The Rock River Valley is home to the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. The area was originally an agricultural town, but the city has grown into a welcoming place for industry, and today hosts food, biotechnical and manufacturing companies. The New England flavor of its first inhabitants survives in its parks and recreational attractions, and the riverfront provides a variety of things to do.
Riverside Park, north of the city’s downtown area, lies along both sides of the Rock River between Portland and Henry Avenues. It features a man-made lagoon with a bridge on its 24 dog-friendly acres. The Riverside Bike and Walking Trail begins at Caldwell Avenue and crosses the river 3 times, once on a wooden fishing bridge where you might want to tarry and toss a line in with your furry bestie by your side. Eateries, art museums and an outdoor sculpture line the urban trails as they loop around and over the river. In all, the Riverside Trails total a bit over 9 miles of paved surface. In the park, you can rent a paddle boat or get some snacks at the Rotary River Center. Benches are placed here and there for resting and surveying the busy scene, and the park provides restrooms should the need arise. Fido must be leashed in the park.
Hungry? The Rock Bar and Grill at Henry Street and the River offers outdoor tables with umbrellas overlooking the river, where you and your pup can chow down on such casual fare as burgers, wings, sandwiches and other scrumptious pub food. Bone appetit!
Beloit is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and their dogs – come on over!
This neighborhood of Beloit lies to the east of the city and is home to the City of Beloit Dog Park. At 2.5 acres, it is a large space that is divided into 2 separate sections for large and small dogs. Features include a double-gated entry, drinking water for the doggos, and waste bags and receptacles for the convenience of owners. The surface is grass, and trees circle the perimeter, so dogs and humans can get out of the sun. It’s open sunrise to sunset every day year-round, and requires a small cash daily fee or an annual pass to enter. It’s pawtastic!
Turtle Creek combines with Rock River a small distance south of downtown Beloit, and northeast of this confluence is the Turtle Creek Floodplain. The city of Beloit annually cuts 8-foot wide paths through the floodplain to create trails for nature walks, of which there are several miles over the park’s 278 acres. In the winter, the trails are groomed for cross-country skiing as well. You and your leashed pup will see lots of wildlife while on the trails as they course through and around the floodplain. The network is called the Turtle Creek Greenway Nature/ Ski Trails, and they total more than 6 miles in length.
Big Hill Park sits along the winding 90-foot bluffs over the Rock River, and as its name suggests, getting to it requires a long and steep climb uphill. But once there, you and your pup will be treated to expansive views of the river, and birds of beautiful varieties. The park’s 197 acres cover woodlands with nature trails carved out of them, and at time,s you will be almost completely covered in an umbrella of trees while the forest floor muffles your footsteps. Fido, on his leash, will have all his senses at high alert for the sounds, sights and smells of the forest foliage and wildlife. In the winter, come back for the 2-plus miles of groomed cross-country ski trails. Woofderful!
The Beloit College campus neighborhood is home to Horace White Park, which commemorates the man who was sent from the east to find and purchase land that would become Beloit. Besides a playground, this dog-friendly park features beautiful landscaping and expanses of grass that beckon you and your furry friend. It also offers a system of walking trails originally laid out by the Native Americans who lived in the area in the 1800s, made of limestone and used for trading roads and paths. The beautiful grounds and peaceful environment will be sure to please both you and your pup. If you bring your human family too, there’s a playground for the tots. Pawsome!
The Crestview/ Garden Village neighborhood features Preservation Park, a large, green space bordering the Rock River north of downtown Beloit that is the perfect spot for dog-loving humans and their pups to spend some time. Besides offering a playground for the human kiddos, the park has a seemingly endless grassy field surrounded by mature shade trees. With Fido on leash, check out the trails cut through the trees, or just throw down a blanket and chill out with a picnic lunch. Many events like vintage car shows take place here, and your pup is welcome for those, too. Launch a boat onto the river, toss a line and relax while you and Fido wait for a bite. This park is dog-lightful!