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Osceola, Arkansas is a historically significant city on the Mississippi River. It has a lot to offer history buffs interested in agriculture and technology. The area was once home to Native Americans and was later settled by farmers, loggers, and settlers. The town was originally known as "Plumb Point," referenced in Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi. Parts of the area were later turned into cotton farms.
The town was officially formed in 1833 with the establishment of a local government, and it was incorporated in 1853. The town also has a history of women's rights activities. Osceola had one of the first all-woman school boards in the nation's history, and the local press had a female editor-in-chief as early as 1906.
There is one animal hospital right in the town of Osceola. There are two large wooded parks on the other side of the river, directly across from the town. Fort Pillow State Historic Park is full of hiking opportunities among many Civil War artifacts and displays. Leashed pets are permitted to join you along the paths as long as you clean up after them and obey all posted signs. The fort itself was built in 1861, and became a state park in 1971.
Oceola is a fun little town with plenty of history and local charm. While walking with your pup, you are sure to find plenty to see as you make your way down the main streets, from historic buildings to beautiful green spaces where you and Fido can unwind. Florida Park is both an open field and playground right in the middle of town where locals are known to visit with both their two- and four-legged little ones for a full day of fetch or family picnics! Just make sure you keep your four-legged friends on a leash.
Ripley is a town across the state line in Tennessee, right on the other side of the Mississippi River. It takes about an hour and a half to drive there from Osceola, so make sure you pack for a hefty car ride! It is well worth the drive, though, when you come to the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge. This wild oasis is home to over 25,000 acres of wetlands full of migrating and local birds. Don't let the wetlands fool you, though -- there are plenty of places for you and Spot to walk and enjoy this puptacular gem of the Mississippi.
Henning is about two hours away from Osceola. If your dog can tolerate a long car ride, it will be worth his wait to sniff out the Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is a place where you can explore, hunt, fish, scope out some wildlife, or even just take photos with your pup. Dogs must be on a leash and wearing proper identification while in the refuge, and if you are hunting, there are some restrictions on where and when you can bring your dog. Make sure to check all posted hunting signs and keep your dog harnessed and leashed throughout the area.
This gorgeous wildlife management is one hour away from Osceola. The area is a huge, narrow strip of land that is famed for duck hunting and fishing. The St. Francis River is just to the north and is a pupperific place if you need to get away from it all for a day. Let your pup's nose lead the way as you walk through the area, paying close attention to stay on the marked paths, as the area is used heavily during hunting season. Your pup will need to be on a leash, but he will be so busy identifying every whiff of every bird that he won't notice!
The Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is just an hour and fifteen mintues away from Osceola and is a pupperific spot for hiking, bird and animal watching, camping, and even horseback riding! This state park is 12,539 acres of bottomlands, just 13 miles away from Memphis. The park is home to endangered and protected plants, so be sure to tread lightly and stay on marked paths! Camping is allowed in the park if you and your pup are looking for a chance to unplug for a while. You can also rent a cabin for your whole family! A variety of wildlife calls this park home, from deer to otters and bobcats, along with over 200 species of wild birds!
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