An incorporated community in Clay County, Kenner is a small place within Harter Township, Illinois. Significantly remote from the main commercial and entertainment centers, Kenner can be found along a railroad line stretching southwest of Flora. Unfortunately, the community does not have any pet-friendly facilities or public parks -- you will have to travel farther south to Herrin or west to St. Louis for more. There are plenty of welcoming beaches, adventurous hiking trails, and public parks in the surrounding areas! If your puppy needs some medical attention, the closest veterinary clinic will be in Flora.
You can take your furry friend for a leashed walk in the small Charley Brown Park in Flora. This is a simple public park with an abundance of shade, some benches, and walking trails. But this might not be enough for your mischievous mutt! Travel south to North Marcum Recreation Area, which hugs the banks of Rend Lake in Benton. This area features an alluring and clean sandy beach with picnic facilities. Bond with your buddy while he dips his tired paws in the water or shares a snack with you at the picnic area.
On your way back, visit Bandanas BBQ in Mount Vernon, a Southern-style restaurant with tasty smoked ribs, a pet-friendly atmosphere, and a few outdoor tables for pets.
North 5th Street in Herrin, a city in Williamson County, Illinois, will lead you to a furrific place where pooches of all sizes and temperaments can have some off-lesah fun! This public park, complete with a pond and playgrounds, has plenty of shaded spots, lots of trees, paved walking trails, and an enclosed dog park for you and Fido to enjoy. At the time of writing (2018), Herrin Dog Park is still under construction. Nevertheless, it's a fully functioning facility with a fence, two areas for small and large pooches, shaded spots, benches, and water hydrants. Herrin Dog Park is rarely busy, but it's a great place to sniff out some new furry friends on the weekends!
The southwestern part of Murphysboro is bordered by Big Muddy River, which is adjacent to Riverside Park. This public park is one of the most popular places to gather together with friends and enjoy some live music from local artists, or share a sandwich with drinks in the picnic area. You coming with Fido? Great! The park has a fenced facility dedicated to your mutt's comfort and fun! Riverside Dog Park is a double-gated park split into two areas for small and large breeds. Benches, shade, seating and drinking water facilities are all available here. If all that playing made you and your hound hungry, enjoy the friendly atmosphere at 17th Street, one of the best restaurants in the state with outdoor seating and fingerlickin' good smoked meat!
Shawnee National Forest is an extensive terrain covered in woodlands, rolling hills, and lakes in the Heron area, southeast of St. Louis. Bordered by Ohio River to the east, the forest offers a wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy with your pup. Fishing, hiking, swimming and even rock-climbing (for the most daring pups!) are some of the options for visitors. Start with the observation trail -- Garden of the Gods Recreation Area -- offering plenty of unusual rock formations dating back 320 million years! Your pup should stay on their leash here, especially while exploring Rim Rock Recreation Area, another path along the rim of a rock escarpment.
Love visiting quirky places with Fido and posting about it on social media? Do not hesitate to come to Cumberland, an eastern neighborhood of Casey, Illinois, to enjoy the views of the World’s Largest Golf Tee in Casey Country Club! Leash up your buddy and walk around this huge monument dedicated to golf lovers. And, if you go down the road to Main Street, you will find another surprise -- the World’s Largest Wind Chime. Cumberland sure does know how to set some world records! After exploring Cumberland's monuments, it's time to relax and dig in to the delicious, locally made sandwiches at one of the outdoor tables in Whistling Whimsy Café on East Main Street.
Shelbyville is a charming city in Shelby County, Illinois. Facing the water, the northeastern part of the town reveals a picturesque place with impressive recreation areas and one of the biggest parks in the county. Clean and well-maintained, Forest Park is a public spot which suits perfectly for a morning jog with Fido or calm, evening strolls. Your puppy should behave so the wildlife in the forest can enjoy your presence as much as you do! The park has wonderful pet-friendly lakeside walking trails, which are a natural pleasure to explore with Fido and a great place to snap a few pictures!