At the base of the Ozark Mountains lies the pet-friendly city of Tahlequah, Oklahoma! As the former capital of the Cherokee Nation, the city has a definite spiritual side. Many residents have a shared reverence for animals that, of course, extends to our furry best friends. The city's Native American origins are evident in its name -- Tahlequah -- which is a Cherokee word for a specific grain of rice with a red hue that grew wild in the plains. Tahlequah is surrounded by nature parks and beautiful Oklahoma land just waiting to be explored by you and your dog!
Dog owners love living in Tahlequah! There are 4 veterinarians, 6 pet groomers, and a pet shop inside the 13 miles of the city. On top of the nature parks in the periphery of the city, there are 10 city-owned parks where you can spend a day outside with Fido. There's also a 3.8-mile trail called Sparrow Hawk Trail that winds around the Illinois River, offering some great views of the countryside. There's also another trail called Green Leaf Trail with a trailhead in the southwestern corner of Tahlequah.
Between Tahlequah's community garden and abundance of state parks, there are "pet-intiful" options in outdoors activities. For those who like to eat with their pups by their side, there are 2 pet-friendly restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat with your doggo! Just grab the leash and head out into the Okie foothills!
Does your dog smell fried chicken and want to raise the "ruff" in excitement? No chicken bones for Fido, but a small piece of white meat can't hurt him, right? If you live off Hensley Street, your lucky Fido's within walking distance of one of Okies' favorite chicken joints, Charlie's Chicken! You can choose between fried or rotisserie options, with endless choices of both sides and plates. Charlie's Chicken makes it easy on the indecisive by offering daily specials like the meatloaf and catfish dinner on Friday! Dogs are more than welcome at Charlie's Chicken in the outside seating area. Maybe if Fido's on his best behavior, he'll get some table scraps as a treat!
Does your dog like to dig holes in your yard? It can be annoying in your backyard, but you might be able to put those digging skills to good use at the Tahlequah Community Garden off Circle Street. Located in the northwest pocket of the city, the Tahlequah Community Garden is an open patch of land where locals can grow food for themselves and the community. Most of the plots are dedicated to edible plants, but the co-op is flexible. The garden works to feed the hungry while also teaching citizens various agricultural methods and farming techniques. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the garden, so your Fido can hang out with as you plant! If you grow pumpkin, this makes a great superfood for dogs!
Does your dog hate saying "fur-well" to spring in place of the heat of summer? Locals who live with their dogs off of East Downing Street take their dogs down to Tahlequah Splash Pad. This park features an archway that sprays cool jets of water down at the two and four-legged children who play here. There are also nozzles that spray water upward from the ground. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. Since the splash pad is outside and dogs are allowed at all Tahlequah city-owned parks, you won't have any issues with your puppers being here. Also in the same neighborhood is Elephant Rock Nature Park, where your dog can explore 210 acres of the Ozarks. Your dog will love exploring the outdoor activities around East Downing Street. Just don't forget the leash!
Does your dog need tons of exercise to keep him happy and healthy? If you live off Hillcrest Avenue in the southwestern corner of the city, then you can drive down to the Greenleaf State Park to hike an 18-mile loop trail. A weekend on the trail will keep Fido plenty exercised and happy as he sniffs out the local trees alongside the lake. The trail was designed for overnight backpacking, but the park also has cabins for those who don't want to "ruff" it by camping. The north loop is tougher than the southern loop, with more rocky surfaces and steep ledges. Either way, your Fido will love trailblazing through the Greenleaf Trail!
Does your dog enjoy the simple things in life? Living off Dogwood Drive places you in a "furry" suburban part of Tahlequah where the streets aren't busy and everything's nice and quiet. Residents who live here often take their dogs to Kaufman Park. This small park has a playground and picnic tables with plenty of shady areas to relax. The Tahlequah Creek runs just west of the park, which you can hear while you're relaxing with Fido. This park makes a nice escape from the small businesses and busier streets less than a quarter mile north of Dogwood Drive. Also, if you follow South Muskogee Street, you'll land at two other serene parks -- Sequoya Park and Floyd H Norris Park. Fido's already scratching at the door for a walk!