The City of Castle Rock was named after a 190-foot-high rock that the Cowlitz Indians and early traders used as a landmark. A former steamboat port and trading hub for valley farms, Castle Rock is now a tight-knit community where residents and visitors can enjoy a number of outdoor activities. There is one veterinary clinic looking after the city's critters, so your pup can feel safe in this small town.
Castle Rock's namesake can be seen at The Rock Community Park, which is located next to the Cowlitz River near the southern entrance to the city. There is a historic marker at the foot of the rock, plus hiking trails that wind through a rich ecosystem filled with native trees and vegetation. Picnic tables are also available if you and your pooch need to rest.
Just a few minutes' walk away from The Rock Community Park is the Memory Lane Volunteer Park, where people can plant trees in memory of a loved one. The park also contains a covered picnic area and playground equipment.
For a pup-friendly eatery with outdoor seating, head to Lacey Rha's Cafe, which serves comfort food downtown. A couple of streets down, you'll find Cowlitz Coffee, a drive-up hut that offers quality coffee at reasonable prices.
Come experience Castle Rock's family-like community for yourself!
Situated at the southern gateway to Castle Rock, Lions Pride Park offers scenic views of the Cowlitz River, covered picnic areas with barbecue units, restrooms, and an RV dump station. Lions Pride Park is a nice spot to take a pawse with your best friend before heading into the city. Here, you'll also find the trailhead for the Riverfront Trail, a nearly 2-mile, ADA-accessible trail that follows a dike along the Cowlitz River. The trail passes a BMX track, residences, and industrial properties, with several access points to the city. Remember to keep Fido leashed when he joins you on the Riverfront Trail.
One of the largest RV resorts in the Northwest, the Toutle River RV Resort is a pawsome place for a family vacation with both human and canine members of the family. Boasting the only private access to the confluence of the Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers, the park is equipped with full hookups, stone fire pits, picnic areas, a clubhouse, private shower rooms, and the world's biggest croquet court. There's also an orchard where you and Fido can pick apples, pears, cherries, and plums, as well as several hiking trails to explore. And if your pooch gets dirty from all the activities, there's a doggie bath and social deck just for four-legged guests.
Spend a day immersed in nature at the Seaquest State Park, a 475-acre natural area located within the traditional territory of several Native American tribes. Open to visitors all year round, Seaquest features a campground, a yurt village, picnic tables, and 7 miles of hiking trails. The trails will take you and your dog through lush secondary forests and the wetlands of Silver Lake, from which you can watch birds and admire Mount St. Helens. A Washington State Discover Pass is required to visit the Seaquest State Park, except for “free days” such as New Year's Day, Earth Day, and National Trails Day.
The Castle Rock Lions Club Volunteer Park is a small green space located near a bend of the Cowlitz River. Formerly called the Harry R. Truman Memorial Park, it houses a memorial to Harry R. Truman, a local legend and resort owner who refused to leave his home despite the imminent eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. After checking out the park, take a short walk to PJ's Pizza, where you can order food at the window and share the outdoor picnic table with Fido. Or head to Castle Rock Bakery & Coffee and have a donut at one of their outdoor tables.
The Riverside Park is a great place to spend a couple of hours with your furry buddy if you happen to find yourselves in the neighboring city of Kelso. Situated on the Cowlitz River (as its name suggests), this 58-acre park houses a playground, 125 picnic tables, bathroom facilities, a large covered pavilion, and a sports complex. Play Frisbee with Fido on the open areas, or take a leashed stroll along the paved walking trails. Don't miss the back portion of the park, which is filled with old growth big leaf maple trees that are especially beautiful in the fall.