Just 13 minutes away from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul muttropolitan area, Hopkins is a vibrant city with small town charm, surrounded by 3 larger neighbors: Minnetonka, Saint Louis Park, and Edina. Despite its small size, Hopkins has enough dog-friendly places to keep tails wagging, and this historic community has two animal hospitals to look after the needs of its furry residents.
Hopkins is a furrific destination for dogs and humans who love to walk, hike, or run, as trailheads for four Three Rivers Park regional trails are found here. One of these trails is the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail, a 12-mile limestone trail that leads to Chanhassen and Chaska. Fido is allowed to accompany you on this trail as long as he is on a six-foot, non-retractable leash.
For a more laidback activity, take a leashed walk through Oakes Park, one of the pooch-friendly parks in the city. Not far away is the Hiawatha Oaks Preserve, a lush native forest that locals fought to protect from property development so that you and your pup can enjoy nature at its finest!
So hop on down to Hopkins for pup friendly adventures just waiting for you and your furry companion!
Outdoorsy people and puppers will love South Hopkins as it is home to Valley Park, a 14.5-acre green space with nature trails and the Nine Mile Creek running through it. Unlike most other parks, Valley Park has a good mix of flat surfaces and hills that you and Fido can traverse if you want to work up a sweat. Otherwise, stick to the flat areas and take a relaxing stroll along the creek. Since there are no pet-friendly eateries nearby, it’s a good idea to pack some food before visiting. Remember to keep your pooch on a leash at all times while inside the park.
Park Ridge may be a small neighborhood, but you’ll find one of the city’s four largest parks here. Located next to a church, Burnes Park spans seven acres, most of which Fido can roam. Keep in mind that off-leash running is not allowed, as with all other dog-friendly parks in the city, so you’ll have to stay with your pooch as he explores the place. Since Burnes Park has a few athletic fields, you’ll likely see the locals playing basketball, softball, tennis, or pickleball while you’re there. If you need to take a break from walking, there are several benches scattered across the park.
West Hopkins is a safe and fur-riendly neighborhood that’s just adjacent to Downtown. If you’re coming from the city center and keep walking west along Mainstreet, you’ll reach Big Ten Restaurant & Bar, where you and your pup can have a nice meal at one of the many outdoor tables. After you’ve filled your tummies, you can burn off those calories at Central Park, which is just less than half a mile away. This 18-acre park has a playground, an open field, and picnic shelters, among other amenities. Fido is allowed to explore the open spaces and walk along the trails, as long as he remains on a leash.
The heart of Hopkins, Downtown is where you’ll find almost everything, from retail stores to entertainment, all within a quarter-mile radius. There’s plenty to see and do at the city center, and your best friend won’t be left out. Mainstreet and its adjacent streets are lined with a number of local businesses, including dog-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating such as Erbert & Gerbert’s, Hopkins Elks Lodge, and LTD Brewing. For a really puptastic dining experience that Fido won’t forget, go to Pub 819, which has a menu especially for canines. Four-legged customers also get a free homemade treat and complimentary water.
Adventure awaits you and Fido in the Excelsior/ Blake neighborhood! From here, you can access the 4.5-mile Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail where you can walk along the old railroad lines of the Great Northern Railway and the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway. The 4.3-mile North Cedar Lake Regional Trail runs from this neighborhood through the peaceful neighborhood of St. Louis Park. Either way, both paved trails welcome leashed dogs, and will take you and Fido up to Minneapolis. Before you set off, grab a bite at The Depot, a former train depot that now doubles as a coffee house and trailhead.