Racine, Wisconsin, finds itself at the Root River estuary and adjacent to Lake Michigan. The fair-sized city is at an acceptable distance from important hubs and is surrounded by nature. The city is an attractive place to live and visit for various reasons, including the lake.
The city of Racine has a lot of offer for dog owners as well. The more adventurous and enterprising can explore the surrounding woods. There is the Pike River Pathway for a shorter hike through nature. John's Dock and Freddie's Friki Tiki, two restaurant/bars in town, offer a magnificent view over Lake Michigan and are dog-friendly to boot.
Racine also has its own off-leash dog park, Johnson Dog Park. This park is huge compared to most dog parks; Johnson Dog Park offers 28 acres of space for dogs to run around and explore. There is a large variety in landscapes, from woodlands to open fields. Dogs can also go for a swim in the pond or the river.
The city offers plenty lodging opportunities for travelers with pets who just want to visit Racine for a short time. There are the budget friendly options, such as Super 8 and Knights Inn, as well as more luxurious pet-friendly rooms in town.
Quarry Lake Park can be found in the neighborhood of Fox Estates. This year-round favorite for family outings also attracts daredevils who have thrilled their friends and themselves by diving into the deep and murky waters of the quarry. Dogs are welcome at this 22-acre park, leashed and owner-controlled. For those pups who love to run free, adjacent to the Quarry Park entrance is the Karen A. Nelson Memorial Dog Park. This fenced-in area is divided into two parts: one for smaller pups under 25 lbs, as well as elderly or physically handicapped dogs, and the other for large, more energetic puppers.
This neighborhood in the town of Mt/ Pleasant is home to the Pike River Pathway, a lovely, dog-friendly, Greenway style system of multi-use trails that straddle the Pike River. There is plentiful parking in 2 conveniently located lots, and the roomy trail surface is asphalt, allowing for bikes, running, and walking. Dogs love it here because it is also home to numerous species of wildlife, including frogs and birds in the adjacent wetlands, which is why they need to remain leashed on the trail. What an interesting placed for our super-sniffer canine companions to explore! This gem provides access to hundreds of acres of the reconstructed Pike River corridor.
Elmwood Park is a neighborhood west of downtown Racine. It hosts Club Aqua Paws, an indoor dog pool for handicapped, post-surgical or elderly dogs, along with any that just love to swim! The pool is 13x25 feet, and almost 4 feet deep. Access to the pool is provided by a carpeted stairway, a handicapped-accessible ramp and a carpeted deck. There is another ramp from the deck to the pool. There are amenities like free, multi-sized life jackets, pup-washing stations and complimentary post-swim rinse. The pool even keeps a huge supply of tennis balls to coax shy dogs into the water. Woof!
Southeast Racine is home to several dog-friendly activities. Colbert Park is a one-acre park abutted by portions of the Lake Michigan Pathway and Root River, both of which provide areas for boating, fishing and -yes!- leashed dog walking. For those who like to take their dog-buddies everywhere, there are 2 restaurants that cater to them. John’s Dock is perched on Lake Michigan and welcomes leashed dogs on its patio. Sharing one’s fish fry with the doggo is optional. Freddie’s Friki Tiki Bar, at The Chancery Restaurant at Gaslight Pointe, abounds with dogs on most summer afternoons and evenings. With water bowls provided by the establishment, and plenty of beers and other spirits on tap, this is a popular “watering hole” for adult humans and doggies alike.
Cedar Bend is a residential neighborhood which occupies much of the peninsula formed by a sharp bend in the Root River. Located here is Clayton Park, a six-acre neighborhood park featuring facilities for sports as well as a portion of the Root River Pathway. It is encompassed within a primary environmental corridor consisting of an area of wetlands that is home to numerous water fowl and small animals. Leashed, controlled dogs are welcome to explore the grounds. Cedar Bend Park also resides within its namesake neighborhood, and offers two acres, includes a portion of the Root River and its wetlands. Here, as in most of city, well-behaved dogs must be leashed.