Named for its location -- as it's nestled in a bend on the Arkansas River -- Great Bend, KS truly has the best of both worlds. The Barton County seat is large enough to have access to everything you need, but compact enough to have a small-town, neighborly feel. This tight-knit community wasn’t always so family-friendly, though -- the city was settled in the late 1800s, and with the arrival of the Santa Fe railroad, Great Bend became known as a rowdy Kansas cowtown. The scenes of day-to-day life could have been taken straight out of a Western movie, as the frontier settlement became infamous for its dance halls, saloons, and shoot-outs.
Don’t worry, though -- this town is big enough for the two of yeh! Great Bend is fantastically fur-friendly. It boasts its own dog park, and there are plenty of community parks that are just perfect for leashed walks. The citizens certainly take pet care seriously -- there are five veterinary clinics based in Great Bend, with emergency services available right in town. Not only that, but there are some excellent dog-friendly hiking options right on your doorstep.
With all these amenities, you and your pooch are sure to have a doggone good time in Great Bend!
The City of Great Bend Dog Park in Veteran’s Memorial Park really is a mutts-visit! This off-leash area might not be the largest, but there’s still plenty of room for your pup to leap about and tire themselves out in. Bags, water, and toys are all provided, so all you need to do is BYOB (Bring Your Own Beast)! Careful, though -- the park doesn’t get much shade, so it might be wise to give it a miss on a hot day. It’s also well worth taking a leashed wander through the people side of the park, where you’ll find some shaded walking trails and a gorgeous, serene fishing lake.