Nestled in the rolling hills of Miami County, Hillsdale State Park is a pawsome outdoor destination near the Kansas City muttropolitan area. This 12,000-acre site offers several spots to hike, camp, and picnic with your pooch, so expect to be in for a furrific time!
Hillsdale contains nearly 5 miles of designated hiking and biking trails. One of these is the Hidden Spring Nature Trail, which starts at the visitor center at the northeast end of the dam. The 1.5-mile route will take you and Fido through an oak-hickory forest that's home to various species of wildlife, including the the white-tailed deer, fox squirrel, timber rattlesnake, and copperhead. Other places where you and your pooch can view wildlife are behind the visitor center, where resident woodpeckers, sparrows, chickadees, and juncos grab a bite to eat at the bird feeders; and on the lake, where ducks, pelicans, gulls, and geese stop by during migrations.
the east side of the reservoir, the Saddle Ridge equestrian area
contains about 32 miles of marked trails that are available to
horseback riders, hikers, and bikers. Note that these trails are
located in a hunting area, so be sure to wear bright colors when
hunting season. Whichever trail you and your pup tackle, practice
good petiquette by keeping your furry companion on a 10-foot leash
and cleaning up after them.
Other activities that you can enjoy together include boating and picnicking. Keep in mind that four-legged visitors are not allowed in developed beach areas and buildings, but Fido is welcome to join you in the campgrounds, so you can extend your adventure for a few days. Just be sure to obtain a nightly camping permit!
For a relaxing time in nature with your pup, you can't go wrong with Hillsdale State Park—you'll fur-get that you're just minutes away from the big city!