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The quaint little town of Harrisburg, Arkansas may not be the tourist attraction of the world, but it has a lot to offer the 2,598 residents and multiple visitors who are lucky enough to enjoy this slice of heaven. Harrisburg is only two miles in area, so the amenities it gives to its human and doggie tourists are limited, un-fur-tunately.
Since Harrisburg is geographically small, there are only about 900 households residing there. This serves to keep the neighborhoods little and the personalities and manners big. Harrisburg gives off of that small-town feel where everyone helps out everyone, so if you walk through town with your pups, prepare to be stopped for friendly conversation and lots of scratching, petting, and spoiling!
Harrisburg is in the Bolivar Township of the Jonesboro Municipal Area, where its population density of 1050.4 people per square mile is well above average for the area. You’ll find it very family-friendly, however -- most of the households are married with children under the age of 18. You will find lots of playmates for your dogs at the local parks, both human and furry!
If you are looking to stay a few days in Harrisburg, there are eight local hotels that are just panting to take care of you and your pets. Never fear if Fido gets sick -- he will get small-town love and care combined with modern technology and medicine at one of the many veterinary clinics here. Are you hungry? You and your pets can enjoy curbside service at the local drive-thru, or sit on one of their outside benches and enjoy the fresh air while you both indulge in some delicious dinners and shakes.
Being lazy in Harrisburg is always welcome if you are on vacation, but you don’t have to be! After dinner, burn off those excess calories by taking a scenic walk in one of the town parks, or playing fetch by the beach at Lake Poinsett State Park. Here, you can stay in your RV or tent if you prefer, then canoe or kayak on the lake and relax, snuggle with your pup, and enjoy the beautiful views. Dogs must be leashed at all times in this state park, and don't forget to bring plenty of waste bags to help keep it clean and green!
When you've explored all of the parks and things to do in Harrisburg, roll the window down and let your dogs keep you company as you travel the 19 miles to Marked Tree. (This area was not named after the founding dog’s territory according to humans, but the truth may have come out if dogs wrote the history books!) Here, you can explore the St. Louis River. This huge territory encompasses the dog-friendly Ouachita National Recreation Trail, which winds throughout Pinnacle Mountain State Park all the way up by Little Rock to Talimena State Park in Oklahoma. Be sure you bring your doggie waste bags and drinking water. Leashes are optional in some areas, but required in others, so your best bet is to have it on you at all times.
Jonesboro is just 21 miles away, and this city loves our canine friends so much that it's in the process of opening Jonesboro Bark Park, advertised as “a place for you and your pets!” The groundbreaking opening ceremony was in 2016, and since then, the dog park has hosted multiple events to finalize funding, so there is always something pet-friendly going on there. You can also visit Craigshead Forest Park, which is pet-friendly as long as your dogs are on a leash. Although there are no designated dog parks yet, Craigshead residents are happy to meet your furry companion.
While you are in Jonesboro, treat your pet to a nice meal at one of their 12 pet-friendly restaurants. Jtowns Grill’s delicious menu is a neighborhood attraction in itself, and it also has ten outdoor tables set up for your pooch to relax while you both enjoy the view of Centennial Park Football Stadium. After dinner, take a ride over to Bliss Cupcake Cafe, where they have dog-friendly options for dessert (but be sure to bring a leash -- no pets allowed inside)! After such a busy day, you may find Fido snoring in the backseat of your car on the way back to Harrisburg, but he’ll surely be up and ready in the morning to do it all over again!
For fun for all ages and breeds, you can visit the Trumann Recreation Complex in Trumann, about a twenty-minute drive from Harrisburg. Rated five woofs by pups everywhere, this park is a sports complex complete with spacious baseball fields, an outdoor playground, and a quarter-mile running track where your running partner has free reign when games are not in session. There is a 10,000 square foot recreation complex, but dogs are not generally allowed inside the arena. Don't forget to bring the essentials, including water and waste bags! If you and Fido want to spend a little longer exploring Trumann, you'll find some furrific pet-friendly lodging options here.
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