11 places to walk your dog

cweber@herald-leader.comSeptember 22, 2011 

The rugged, hilly area around Indian Fort Theater near Berea is a popular spot for hikers — and for dog-walkers — because of views like this one. Indian Fort Theater is inside the Berea College Forest, about 3 miles from campus.

CHARLES BERTRAM

Central Kentucky is canine-friendly, with many parks and activities for dogs to enjoy. Whether you and your dog are interested in a beautiful place to walk, or you just want to watch the Canine Olympics, there are lots of options.

I asked my doggie Yahoo group for suggestions on places to walk besides their neighborhoods. Here are some of their favorites:

Indian Fort Theater. On Ky. 21, about 3 miles southeast of Berea, the area has huge hills with beautiful views, especially when the leaves are changing.

Red River Gorge. There are lots of challenging, beautiful trails with lunch spots and river-wading opportunities. Pets are not allowed inside the Natural Bridge State Park area of the gorge, however. Visit: Redrivergorge.com.

Woodford County Falling Springs Park, 275 Beasley Drive, Versailles. The high school cross country course at the back of the park is regularly mowed, and the big, grassy fields have moderate hills. (859) 873-5948.

Veterans Park. This Lexington park — at 650 Southpoint Drive — made the list because of its nice system of hiking trails in addition to the paved walking trail. Visit: Lexingtonky.gov.

Belleau Woods Park, 3770 Forest Green Drive, Lexington. This park was mentioned because it has nice creek access.

If you want to go for off-leash activity, these dog parks in Lexington offer that option. Visit: Lexingtonky.gov.

Jacobson Park: 4 acres, Richmond Road.

Coldstream Park: 12 acres, Newtown Pike.

Masterson Station Park: 16 acres, Lees town Road.

Wellington Park; 3.4 acres, Reynolds and Clays Mill Roads.

Looking for something a little more competitive?

The Canine Olympics at Woodford County Park in Versailles, Oct. 23. You'll find vendors, activities, agility and competitions that you and your pup can take part in. Visit: Woodfordhumanesociety.org.

The Kentucky Horse Park is the location of a number of dog-related activities. A tracking evening, hosted by the Lexington Kennel Club, will take place Nov. 5-6. Visit: Kyhorsepark.com.

And last, but certainly not least, many humane societies can use volunteers to care for dogs. Check with your local group about their specific needs.

More Central Kentucky bucket lists:

Reach dog-lover Camille Weber at (859) 231-3200.

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