Texico is a small town with a colorful history. It wasn’t even given a name until 1901, when resident Cashus M. Columbus Theodore Claybourn put the name together upon moving to Texas. He borrowed “Tex” from the state he’d move to, added an “I” for Illinois, and took the “C” from his own name! He added the “O” from a family who owned most of the land south of town, the Osborns. Somehow, the name stuck, and Texico has now been named more than one hundred years. The population has grown through the years, but it’s still a rather small place, with only 851 residents as of 2010.
Though the community is small, it’s well served by neighboring towns and the county in general. There are four veterinary clinics within a 15 minute drive from Texico’s borders. If you want to stretch that to 30 minutes, you’d have over a dozen, including full service animal hospitals.
You can find great dog-friendly places to stay in Mount Vernon, IL, which is just fifteen minutes from the heart of Texico. Altogether, Texico is a great place to visit if you want to experience fresh air and the charms of a small town.
Downtown Centralia is home to Centralia Foundation Park, a great place to walk your dog. Centralia is located just 20 minutes from Texico, and this park is more than worth the drive. The park is spacious, with walking trails, a pond, and a frisbee golf course. Your dog will enjoy the long trails and beautiful prairie grasslands that make up the bulk of the park. Keep them on leash at all times, even if you’re straying far from other park-goers. The paths are popular with cyclists as well as joggers! Bring your own water bottle, because water fountains are few and far between. It’s the price you pay for a pawsome, natural park space!
Bryan Memorial Park in Downtown Salem is a must-see if you’re in the area. Texico’s larger neighbor Salem is just 20 minutes away. The drive is completely worth it whether it’s just you and your pup or you’re bringing your whole family. Inside Bryan Memorial Park is a fenced off, off-leash area known as the Salem Dog Park. Your pup can play with friends to their hearts’ content. In the park at large, there’s a large playground and water attractions in the summer for kids. If your dog is too shy for the dog park, she will enjoy the long walking paths, which vary in length from short to looping so your pup gets the right amount of exercise.
If you’re ready to spend the whole day with your dog in nature, load up the car for a 30 minute hop to East Bonnie. Rend Lake State Waterfowl Preserve is an amazing place to explore with your dog. Take a few minutes before you go to fill out a training application online. There’s no fee, and it allows your dog to spend some off leash time inside the park--as long as you’re working on training. This wildlife area covers a few hundred acres. It’s great for viewing waterfowl, but be aware that hunting is permitted in the area. If it’s in season, add something brightly colored to yourself and your pup for extra safety, but don’t worry too much unless you’re a duck!
If you have a shy dog, head to Downtown Wamac to the Wamac City Park. Just a twenty-minute drive from Texico, Wamac City Park is a great place for a shy dog to have a pawsome time. The park is on the smaller side, but that works in your favor. One side of the park is a baseball field, and the other is a wooded area with a simple loop path that runs through the trees. A leashed dog can walk the half-mile loop once, twice, or as many times as it takes to be calm. The secluded design of the trail makes it easy to forget that you’re not far from civilization!
The nearby town of Dahlgren is home to the Dahlgren Community Park and Ball Fields, a great place to take your dog to walk and socialize with people--especially if you have kids who need to be entertained at the same time! The park hosts many community events and sports leagues, so there’s almost always something to see in this park. There’s also a small play area for kids, and a much larger picnic area great for enjoying lunch in the great outdoors. Bring your own supplies of water and food. Energetic dogs will love to people watch, and there’s plenty of room to walk!