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In Nebraska, there is a city called Kearney that was formed from the push of the railroad when the Civil War ended. Before it was Kearney, it was named Dobytown but was then named after Fort Kearny (but added an “e”), which was named after General Stephen Kearny in the 19th century. The city is now home to over 31,000 people and around 7,100 dogs, so there are many Fido-friendly places to go in town.
Meadowlark Dog Park on 30th Avenue is the spot to go if you are a dog! The park has a dog agility course that consists of tunnels, a seesaw ramp, and even a dog pool shaped like a giant dog bone. While you are there you will probably meet a lot of friendly dog lovers to talk to while your pooches are playing.
Kearney also has plenty of hiking trails you and Fido can get some exercise on along the Oregon and Mormon Trails. These two trails combined are 17 miles of hiking with gorgeous scenery and parks with lakes, playgrounds, skiing, skating, and fishing. On some of the trails, you will find lookouts to check out the view and even a few ball fields, picnic areas, and gift shops. You will both get a work out on these historic trails.
Kearney’s East 11th/Antelope Avenue neighborhood is good for a great view and a great meal. Many sidewalks in the area offer views of Platte River. What the area lacks in dog parks, it makes up for with good food you can share with your four-legged pal. Skeeter Barnes is a locally famous restaurant serving up big portions of BBQ seven days a week. There is a large selection of outdoor seating, from small tables to ones big enough to seat a little. Just don’t let a dog gnaw the bones!
City Center in Kearney is close to the University of Nebraska and downtown shopping. The tiny, bustling heart of Kearney also includes a parking area for the Pioneer’s Path. This path is part of a much longer trail, that extends through several other Kearney neighborhoods and beyond the city limits. The parking area grants you easy access to this section of the trail, which runs through City Center. Park, hop out and walk your leashed dog as far down the trail as you’d like, and return when the walk is over.
The large sprawl of Elm Creek / Amherst in Kearney contains mostly single family homes and the services that support them--schools, grocery stores, and parks. West Lincolnway Park is a large park with soccer fields and a playground. Harmon Park is smaller but similar, with a playground for kids and space to walk your dog on leash. Meadowlark North Dog Park is an off-leash extravaganza! Dogs will love the completely fenced open space and shade areas, and for hot days there’s a wading pool and hose!
East 4th / Cottonmill Avenue in Kearney, NE contains two leashed park spaces that will make your dog’s tail wag. The first is Yanney Park, a large park that caters to a variety of activities. From an outdoor gym to child wading pools to a fishing dock, Yanney Park puts the “multi” in multi-use! Your pup will love the walking trails, which climb hills and add interest to the park. Just keep him on leash! The second area is Betty’s Trail, another entrance to the leashed-walking long rail trail that runs through other neighborhoods like U of Nebraska and City Center.
The U of Nebraska neighborhood in Kearney is (unsurprisingly) named after the University of Nebraska Kearney campus that it houses. The area is densely populated with college students, and is cut across by the Trailrace Trail. This particular part of the longer Cottonmill to Fort Kearney Trail was once a canal towpath! You can enjoy the history of the area while taking your leashed pup for a vigorous bout of exercise. Keep walking until you reach City Center to the east or East 4th/Cottonmill Ave to the west!
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