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The agricultural spirit of Palmer, Alaska, stays strong, even in the digital, high-tech age of computers and database. The Alaska State Fair, which is proudly held annually in Palmer, is just one of the many traditions that have been kept over the years. Naturally, the residents of Palmer are very fond of the animals as well.
There are no off-leash dog parks in the Palmer region. This, however, does not take away from Palmer being a very dog-friendly town. There is a huge number of community parks in Palmer as there is plenty of open space in the region. The Sherrod Park, Wilson Park, Fairfield Park, Hagen Park and McKechnie Park.
Palmer is a very popular camping location, and if you are planning a pet-friendly adventure in the Alaska outdoors, Palmer is a great location. There are four RV parks and campgrounds that allow dogs on their property as long as they remain leashed. You can also opt for a stay in the Alaska Garden Gate B&B that comes with all the standard and expected comforts of a real home, just like yours, while you're in beautiful Alaska!
The closest real dog park in the area is the Chugiak Dog Park near Birchwood Airport. However, with so many excellent nature trails in the Palmer area, there is no real need for a dog park. The Hatcher Pass Scenic Drive, Reed Lakes Trail, and Lazy Mountain Winter Trails are an amazing hike for both dogs and owners.
Palmer is home to the annual Alaska State Fair, and hosts the doggone exciting competition of Flyball. This dog sport is second to only sledding in dog-based competition in Alaska. Flyball operates like a relay team only with dogs. At the end of the relay, there is a specially designed box that the dog must press to release the ball for the next in the relay. Dogs of every size, and breed can be a part of a Flyball team. If not on a team, dogs may wag on their favorite competitors. The Fair runs every year in August.
Hatcher’s Pass, located 12 miles north of Palmer in the Talkeetna Mountains, provides rugged backcountry hiking. The pass is maintained by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.This beautiful trail into the mountains will exercise even the fittest working dog. Dogs may walk off-leash, but dog and person are advised to stay on the trail lest an encounter with a bear could make for a ruff misadventure. This trail is only passable on foot a few short months of the year so bring water, food, and some well-functioning hearts. In the winter, the pass is popular with snowboarders and skiers. Most dogs -- apart from sled dogs -- would opt for visiting during the summer, since things are slow-going on the Pass in fall and winter.
Matanuska State Park in Sutton-Alpine, located an hour’s drive away from Palmer, has it all: camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and outdoor fun for tailed and tailless.The park has a boat launch and boat rental, and the waters are also stocked with trout. Dogs are not prohibited from any activities. Polite dogs may traverse the many hiking trails off-leash. However, you’ll need to keep your furry friend on a leash at the campsite. There are quiet hours enforced at the campground so no barking, please. This is a fur and family-friendly park, and campers are asked to clean up after their dogs especially on hiking trails. The park is open year round.
Lake Lucile Park in Wasilla, just 20 minutes outside of Palmer, gives dogs a chance to be dogs in a breathtaking outdoor setting. This park offers camping, fishing, and swimming. Dogs can roam free outside the main camping area, where there are few restrictions. Well-behaved dogs may stay off-leash under their owner’s guidance. If your puptastic pal wants to make a few furr-ends, let him play in the expansive, on-site dog park, open all year from 8 a.m until 10 p.m. The dog park is located at the entrance of Lake Lucile park. It’s a good place to stretch your legs before heading out for a day’s adventure on Alaska’s scenic roadways.
Alaska TLC Kennels, at 2031 S Terrace Court in Palmer, provides a home away from home for dogs who need to board. This boarding facility has 14 fenced exercise areas for dogs to enjoy during their stay. Alaska TLC Kennels limits the number of boarders so is a good idea to call in advance to hold your spot. Dogs that board can get down and dirty with their fellow furry friends in the yard four times a day. The business also offers full service grooming to both boarders and non-boarders who just want a little pampering. Give your pal a treat with the puppy pedicure, a popular service at Alaska TLC.
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