Carterville is a bustling, pupperific town in Southern Illinois. The town is within an hour of 29 different wineries if you care to explore the local wine country. The town was established in 1871. It was originally a coal mining community. Today, the area is focused on education and performing arts.
Carterville is bordered to the south by Crab Orchard Lake, a popular place for those who love to be by the water for fishing and boating. Carterville is a thriving and growing community with its own business sector in addition to the local wineries. Dog walkers love the area for the many parks and trails that residents have access to.
The Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is just twelve minutes south from the center of town. The refuge is designed to preserve local wildlife and provide a reserve of natural resources for both the people and animals that live there. The area has plenty of walking and hiking spots to sniff around with your leashed pup! Just don't forget to bring waste bags to keep this habitat tidy.
The nearest animal hospitals are less than ten minutes away in the neighboring town of Herrin, making the task of finding great veterinary care for your pup easy and stress-free!
The town center of Carterville is where you will find all of the fun! Cannon Park is a pupular destination where you will find athletic fields, walking paths surrounding a local pond, and even a playground where the whole family can get some much-needed fun in the sun. There are even some pieces of ADA-accessible play equipment for an inclusive experience. If you are visiting this lovely park with your family and your pup, make sure you bring plenty of water, snacks, and waste bags! You may even want to bring along a picnic blanket if you plan to spend the day.
About 40 minutes from Carterville you will find the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park. This park is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts. You can engage in hiking, fishing, picnicking, water sports, and even horseback riding in this park. There are plenty of spaces for bird watchers and photographers as well to find plenty of sights for sore eyes. Rend Lake is the place to be if you are an adept angler or would like to try your hand at the sport. Dogs are welcome throughout the park as long as they are on-leash and supervised. There is also a variety of camping available from rustic to modern.
The Trail of Tears National Forest is a historically and culturally significant place about 50 minutes from Carterville. The area was once home to many Native Americans. The name serves as a reminder that Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw nations were forced to leave their homes in the early 1800s to make room for the settlers. Today, there are memorials throughout the park to teach visitors about the area's checkered past. Nature enthusiasts and history explorers will find the dog friendly trails both sobering and educational as much as they are beautiful. Just make sure you have a harness to help your pup along the terrain.