With miles of hiking and mixed-use trails to explore, the almost 7,000-acre Village Creek State Park in Wynne, Arkansas is a puppy paradise. The Lake Dunn Trail's northern trailhead is at the Lake Dunn Dam and also accessible from the park's campground. Or, your pack can reach it via a connecting hike/bike trail from the Visitors' Center parking lot. Be sure to stop at the restrooms at the campground or Visitors' Center, as they're the only facilities along the hike.
The 2.77-mile one-way Lake Dunn Trail takes you on an easy walk around the shore before veering off into deep forest. Rather than backtrack, use connecting trails to form a rough 7-mile loop back to your starting point. If you don't mind sharing space with bikers and equestrians, veer east onto the park's multi-use trails and take one of the north-bound trails back through the woods to the banks of Lake Dunn. A full trail map is available on the park's website.
History buffs will want to head west, though, and connect to the Military Road Hiking Trail for a somber reminder of a dark time in the nation's past. Part of a national historic trail commemorating the Trail of Tears, the Military Road Hiking Trail, and a portion of the Lake Dunn Trail preserve a stretch of the route that Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes traveled in the 1820s when they were forced to walk from their homes in the Southeast to reservations in Oklahoma. Many died during the journey, and the rugged terrain will help you understand their hardship.
From the western end of the Military Road Hiking Trail, the moderate Lake Austell Trail offers views over this pawpular recreation lake on the southern end of the park. To get back to your starting point on Lake Dunn, follow the Austell Trail for just over a mile to reach the park Visitors' Center, and then use the lightly-trafficked park roads or the hike-bike connecting trail to get back to Lake Dunn.
If you'd like to extend your stay to see more of the trail, the Village Creek State Park campground, and even some of the cabins, welcome doggy guests.