I’ve only been here for 5 days but plan on staying all summer so we’ve already checked out some of the dog-friendly entertainment. I’m staying in Hollister, just across the river from Branson and a quick 3 minute drive. Branson does tend to get crowded, traffic-wise, especially on weekends in the summer so I wanted to scope things out during the week in preparation.
There are two official city dog parks within 3 miles of each other. I’ve only been to both once each now and neither was being used at the time but that was during the week mid-morning and that probably changes on the weekend or after work hours. In addition to the two dog parks, there are lots of dog-friendly opportunities in the area, including walking trails at numerous city parks, Table Rock State Park nearby, and outdoor shopping walks such as that one at Branson Landing.
The dog park within the city of Branson, Elmo & Rosalea Marrs Memorial Dog Park, is a members’ only park which requires a key to enter. I read all the information at the website, and it still seemed like something I might want to check out. It would be $40 annually for two dogs and worth it to me for three months if the dogs liked it. However, when we arrived to check it out, I was not impressed. The website states that it’s 1 1/2 acres but is actually divided into two parks — small dogs and big dogs. It’s out in the sun and quite empty of dogs or activities for the dogs. It’s also a little bit of a windy drive through lots of neighborhoods up in the hills and ends up at a dead end street on the Northwest side of the city.
Good news — there is a really nice 1/2 mile walking trail around Stockstill Park, where the dog park resides. Roark Creek runs through the park and there are several spots where you can walk down and soak your feet or let the dogs play in the water. As long as your dogs are on leash and you scoop the poop, pets are allowed at this park.
Pepper Dog Park is in Hollister, MO, across the street from Turkey Creek and just down the road from historical downtown Hollister. This free little city park is in a residential neighborhood but just off the main highway (Bus 65) and very easy to get to. I’m hoping it does get used on the weekends because it’s only 1/2 mile from me and the dogs would really like someone to play with.
Even with no one else there, they did enjoy their time playing on the big dog side when we visited on Tuesday morning. There are the usual doggie bags, water dishes, and separate sections for small and larger dogs. There aren’t a lot of trees but there were shady spots within the park on the day we were there. There is a small parking lot next to the dog park for convenience.
There are a lot of outdoor things to do in Branson and, even though it’s July, the weather is quite pleasant. I’ve only used my AC for a few hours every afternoon, otherwise, I’ve stayed quite comfortable with windows open and fans blowing. I don’t know if this is typical weather for this area at this time of year but it makes it much easier to participate in outdoor activities with the animals. Look for future posts on more dog-friendly activities during our stay in Branson, MO.