Edwardsville is a great place to live and own pets. Our beautiful city offers dog friendly trails, hikes and walks in addition to lots of local shops that allow you to bring a well behaved pup along. Whisker Bones is happy to be a part of such a wonderful community. In honor of our city’s efforts to become more pedestrian and bike friendly, we have compiled a list of our favorite walks and trails that are pet friendly.
Our first stop is the Watershed Nature Center. This walk contains scenic forest views and even has a path around the marsh. This 1.4-mile trail loops through 40 acres of prairie, forest, and wetland habitats. It also features a raised concrete walkway through the marsh. The trail surface is pavement, boardwalks (with partial edge barriers and railings), gravel, or natural (dirt, grass, root) surfaces. It’s generally considered an easy route that takes an average of 25 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and running, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash. There are benches and picnic tables along the route for resting. There are wheelchair-accessible bathrooms at the east end of the trail. The nature center is wheelchair-accessible.
Our next pet friendly walk is the SIUE Nature Preserve Loop and SIUE Cross-Country Course. Enjoy this wooded 3.0-mile loop trail just off of New Poag Road. Generally considered moderately challenging, this route has wide, grassy, tree-lined trails with some winding dirt paths that lead into the woods. This is a popular trail for hiking, running, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The best times to visit this trail are April through October. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.
If you’re looking for a shorter walk, try Leclaire Park just off of Troy Road. This park is set on 5.8 acres and is located within the historic Leclaire neighborhood. It is a favorite picnic and playground area for many Edwardsville families. The sidewalk encircles the park as it surrounds the beautiful two acre lake which is great for fishing and enjoyed by geese and ducks. This park includes three playground areas, historic bandstand gazebo, a large picnic pavilion and two small picnic shelters, barbecue grills, and a handicapped accessible restroom facility. There are dog waste stations on either side of the park and lots of shady trees for warmer days.
Joe Glick Park is another neighborhood favorite. Comprised of over 42 acres, it’s the City’s largest passive park. This park has walking, biking, and skating trails, fishing lakes with a concrete fishing deck, picnic pavilions, barbecue grills, restrooms, playground with ADA compliant soft surfacing, sand volleyball courts, and a basketball court. Our favorite feature is the off-leash fenced-in dog park with a shade tree.
Our pups always love a trip to the dog park. Brent Leh Dog Park is an off-leash dog park near downtown Edwardsville. This park has synthetic turf and fencing and includes some agility equipment. There is a water station for dogs, but water access is shut off during the colder months. The park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has dusk-to-dawn lighting.
Historic downtown offers several shops that are dog friendly and lots of restaurants with dog friendly patios. On extra warm days, consider taking your pup on a walk in Lowes or Home Depot. Home Goods is also dog friendly. We also have several pet stores in town. Whisker Bones, of course, is our favorite. However, All Natural Pets and Four Muddy Paws are also locally owned pet supply stores that allow four legged companions to shop. Our city sponsors several outdoor, pet friendly activities all year long. We just had our second annual Doggy Easter Egg Hunt in April and are looking forward to seeing all the pups for the pet parade this fall. You can follow the city’s Parks and Rec page for updates on upcoming pet friendly events.
Please remember to clean up after your pet on walks and adventures to ensure we will be able to enjoy these favorite gems in the future.
Sources: All Trails, City of Edwardsville website, and Google Maps