Are you a dog family looking for outdoor fun to have with your furry friend? Luckily Hendricks County has a lot of things to do outside with dogs! From parks to trails to dog-friendly restaurants, the chances of finding something fun to do with your dog are pretty high.
While I could just give you a run-of-the-mill list of all things to do with you dog, I decided to go with something a bit more fun and playful. We are talking about dogs, right?
Since there are many dog personalities out there, I wanted to personalize this list to help you find the perfect fit for your four-legged buddy. Find your favorites and get on out there and play!
Tiny Paws & Lazy Dogs
I’m starting with this section because my dogs are both small and lazy. They love to walk but cannot trot around for hours without rest.
Best in Show: Avon Town Hall Park
At 1.5 miles long, this park's trail is pur-fect for smaller, senior or lazy dogs. There are multiple trail sections to choose from based on how long your dog can walk.
For tiny paws that can’t make it far, you can choose to walk one of the trail circles. My favorite is the loop around the pond. If your dog has a little more pep in their step, you can combine sections for a longer walk.
Regardless if you choose to walk in the sun or go for a hike in the woods, the scenery is both serene and beautiful. And you can end your walk relaxing on a chair or bench by the gorgeous pond.
- Friendship Gardens Park in Plainfield
- Arbuckle Acres Trail in Brownsburg
Swimmers & Splashers
Some furry friends absolutely love to splash and play in the water. Others, like my dogs, do not. So for this category, I went to social media to see where local pups enjoy swimming.
Best in Show: Hummel Park in Plainfield
Many dog parents love taking their furry babies to Hummel Park to swim and play in the creek. The water isn’t too deep, so even pups with small legs can splash around.
- Soldalis Nature Park in Plainfield
- Washington Township Park in Avon
Runners & Hikers
My dogs love to run, but they stop to sniff just about anything they see on the trails. For some dogs the less distractions, the better.
However, some dogs just love to run along with their human and will go on for miles. Here are some of the best spots to go for a long run with minimal distractions.
Best in show: B&O Trail
The B&O Trail is a rail trail which makes it perfect for running. Not only is it a paved trail, but it also has minimal stops which make it optimal for continuous runs with your four-legged friend.
Currently about nine miles with plans to extend it to 16 miles once it is paved through all of Hendricks County, this trail has many sections to choose from, most of which are shaded. And if you hit the trail at the right time, you won’t have to zig-zag and redirect your pup from other humans and fur friends.
Playful & Friendly Pups
For dogs that love to run off their leash and who play well with others, Hendricks County now has three dog parks to choose from. All three parks offer year-round fun, are well-maintained and require membership for entry.
To protect your pup, all memberships require registration and vaccination updates. Learn more about each dog park within our blog about top things to do for dogs in Hendricks County.
Best in show: Cardinal Bark Park in Brownsburg
Not only is Cardinal Bark Park the newest dog park in Hendricks County, but it is conveniently located right off of a paved walking trail connected to the B&O trail. This really makes things easy to take a nice, scenic walk before or after you stop to let your dog frolic and play.
There are two sections of the park meant to separate the big guys from the little pups. Each section has plenty of room to run as well as benches and shade for resting. And what I think is amazing is there is a rinse station to clean those muddy paws before they get back in the car.
Dogs (and humans) Who Love to Eat
I don’t know about you, but I think having access to yummy treats is always a bonus. It's always great to find a restaurant with dog-friendly patios, but its even better when there is something fun to do with your dog nearby.
Luckily, there are places in Hendricks County to have a doggy date.
Best in show: Vandalia Trail in Plainfield
Imagine you’re out for a walk with your four-legged friend and your stomach starts rumbling. Have no fear! Oasis Diner is right off the trail and has a dog-friendly patio to enjoy.
After you eat, you can take a stroll through Downtown Plainfield and get a yummy snack for your pup at Paw Street Bakery.
- Shops at Perry Crossing & their dog-friendly restaurants
- Beasley’s Orchard during Dog Daze at the Maze
Explorers & Adventure Lovers
This category is not for the faint of heart. This was made especially for the dogs who love to hike through the woods, climb hills and cross bridges.
Hendricks County definitely has plenty of beautiful bridges to check out. My favorite can be found at McCloud Nature Park. And just for fun, why don’t you see if your dog is brave enough to cross the suspension bridge at Ellis Park!
Best in Show: McCloud Nature Park
There is so much to see at McCloud Nature Park in North Salem. It’s a little off the beaten path, but well worth the drive! Along with crossing the century-old iron truss bridge, your pup can hike through prairie land, see diverse wildlife and even take a dip in the creek.
- Soldalis Nature Park in Plainfield
- Ellis Park in Danville