If you have a history loving hound, then Fort Atkinson State Historical Park is the place to be. As the first United States military post west of the Missouri River, Fort Atkinson once housed about 1,200 soldiers. Not only was this fort the site of the first meeting between Lewis and Clark and the Otoe-Missouria Natives in 1804, it was also an important location in the early fur trade. Nowadays, it’s a pawsome park where your pup can step back in time and see what frontier life was like in the early 19th century.
Follow the park’s walking trail so your doggo can get the lay of the land. The one mile loop meanders around the property and passes the park’s key features. Grab a map from the Visitors Center before starting your journey. Historical demonstrations are scheduled throughout the summer months, so check the calendar and stop by one of the reenactments so your pup can see the blacksmiths, weavers, fur traders, and tinsmiths in action.
When it comes to Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, it pays to be a Nebraska resident. For those with vehicles registered and licensed in the state of Nebraska, the daily fee is $6.00 and the annual pass costs $30.00. On the other paw, out of towners pay $8.00 for a daily pass and $45.00 for annual pass. If you want to go inside the Visitor Interpreter Center, plan on another $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children. Since dogs are not allowed inside the buildings, forts, or bathrooms, you’ll need to leave your pup with another member of your paw-ty.
Be sure to bring enough water to keep you and your pooch well hydrated. And don’t forget the clean-up bags. Restrooms are located near the parking lot and there are a few picnic sites available. No bones about it, your doggo will go mutts over this park!