Plan Your Dog-friendly Weekend in Brainerd, MN

Outdoor dog parks, brewery patios, hiking trails and a canine spa treatment will all make it an unforgettable weekend! Here are some of the top 10 things dogs, and their owners, like to do in the Brainerd area.

  1. There is nothing more refreshing than sitting on a patio, listening to live music and enjoying a craft beer on a hot summer day. Even more enjoyable with your pup beside you! Jack Pine Brewery welcomes you and your four-legged friends to their outdoor patio. Between food trucks, game and trivia nights, live music and more in-house events we’re pretty sure you might never want to leave!

    Pictured at the Mississippi Overlook, Crow Wing State Park

  2. Pack your picnic basket and grab your hiking shoes to explore the Crow Wing State Park. Located just south of Brainerd on Highway 371 is the perfect spot to bring your pup for some exercise. Hike the Mississippi overlook or walk the historic boardwalk that once ran in front of 1860s “Old Crow Wing” village.
  3. More dog friendly trails can be found at the Northland Arboretum. Dogs are welcome at the Arb as long as they are on a leash. If membership is something that you are considering, don’t forget about adding a Dog membership as well. Dog memberships allow the Northland Arboretum to provide waste bags at the Arb free to you. Owners must be current members. Your pup will receive a treat bag upon a new or renewed membership.
  4. Does Fido like to swim? With all of the lakes around here, one of the easiest ways for your dog to cool off, is to use a public lake access.
  5. Ernie’s on Gull welcomes dogs on their outdoor patio bar because they know just how special our fur babies are! The Soft Pretzel bucket for an appetizer along with the delicious Walleye Sandwich is a must try. Please note that Ernie’s does not allow dogs indoors or on their deck patio.
  6. Whether your style is biking, walking, running or roller blading the Paul Bunyan Trail is a great place to bring your dog for some exercise. The Paul Bunyan trail is open year-round with lots of scenery opportunities, paved trails and in many of the connecting towns you will find bike-in camping, picnic areas and rest shelters.
  7. What is ice cream without your favorite pup by your side? The Triangle Drive In Ice cream and Treats is owned and ran by dog lovers! Grab yourself an ice cream sundae and a Pup-A-Treat (Vanilla Ice cream, Dog Bone, Waffle Cone) for your dog. Enjoy your tasty treats on one of the picnic tables or while playing fetch in the grass.
  8. Buster Park is an off-leash, fenced, one-acre public dog park where you and your dog can play together. Enjoy a park-like setting and the chance to socialize with other canines and their owners. Always observe all of the park rules posted at your local dog park to help keep everyone’s experience enjoyable.
  9. We all deserve a relaxing day of pampering, even our dogs! Pampered Pets in Brainerd has everything to ensure your pet has the best spa day. Choose from a full groom, bath, and blow dry or do it yourself with their self-service wash. For all the same reasons us humans take a day dedicated to wellness, our doggie best friends can enjoy the same oasis of luxury.
  10. Visit an outdoor farmers market! The Destination Downtown Brainerd’s Here For Good Market is held every Tuesday from 3pm-6pm ending August 30th. This weekly event features local good and art vendors, family- friendly activities, food trucks, and live music.

However you decide to spend time with your pet, please be respectful of your surroundings. When nature calls, always be sure to clean up after your pets. Whether you have an energetic lab or a cuddly lap dog, they are welcome in the Brainerd and Baxter areas! For more information on things to do and to plan your stay, visit our website here.