, and get ready to tire your dog out on over 16 miles of hiking trails. During your hike, have your camera ready in order to catch astonishing views of limestone cliffs and the beauty of Lake Winnebago.
Girl and dog overlooking Lake Winnebago
6. Outagamie Dog Park
A whole 17 acres of land designated for all dogs to run off some energy and meet others of their kind. North Park includes 5 acres of open field where you and your dog can practice a good ol’ game of fetch. South Field is a partially wooded 12 acre lot that includes tall grasses and trails, for a more structured outing. If you’re someone that has a small dog, there is a designated area for those who are under 17 inches tall! Located on the corner of French Road and “OO”. This wonderful place only has 3 rules: pick up after your dog, control your children, and share water if possible! Website here.
7. Wiouwash Trail
This trail can be a great challenge for those adventurous dog owners, and of course, dogs. The lower trail stretches for 22 miles from Hortonville to Oshkosh. You can choose to do a short portion of it, or the entire trail in one day. It’s the perfect spot to practice long distance hikes with your dog in preparation for a future trip. This specific part of the trail takes you along Lake Butte Des Morts and then through tall grasses and wildlife areas. Pack a picnic lunch for you and the pup, and check out this neat Wisconsin trail.
8. Fox Cities Trestle Trail
Who knew there were so many good hiking spots right in our immediate neighborhood? This trail is located in Menasha, and you can access it starting at Fritse Park. The trail has a 1,600 foot pedestrian bridge, the longest one in Wisconsin! From the trail you can also access Rydell Conservancy, which is another one mile, well maintained wood chip trail.
9. Pet Friendly Restaurants
A few restaurants in the Fox Cities have outdoor seating that allows pets. A few include:
Carmel Crisp – Oshkosh
Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In – Oshkosh
Leon’s Frozen Custard – Oshkosh
Bare Bones Brewery – Oshkosh
Brewed Awakenings – Appleton
Fox River House – Appleton
10. Winnebago County Park
Best Friends Dog Park is located within Winnebago County Park. Bring your own water when you go. There is a separate area for little pups at the park and there are lights for night trips!
With so many options so close to home, it is nearly impossible to stay home cooped up with your pup. Get out there to explore these areas, and let’s work hard to help Appleton and the surrounding Fox Cities to become more dog friendly.