Kelso is the seat of Cowlitz County, in southwestern Washington. It’s considered one of the “Twin Cities” of southwest Washington, along with the neighboring city of Longview. It’s scenically situated at the confluence of the Cowlitz, Coweeman and Columbia Rivers, creating many outdoor adventure opportunities! This city also has about 50 acres of parkland and one veterinary clinic, making it a cinch to raise a healthy, happy puppy in Kelso.
Kelso has approximately 6 miles of multi-use pathways throughout the city, that are perfect for your morning walk with Fido! One of these pathways runs alongside the scenic Cowlitz River and right past downtown. This city also has some great urban parks throughout town, including the Scot Hollow Park. This pretty little park has open grassy areas for play, benches and trees. Dogs are welcome in all of these areas as long as they’re leashed and picked up after!
If you’re looking for a place to crash after a day of adventures, head over to the Motel 6 Kelso Mt St Helens. This conveniently located motel welcomes dogs! One dog of any size or two dogs no larger than 50 lbs each are allowed for no additional fee.
With all of these great places to explore, you and your pup are sure to feel right at home in Kelso!
The bustling downtown area of Kelso isn’t short on beautiful greenery where you can escape from the city life! In between North pacific Avenue and Kelso Avenue, you can find the Rhododendron Gardens. This scenic park features a variety of rhododendrons that were planted by the regional rhododendron society to beautify the area. This park is especially lovely in the late spring when the flowers are in bloom. Leashed dogs are welcome to sniff the flowers! If your stomach is growling, head over to Taco Time, located in the same neighborhood. This restaurant features tortilla based treats and more, that you can enjoy at the pet friendly outdoor seating with your pooch!
In the neighborhood of West Kelso, just across the Cowlitz River, you can find another great place to spend some time with your pup. This neighborhood is proud home to the Catlin Park. The park features benches, picnic areas and restrooms. There’s also a splash pad, so why not bring the whole family! There are plenty of trees and grassy areas where your pup can sniff and play. Leashed dogs are welcome. After working up an appetite from all that playtime, head over to Burgerville, located just across the street from Catlin Park. Here you can dig into a burger next to your canine companion at one of the dog friendly outdoor tables. Table service isn’t available, so your pup will need to wait patiently outside while you order.
The neighborhood of Davis Terrace is proud home to the gem of Kelso, the Tam O’Shanter Park. This sprawling 38 acre park sits next to the Coweeman River. Because of its size, great location and variety of recreational activities, locals rave and tails wag about this park. This park has a large sheltered area that’s great for gatherings, many different athletic fields, picnic tables and restrooms. The smooth walking trail is great for a heart pumping jog or a leisurely stroll with your best pal. If you want a treat, there’s a concession stand here too! Leashed dogs are welcome to join their humans, just don’t forget the waste bags and dog biscuits for your good boy or girl!
Just a hop across the river into the neighboring town of Longview, you can find a beautiful oasis to explore. It’s in the downtown area of Longview, just a 5 minute drive away from Kelso, that you can find the Lake Sacajawea Park Japanese Gardens. This park features a pretty bridge that reaches a small island with Japanese-inspired landscaping. There is also 3.5 miles of trails that wind under bridges, through blooming gardens and past the lake's two majestic fountains. You may even be able to catch a free concert here in the summer! Leashed dogs are welcome as long as they follow proper petiquette. When you need a pick me up, head over to Zojo Coffee in the same neighborhood. Here you can enjoy a fresh cup of joe with a pastry next to your pooch at one of the dog friendly outdoor tables.
In the Longview Junction neighborhood of Longview, you can find another puppy paradise! Only a 7 minute drive from Kelso is the Gearhart Gardens Dog Park. This dog park provides a safe place for your pup to get some much needed exercise and enjoy some pawsitive socialization. The 3 acres of play space are divided into two separate fenced off areas, one for small breeds and another for the little guys. There are waste bags and drinking water available, so all you need to bring is your doggo’s favorite ball! There are even kiddie pools, so your dog can run, rinse and repeat. Dogs need to stay leashed when they’re not within the fenced areas.