Hays is a colorful little city steeped in the rich history of the Wild West. This charming frontier town still holds onto landmarks from its time as an outlaw town run by Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok. There’s a lot here for you and your canine companion to explore the scenic beauty of western Kansas. There are also four local vets to care for your furry family members, and an emergency hospital in town if you need care immediately.
This once little town is now a thriving city with lots of public parks and greenspace areas, giving you plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs and conquer outdoor adventures with your favorite fluffy pal. One thing you can’t miss is the extensive trail system that winds along Big Creek and joins the various parks on the Hays F.E.E.T Trail and F.H.S.U. Dike trail system.
Sniffers love the scenic, recreational area in Frontier Park where a creek runs through 89 acres. The park features walking trails, bridges that cross the creek, four large park shelters, and plenty of large shade trees. Tailwaggers love exploring the 1.5 mile Frontier Park Nature Trail with signs along the way that identify natural features and historical points of interest. Playful pups will also enjoy seeing the Frontier Park bison herd from afar as it stamps up big clouds of dust in a 9.5-acre enclosure.
You and your pup will have a pawtastic time exploring the history of this famous frontier town!
Hays Dog Park is a seven-acre furrific fenced area for off-leash play. It's tucked
behind the Bickle-Schmitt sportsplex with lots of space to run. Your pup will enjoy the dog-level water
fountain, but the water is turned off during winter months to keep the pipes
from freezing. There are benches, shade,
and dog waste stations in the designated off-leash area. After a fun day meeting new friends, you and your canine companion can stay the night at the
Holiday Inn or the Fairfield Inn, which both welcome four-legged guests. For a
shorter adventure, grab a leash and hit the one-mile Vineyard Nature Trail that traverses
several different environments, from wetlands to prairies as it navigates
inclines and water crossings.
Leashed pups are welcome on the two-mile
series of trails that make up the fur-iendly
Reynolds Nature Trail that crosses
through 22 acres of natural environment. This nature area winds through the upland prairie
and along the riparian corridor that immerses you in an ancient prairie land where you and your canine
companion will pass an amphitheater, cross a footbridge, and splash nearby ponds
along the way. The Hays Medical Center Trail is a ¾ mile hard trail that is a
pawfect short adventure for your sniffer to explore. There aren’t any off-leash
play areas, but your pup will love the loop trail that encircles the entire
park. Although the trail is pup-friendly, you’ll need to pack in your own water and doggy bags.
conveniently located Auble-Bickle Park has a large grassy area perfect for
throwing a Frisbee. Enjoy a run along the paved walking path to tire out your
energetic pup. There are restrooms and a large
shaded shelter house. While there are dog waste stations, there are no dog-level water
fountains, so bring along a portable bowl. In
case you decide to spend the night, there are several dog-friendly places, like the Fort Hays Inn, the EconoLodge and the Super 8. For extra supplies, you and your fluffy friend can make a quick stop
at the Orscheln Farm and Home for pawtastic pet supplies like beds, health,
grooming, food, toys and more.
Take a short walking tour on the Fort Hays State University campus. Sniffers will love the bounty of smells in the rose garden, and human companions can stop to read the various military markers and appreciate the artwork along the way. Don't miss Kansas' record-holding largest spruce tree! Then make your way over to Massey Park, which has playground equipment, basketball courts, covered picnic tables, and a large open area just right for throwing a ball. Doggos must be leashed, but water fountains and dog waste stations are available. After a long day, enjoy a woofderful meal out with your four-legged friend at the Paisley Pear restaurant under the stars in the dog-friendly seating area.
Don’t miss out on taking in a sunset
stroll along the shores of Cedar Bluff State Park at the nearby Cedar Bluff
Reservoir. You and your fluffy friend will love the 350 acres of open area on
the North Shore called the Bluffton Area. Water-loving
dogs enjoy splashing along the accessible shorelines of the lake that feature
recreational opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking, and exploring. There
are cabins, utility campsites, showers and undesignated primitive campsites
where you and your sniffer can rough it in a tent for a woofderful outdoor experience. Keep your doggo safe and leashed
within 10 feet of you or your campground.