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Tucked in between the peaks and valleys of West Virginia’s heartland region, Cairo, WV is certainly in a beautiful spot! The town was named Cairo because the lush, fertile floodplains of the North Fork Hughes River reminded settlers of the Nile Delta.
Historically an oil settlement, these days, the town is a tight-knit, rural community with a family-friendly vibe and a real small-town feel. You won’t find any pyramids here, unfortunately, but history buffs should note that the gorgeous, classically inspired Bank of Cairo building -- now the town hall -- was added to the National List of Historic Places in 1996! With a population of three hundred and seventy or so, Cairo is too small to sustain its own veterinary practice, but you’ll find a clinic to take care of your buddy in nearby Harrisville.
It should come as no surprise that Cairo doesn’t have its own dog park, but you and your furry friend are still sure to sniff out something to do! The town is surrounded by some of the most splendid scenery West Virginia has to offer. There’s a pawpular hiking route that runs right through downtown, and Cairo is bordered by a furrific state park. And if you’re willing to drive a little, you and your pooch can dig up some more adventures fur-ther afield!
If you and your pooch are looking for a pretty place to stretch all six of your legs, look no further than Downtown Cairo! Cairo is home to its very own stretch of the North Bend Rail Trail, a furrific hike that runs through 72 miles of wooded wilderness, all the way from Wolf Summit to Parkersburg. You’ll also pass several rustic bridges and a couple of restored tunnels along the way, some of which are said to be haunted! Remember to bring your own waste bags and water, and watch out for speeding cyclists!
With North Bend State Park right on the edge of town, it’d be a huge faux paw not to pay a visit! This beautiful, 2,500-acre park has something for everyone. There’s swimming, kayaking, camping -- and, most importantly, miles upon miles of trails for you and your pooch to sniff and explore! The North Bend Rail Trail passes through here, too, but take a walk off the beaten track and you’ll find a hike for every age and ability, whether you and your furry friend are looking for a challenge or a more sedate stroll. Don't forget to bring those waste bags!
You’ll need to drive all the way to Deerwalk to get to a fenced area where your furry friend can run free, but once your pooch is let loose in the dog run in Mountwood Park, you two might decide that the trip was worth it! There’s plenty of space in this pawesome park for your furball to leap about and run around in, and there’s a separate small dog area, so your pooch can socialize no matter their size. It’s well worth exploring the people side of the park, too -- Mountwood Park boasts over 50 miles of trails and a breathtaking lake, and hosts many outdoor events throughout the year.
Jackson Dog Park in Vienna is a real mutts-visit! This converted ballpark still has dug-outs in place, so tired owners have a shady spot to take a load off and watch their pups play. Mini mutts have access to their very own park, just across from the basketball courts, but there’s enough room in both for everyone to exercise! Bags are provided, but the water is shut off in the winter -- you might need to bring your own bottle. And be warned -- the big dog area can get very muddy when it rains, so it’s a good idea to pack a towel for post-play cleanup.
Cultured canines might get a kick out of a leashed walking tour around historic downtown Parkersburg! You two can check out a whole heap of mid-19th century architectural gems -- including the Civil War Hospital and the Blennerhasset Hotel -- marvel at the murals on St. Francis Xavier Church, and soak up the splendor of your surroundings in Julia-Ann Square. There are several parks along the way, too -- Point Park has some fantastic views over the Little Kanawha River, while Quincy Park Overlook provides visitors with a sweeping vista over the city itself.
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