Often called the “Heart of Texas” for its central location, Waco is located at the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers. The city became a center for commerce when it erected a suspension bridge across the Brazos. Designed by the same engineers who constructed New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge years later, today this bridge welcomes you, Fido and other pedestrians to stroll across the Brazos. The list of dog-friendly Waco attractions includes the massively-popular Magnolia Market, well-known to fans of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
Dog-Friendly Waco Attractions and Activities
Cameron Park Trail System. Waco’s largest park is home to 15 miles of multi-use trails, part of the National Recreation Trail system. You and your dog can walk or run the trails which range from beginner to expert. Info: 2601 Sturgis Rd.; www.waco-texas.com. Free.
Fort Fisher Park. This 30-acre park is a quiet contrast to nearby I-35. Located along the shady banks of the Brazos River, this park was once the site of Fort Fisher, an outpost of the Texas Rangers built in 1837. Today the park contains the City of Waco Tourist Information Center, excellent for picking up travel information across the state, and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Although your dog can’t enter the museum, you’ll find picnicking and walking paths to enjoy together. Info: I–35, exit 335B; www.texasranger.org. Fee for camping.
H.O.T. Dog Park. Open from dawn until dusk, the three-acre Heart of Texas (H.O.T) Dog Park offers big and small dog play areas. The park is owned by the veterinarian from the adjacent Texas Animal Medical Center and they have a staff member on call at all times in case of emergency. Info: 4900 Steinbeck Bend Rd. Free.
Magnolia Market. You can’t miss the distinct silhouette of the Silos on the Waco skyline; the former cottonseed mill today houses a bustling shopping area–and one that’s dog-friendly, too! Dogs are welcome in the store and on the grounds, except for the artificial turf lawn (although they can watch the activity from the nearby food court area): Info: 601 Webster; https://magnolia.com/silos/
Waco River Walk. Leashed dogs are welcome for a great riverside dog walk along the Brazos River. The walk includes the restored Suspension Bridge, today a pedestrian bridge, linking Indian Spring Park on the west bank and Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the east. On the west side, you’ll find a walk to Fort Fisher Park in one direction and Herring Avenue Bridge in the other. In all, the Riverwalk spans seven miles. Info: University Parks Dr. between Franklin and Washington Sts.; Free.
Dog-Friendly Food Court
Magnolia Market. The food court–with its wide variety of food trucks–at Magnolia Market is dog-friendly and a perfect place for some people watching. Info: 601 Webster; https://magnolia.com/silos/#silos-eat
For More Information
- Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau; (800) WACO–FUN or (254) 750-8696; www.wacoheartoftexas.com