Whether you added a new four-legged friend to your family in the last few months or you’ve had canine companions for years, there’s no better time to treat them and yourselves to some exercise and a chance to mingle with other pet owners.
Join the St. Charles Park District’s new Morning with your Mutt on Saturday, June 20 for a leisurely walk around Hickory Knolls Natural Area. The free event starts at 7:30 a.m. and includes a beautiful morning walk through the natural area. Register early as this event is limited to 9 participants due to COVID-19 restrictions. Another free walk will be held on Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 a.m. at Primrose Farm.
“Both locations have really nice walking loops,” said Lara Piner, Recreation Supervisor who oversees doggie events for the park district.
While each walk is free, registration is required. Dogs must remain on a 6-foot leash throughout the walk. Though dogs and their owners will be spaced out along the path, the parade of pets and people will be a great way to greet some neighbors.
Piner says St. Charles is a very dog-friendly community with three dog parks open daily from dawn to dusk. The dog parks are located at the East Side Sports Complex, the James O. Breen Community Park and at River Bend Community Park.
Use of the dog parks is free. Dog owners are reminded that their pups must be current on all vaccinations and have current rabies tags. Dog owners must supervise their pets while using the park.
Dog parks offer a place for pups to run free and socialize. Additionally there is a separate play area designated for smaller dogs at the East Side Sports Complex dog park as well as a pond for water lovers.
Walking your dog is not only great exercise for the four-legged companion. Walking can really boost one’s immunity and provide mental and physical health improvements, Piner says.
“I think this summer all of us will be focused on getting back out and about and taking care of ourselves,” Piner said.
Studies have shown walking as little as 30 minutes of day can provide health benefits including lowering blood pressure, reducing high cholesterol, helping control weight and improving self-esteem and mental wellbeing.
If your walk also includes a stroller or young one in a wagon, be sure to check the Park District’s website for locations of park paths to find the best fit.
“We have so many great places to walk in St. Charles,” Piner said. “I grew up here, and I am still discovering new places to enjoy.”