De Soto is a short ride on the new Highway 21 from the metropolitan St. Louis area. De Soto has very few places to shop. Its major commercial enterprise is the Walmart that takes care of all a family’s needs from groceries to automotive. There are three veterinary clinics in town, which provide routine and emergency medical care for the dogs in De Soto and the surrounding Jefferson County cities and neighborhoods. Some even cater to the farm animals that call this area home!
One of the access points to the Washington State Park is located in DeSoto (the other is in Potosi). This state park has 1,800 acres of forest, hiking trails, river access, and camping. It is also the location of some very old prehistoric petroglyphs. It is favorite spot for camping for families around the state. This park participates in Cabins for Canines, which is a statewide initiative that sets aside a portion of the cabins in state parks for families traveling with their dogs. Two dogs are welcome to stay in dog-friendly cabins. Dogs are also welcome to camp with their families in either primitive sites (tent camping) or at trailer parking with electrical outlets. Dogs may hike on all trails in the park as long as they remain on a no less than ten foot lead.
De Soto doesn't have any dog parks of its own, so if you're looking for some off-leash exercise, you'll have to travel a short distance to nearby cities.
The City Center neighborhood of Farmington is 32 miles south of De Soto. There are many dog-friendly amenities in this neighborhood. The dog park is just a couple of years old. It has a fully fenced grass-covered enclosure for some leash-free running and playing with some new furry pals. There is a separate enclosure for the small dogs. Water is available on-site, and human companions have plenty of benches from which to sit and watch their pup have fun. The large dog enclosure includes a few pieces of agility equipment for extra exercise or a bit of training. This dog park is free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
Arnold city limits is about thirty miles north of DeSoto. The city of Arnold has two paw parks in its city limits. One paw park is in the city park, and the other is at the Ferd B. Lang Park. Each dog park is approximately one acre of fully fenced grass. There is a separate area for the small dogs. Other amenities include drinking water, waste baggies, and benches for the pet parents. All you need to bring is Fido's favorite toy and plenty of energy! These paw parks are free and open to the public. They open a half hour before sunrise, and close one-half hour after sunset.
Sunset Hills is a bit of drive away at 35 miles, but the trip is definitely worth it for Kitun Dog Park! This pawesome park is a flat, grassy, fully fenced park that gives dogs a great op-paw-tunity to get off their leash and make some new fur-iends. The park spans about two acres, giving dogs plenty of room to run. There is a separate area for the small dogs. Drinking water is available here, and doggie waste stations are situated in various places throughout the dog park. Benches give the human companions a place to rest while their pals play. This dog park is by permit only. Residents of Sunset Hills and Crestwood pay a reduced fee.
Forty miles from De Soto, you'll find the city of Ballwin, and while it's a bit of a trek, you won't regret the trip! Tails and Trails at Queeny Park is so much more than your average dog park. It has over five acres of fenced land for dogs to run and play leash-free, and also provides access to a small creek and a lake. Don't fur-get the towels! There is drinking water available on-site, and waste stations are situated throughout the dog park for convenient cleanups. Pet parents can sit at the pavilion, which even has wi-fi! There are four pieces of agility equipment in the large dog area. Smaller pups can play in a separate area. Visitors must register and pay an annual fee to St. Louis County.
The neighborhood of St. Louis Hills is located in the sprawling muttropolis of St. Louis, 43 miles north of De Soto. While there are many amenities for dogs in this neighborhood, you won't want to miss the Southwest City Dog Park in Willmore Park. This fully fenced, grassy enclosure is the pawfect place for some off-leash freedom and fun. You'll find everything you could need or want here, including a separate area for smaller pups, drinking water, benches, and agility equipment. The only thing you need to bring is waste bags for those necessary cleanups. Kiddie pools make for some cool splashes in the hot summer months. Visitors must register and pay an annual fee to the homeowner’s association that manages the dog park.