As an incorporated city in Polk County, Runnells is very small – with a population of around 600 people – but very dog-friendly. Runnells is near metropolitan Des Moines. Runnells offers a perfectly affordable place just outside Des Moines to relax with Fido after a long day in the big city. Runnells has several newly popular Airbnb rentals that will allow you to bring your dog for a cheap price – on average, $100 per night.
Although Runnells has a lovely dog park, the neighboring cities of Des Moines, Clive, and others have more activities and restaurants that are dog-friendly. Serving up everything from craft beers and comfort food to a variety of unique sandwiches, the Fido-friendly restaurants on the outskirts of town are sure to please the pickiest eaters.
The Polk area offers various activities as well. One of the locals’ favorites is hiking along the multipurpose trails. Another crowd favorite is the farmer’s market is Des Moines, where dozens of tents are set up for you and your favorite pooch to browse together (as long as your pal is on-leash, of course).
Numerous dog services are also available in this area. Veterinarians, stores, dog training and more are all located a short drive from Runnells. Whether you’re looking for a brief adventure or a place to call home, you’ll find everything you and your dog might need -- or want! -- in Polk County, all within driving distance of Runnells.
Rover’s Ranch is a privately owned, off-leash dog park. You will find anything and everything that you could ask for here. You will need to fill out the membership papers before using this park, but once those are in order, you and your fur babies are welcome to visit anytime. You will find that the park has pools to splash in, areas for just running, and agility courses, too. There are even training classes for you and your dog! If you need a vacation, they even offer boarding services for an extra fee. It’s the pawfect place to fulfill all your needs!
If you are looking for a barktastic adventure like no other, you should take a 30-minute car ride over to High Trestle Trail. Rails-to-Trails have absolutely outdone themselves on this one. They have turned an old rail trestle bridge into a walking path. You can see the entire area from these heights. You will definitely need to keep your dog on a leash for this adventure. The trail is open all hours and is usually pretty busy. This means that, besides exercise and great view, you will meet some new friends along the way!
The McVay Trail has been adopted by the Rails-to-Trails system. It is a place of history dating back to 1851. They have taken the railbed and lined it with asphalt so that it can be used for cycling, walking, and hiking. Your pup will love that there are tons of trees to sniff and bark at. You’ll love the feeling of walking through history. The original trestles are kept and incorporated as part of the trail system. It is more than just a great place to be active; it is also a great way to get around the area.
Want to take your best pal out for a meal? Head into downtown Des Moines, just half an hour from Runnells. The RoCA is a tapas bar that is located right on Court Ave. The sizes are just pawfect for a quick snack or for getting a sample of what they have to offer. Some of it is quite spicy, so make sure to find something suitable for Fido. You can join your pup right on the patio for a casual evening with friends or family. RoCA’s signature tapas and full meal dishes are just the thing to sate your hunger. There are mixed drinks with a signature flair as well.
Take a 30-minute car ride from Runnells and drive into history. The Chichaqua Valley Trail was originally laid as a railway in 1885. Rails-to-Trails laid asphalt along this 27-mile trail so that it could be used by the community while still preserving its history. The trail runs along Skunk Creek and the natural onion fields of Iowa. You will see beautiful farmland as you cross the country side. Enjoy the trail and explore a little more each time through multiple entrances that stretch across several cities. There is nothing better exploring natural history with your best fur-iend by your side!