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La Crosse, Virginia was once the crossroads of the railroads, hence the name. The railroad was moved in 1990, but La Crosse is still a crossroads of sorts. US Route 58 and Interstate 85 intersect in the town, which makes it a great place to stop and stretch your legs during a road trip. There are even two buildings registered on the National List of Historic Places: the La Crosse Hotel and the O.H.P Tanner House. Come and take a walk through this tiny town and see them for yourself.
If you want a historic adventure, take a stroll along the Tobacco Heritage Trail. This statewide system of trails takes you though tobacco farms that were once the cash crop of the frontier land. Most of the scenery along the way is peaceful land that hasn't been touched. A portion of the trail passes through La Crosse and makes the pawfect place for your daily walk with Fido.
La Crosse doesn't seem to have much else, but since it is the crossroads, there are plenty of opportunities close by for you and your family to enjoy. South Hill is just next door and is home to Parker Park, which features a walking trail and some playground equipment.
Right behind the Municipal Building, you will find South Hill's Centennial Park. It is less than five miles from La Crosse. This hidden gem has the pawfect walking trail that wraps around the playgrounds, ball fields, and tennis court. Your dog must stay leashed at all times. There are restrooms on-site so that you can fill your dog's water dish. Come and take a nice afternoon walk while the kids run out some of their energy as well. The park is known for being a great socialization spot with lots of children. Please be aware the park is closed when rented out for an event.
Max B. Crowder Memorial Park at Whittle's Mill is quite new to the city. It's home to one of the original dams dating back to the 1800s, but up until 1960s, it was privately owned. In the last five years, the city has worked to make it a public spot to kayak, canoe, and fish. There are sandy beaches and seating areas, but pups and people are both prohibited from swimming. Dogs are more than welcome to come and play, but they have to be on a leash. Don't forget to bring water with you. There are ducks here, but there is a sign that says you can only feed them seeds.
Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area features a vast tract of virtually untouched wilderness. This area features hunting opportunities as well as fishing and hiking. If you are into bird watching, you will be happy to learn there are more birds than you can bark at! If you feel like making a weekend of it, North Bend Park welcomes wagging tails and is just down the road. They even offer pet-friendly cabin rentals. Remember that you will have to keep your dog on a leash that is less than six feet long. Don't forget to bring water along.
Shenandoah National Park is one of the most beautiful nature preserves in the area. Matthews Arm Campground in Bracey is ruffly 20 miles away, but it makes the pawfect base camp for exploring the park and its multiple trails over a weekend. You don't need a reservation to bring your dog with you, but you can reserve a site if you would like. This is an on-leash camping area. There aren't many amenities, so you will want to bring all the necessary supplies. All the campsites have a fire ring, but you aren't allowed to pick firewood out of the park, so remember to grab some on your way.
You will have to make a forty-mile trip to get to Roanoke Rapids Canal Trail, but this furrific hike is well worth the drive! The entrance is located at Roanoke Rapids Lake Day Use Area. From here, you can take the trail system all the way to Weldon. The trail is a work-in-progress -- the goal is to make it 400 miles long so it stretches all the way down to the Blue Ridge Mountains. This trail system is partially dirt and partially crushed stone. As you walk, you will see the museum that was once the generator house and office buildings for the Roanoke Navigation and Power Company. This is a historic monument.
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