About 20 minutes west of the town of Avon is downtown West Des Moines – what a mouthful! Downtown, you’ll find a few little businesses that are dog-friendly, but the most fun you’ll have will be at Raccoon River Dog Park. This dog park, which locals hail for how large it is – nearly 12 acres! – is off-leash and completely fenced in, allowing your dog to run around in safety. A permit is required to use the park, so make sure you have everything sorted before you go. You’ll also want to remember to bring along some waste disposal bags, as none are provided.
If you and Fido are looking for another new place to explore during a walk, head to South Des Moines! About 15 minutes from Avon, you’ll find an access point for the Des Moines Trail, and the only question is: Who will enjoy it more, you or your dog? Make sure to bring along a camera, as locals say the views are gorgeous. Fido must remain on a leash at all times, which is for his own good; local wildlife loves exploring the trail just as much as your dog will. Parking and vending machines are available, so grab some water for you and your pup, and get moving!
About 20 minutes south of Avon, in the town of Indianola, you’ll find an access point to not one but three separate trails: the Jerry Kelley Trail, the McVay Trail, and the Summerset Trail. What dog doesn’t love going for a walk? In Indianola, you can have your pick. Your dog is allowed to join you on any of these trails, but you will need to bring along a leash. One is required, and it must be no longer than 6 feet in length. You’ll need to bring along your own water and waste disposal bags, though, as none are provided on the trails. Get out and get exploring!
A little over 15 minutes northwest of Avon is Des Moines’s East Village neighborhood, where you and your best four-legged pal will find plenty to do together. If you’re looking for something to do during the weekend, head over to the farmers’ market. Open on most Saturdays, you can support local farmers, buy fresh produce, and have fun with your pooch all at once! After you’re done shopping, head over to Scenic Route Bakery. This bakery serves up delicious sandwiches, salads, and more. Your dog can join you at an outdoor table. A leash is required at both locations.
Twenty minutes north of Avon is the city of Altoona, which has an access point to The Gay Lea Wilson Trail. This popular trail is a bit over 20 miles long, meaning you and your dog won’t run out of places to discover! This trail is known for its beautiful views; there are plenty of trees, so you can have a gorgeous, green view or a fiery, red view in autumn. As this trail is mostly flat, it’s fun for dogs and owners of all ages. Fido must remain on a leash at all times, and the trail doesn’t have any waste disposal bags, so you’ll want to bring along your own.