For outdoor fun, the Ozarks are a wonderful place to take your pet. Extending from Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on down into the entire northern portion of Arkansas, the Ozarks offer incredible natural beauty as well a lots of opportunities for all kinds of entertainment.
First, start with our listing of pet-friendly Ozarks lodgings, everything from hotels and motels to cabins, cottages, and bed and breakfasts.
If it's waterplay you want, you've got plenty of choices, as the Ozarks are a patchwork of lakes and rivers. In Lake of the Ozarks State Park, which allows you to access Lake of the Ozarks, your pet is permitted throughout the park on a 10-foot leash but is not allowed in the swim areas or beaches, but you can have your pet with you on a boat. Also check out Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which also borders the lake. It offers 15 miles of trails you can hike with your pet, exploring such natural wonders as The Coliseum, a sinkhole 500 feet long and 300 feet wide, the Whispering Dell sink basin, 250-foot-tall bluffs that tower over Ha Ha Tonka Spring, a 100-foot-high natural bridge, and the stone wall ruins of the mansion of the wealthy Kansas City businessman that sit on a bluff overlooking the lake.
If you're visiting Lake of the Ozarks, you also don't want to miss the annual Dog Days Canine Cannonball held at Dog Days Bar & Grill in Osage Beach. Entrants compete in the Big Air, Extreme Vertical, Speed Retrieve, and Iron Dog. Part of the proceeds go to the Dogwood Animal Shelter.
If you and your pet are looking for places to hike, Ozark National Forest in Arkansas and Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri offer hundreds of miles of trail for both day and backcountry hiking, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, and boating. Keep your pet on a 10-foot leash.