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Clarksburg is a city with a long history that shows in the richness of its downtown. Many memorials, historical buildings and new architecture speak to its roots while demonstrating its commitment to the future. Mostly a manufacturing and mining town in the past, it now focuses on tourism, technology and criminal justice. It also boasts several outdoor opportunities that provide dog owners and their pups destinations for outdoor fun.
The pup-friendly North Bend Rail-Trail is built on a pre-Civil War rail bed, and its character remains that of a wilderness trail with crushed limestone for a surface except for a few short in-town paved areas. It ranges 72 miles, passes through 10 tunnels, and crosses over 38 bridges. Your fur-pup will love joining you for a hike or bike ride through its small towns and open countryside where birds, deer and small mammals abound. At points along the route, large rocky outcroppings form one side of the trail. You and Spot can access the trail at Wolf Summit, the eastern terminus. Along the way, you will find many points of interest, such as a glass-blowing factory, markets and fairs. This is a trail with much more than nature to beckon you and your fur-pup.
Whatever your plans in West Virginia, Clarksburg is a must-see city, and its natural surroundings are perfect for outdoors-loving folks and their canine companions. Come on down to this pawrrific area and explore!
Besides being a great walking city with your fur-buddy on leash, Clarksburg’s City Center is home to Lowndes Hill Park. This 58-acre expanse overlooks the downtown and is rich in history too, with its Civil War battle trenches and earthworks built by Union soldiers to defend the city. Great for walks with your doggo, the views are pawsome, and the natural setting is peaceful and quiet amidst the bustle of the city. If you’re staying in the Clarksburg area and need a hotel, the dog-friendly Sutton Inn will be just the place. For a small additional fee, Fido can join you in one of their rooms, which are very reasonably priced.
Veterans Memorial Park lies in a loop of the West Fork River, with its entrance in the Stealey neighborhood of Clarksburg. Much of the park is in Nutter Fort, a nearby community. Featuring several picnic shelters perfect for an outdoor lunch with Fido, the park is a family venue that will please everyone, including the pooch. Its Clarksburg Dog Park is a fully-fenced area where the pup can romp with other doggos off-leash. It features benches where the humans can relax while their pups get to know new friends, along with a covered rest platform and doggie fountain for the dogs’ comfort. Conveniently placed waste bags and receptacles make picking up after Fido easy, and the grassy surface is easy on his feet. A pawrrific place to visit!
Bridgeport, to the east of Clarksburg, features a Bridgeport Walks trail system to encourage its citizens to lace up and get outside to walk. Dog-friendly, the trails taken together measure about 8 miles through and around the city parks, around the downtown area, and into the neighborhoods near downtown. With 4 trails in all, the longest measuring about 5 miles, there’s plenty to choose from in terms of distance, skill level and environment. All of the trails are marked with the Bridgeport Walks logos to keep you on track, and all utilize either park trails or city sidewalks for ease. This is a woofderful idea!
Approximately 17 miles from Clarksburg lies Fairmont, where you’ll find Fido’s Backyard in the City Center neighborhood, a large and furrific leash-free dog park. Comprised of about 3 acres, this dog park features separate sections for large and small dogs, a flat, grassy area that is perfect for playing catch or just running at full speed, and a shaded hillside for resting or tumbling. The park provides drinking water, too. Be aware that the hillside can become muddy after a rain, so in that case be sure to bring a towel to dry your fur-baby off before letting her back in the car in the free parking area. Woof!
This neighborhood of Fairmont is home to the Marion County Trail, a 2.5-mile dog-friendly rail-trail with restrooms and benches for taking a breather. Appropriate for walkers/hikers, bicyclists and skaters, both adults and children, the trail features a 1200-ft lighted tunnel that provides some variety to the trail walking experience. The walkway is paved, with lots of native trees and shrubs lining the route. The trail even provides waste stations with bags and receptacles to make picking up after your pup easier. Dogs must be leashed for this walk through abundant wildlife that will keep them busy tracking with their eyes, ears and noses. You can find nature brochures at the trailhead to help with identifying various plants and trees, too. This is truly a pawrrific walk for humans and pups!
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