Jonesboro, Indiana is situated on the Mississinewa River, which runs right through Jonesboro, and is itself a great option for some leisurely dog walks. The town and surrounding areas have many dog-friendly amenities, including parks, greenways, and a fabulous Bark Park kitted out with activities specifically for your four-legged friend.
Jonesboro is proud of its history (the town motto is “Honoring the past, building for the future”), and in the local park, you can see the very first log cabin that was built in the town, which was owned by the Jonesboro’s founder, Obadiah Jones.
Another Indiana native they’re very proud of is Garfield the cat! Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis, hails from Fairmount, Indiana, and the nearby Garfield Trail features eleven statues of Garfield in captivating costumes or funny situations. Wonder what the pooch will make of that!
If you’re planning on staying in town for a few days, there are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations in the area. Options include Days Inn and Super 8 in Muncie, and Super 8 and Best Western in Gas City, both within close driving distance of Jonesboro. Pets stay free in all of these hotels, and big dogs and 2 or more pets are allowed.
Situated right in the heart of town, Jonesboro Community Park is the perfect spot to take your dog for a walk. There’s lots of space for your pooch to go rambling, and you can take in a piece of history while you’re at it at the Obadiah Jones Cabin. This was the first log cabin ever built in Jonesboro and was purchased by Obadiah Jones – the founder of Jonesboro – in 1834. Obadiah Jones actually lived on Main Street in this very cabin. Jonesboro Community Park also features a playground, ball diamonds, and a 3,200 sq. ft. community building.
In the nearby and wonderfully-named Gas City (which got its name from the natural gas boom of the 1800s) is Gas City Park. This park has a wealth of amenities on offer, including ball diamonds, playgrounds, a swimming pool, and even a petting zoo. The park is home to many festivals, including 4th of July and Labor Day celebrations, as well as a Christmas light display each December. And if you and your pooch like a bit of rock n’ roll (and what pooch doesn’t?) you can enjoy the “Concerts in the Park” that happen every summer in June and July.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization that is converting disused railway lines all over the country into walking trails. The Cardinal Greenway is one such trail. Stretching for 61 miles, and passing through Jonesboro, the trail takes its name from the Cardinal, the last passenger train to regularly travel the route. The Cardinal Greenway is part of the Northern Route of the American Discovery Trail, a series of trails that runs coast-to-coast across the United States. And there’s certainly plenty to see and discover on the Cardinal Greenway, including miles of unspoiled scenery and the 3,200-acre Mississinewa Lake and its surrounding recreation areas.
One attraction dog lovers and their pets won’t want to miss is the ARF Bark Park, a one-acre fenced area where pets can run off-leash and have fun in the specially-designed play areas. ARF stands for the Animal Rescue Fund, whose mission is to provide shelter, medical care, and love to abused, abandoned, and neglected animals until permanent homes can be found. Membership of the park costs $50 per household for a year, or you can simply pay $5 per visit. And because all proceeds from membership fees go directly to the animals in ARF’s care, you can be happy knowing that you’re doing a good deed while Spot gets to have some fun.
After all that exercise, you and your pooch might need to refuel. Culver’s is a dog-friendly restaurant in nearby Marion, Indiana. Alongside their famous “Butterburgers”, sandwiches, and salads, you can also indulge in fresh frozen custard, shakes, and sundaes. There are outdoor tables for you and your canine companion to relax at, as well as a drive-thru window to make it easier for dog owners to order their food while keeping an eye on their pets. After all that delicious food, though, you may want to hit the Cardinal Greenway again for a few miles!