Pets and their People: Places for Animal Lovers in Marion County

Tails wag. Birds chip. Claws paw. Mouths bark, whine and beg. Pets love the summer months almost as much as their people.

Here in Marion County, pets and people have plenty of places to celebrate the purrfect summer with a furry best friend! Or 5! Or 10!

If you and your sidekick are looking for adventure in Marion County, look no further than these animal adventures!

The Exercise Inclined

If you and your prancing pup can’t wait to hit the trails and see the sights of Marion County this summer, here are some exercise-inspired adventures for you!

1.  Rail Trails

Mon River Rail TrailMarion County is full of railroad remnants, and 2 of those gems have been turned into trails for bikers, the hikers and the 4-footed walkers!

You can choose the historic MCTRAIL that includes the Pricketts Fort trailhead, the 1,200-foot-long Meredith Tunnel, and the Connector Trail for some heart-pumping, calorie-cutting exercise with your best friend!

For a chance to spot our wildlife along the way, choose the West Fork River Trail and hike the riverway along with your fearless friend. Just make sure to keep that leash on tight so you don’t tangle with the locals!

Dairy Creme Corner

 

 

After you finish the trails for the day, shake off the sweat and reward yourself and your canine companion with a cone from the Dairy Creme Corner!

 

 

2.  Morris Park

You and your pet can discover a world of surprises in these woods!

With more than 100 acres on this property, you and your pet friend can walk or jog along a path perfectly suited for a peaceful afternoon stroll.Morris Park in Fairmont WV

Grab  a picnic feast and head down to one of our grilling areas and chow down on a treat with your biggest friend  

You may get a glimpse of one of our feathered friends or catch a bird-bander at work making sure our bird residents are happy, healthy and ready to sing your exercise soundtrack as you go!

 

3.  FIDO’s Backyard

Time-for-everyone-to-get-out-and-stretch-those-furry-little-legs-FIDOSBackyard-dogparkWhile the kids have their baseball and parents enjoy a grilled burger and a cold lemonade, your animal friends can enjoy the luxury of their own fenced-in park!

FIDO (Fairmont Interested Dog Owners) created a puppy paradise in East Marion Park, complete with a wooded and an open fenced-in area so dogs can roam to their hearts’ content!

You can rest easy too, knowing a safe and happy time awaits your pet no matter what his size! Large and small dogs each have separate areas to get to know their playful friends.

But don’t think this puppy park is only good for canine cardio! Grab a Frisbee and a free spirit and go enjoy playing together in FIDO’s, too!  

Then, stop by the Marion County Visitor Center for a free dog treat! 

Traveling Solo

1. Crosby’s K-9 Country Club

Taking a trip this summer and worried about what your best friend Crosbysk9will do without you? Your pampered pooch can enjoy his own vacation at the classiest country club in the county!

This special spot has rooms for both dogs and cats, afternoon ice-cream parties and Yappy Hour every night before dinner.

With a beach-inspired wading pool and a fancy park for frolicking, your pet will be foot-loose and flea-free when you finally come home!

2.  Pet-Friendly Hotels

Taking a trip to town this summer? If you’ve come to explore all Marion County offers, but wanted to bring along your furry family members for the ride, we have plenty of hotels ready to say “be our guest!”

For some hotels, ANY pet is welcome but you should call individual hotels with specific questions. Pets must remain in their crate while in the room and there will be an additional charge per night.

The Outdoor Enthusiast

Maybe the pet parent life isn’t for you, but you love observing our animal life around town. We have plenty of spots to sit back and learn about the original residents of Marion County!

We’ve already mentioned Morris Park is a great place to birdwatch, but for other observing adventures, check out these spots!

1.  Pricketts Fort

You-can-almost-smell-spring-Who-is-counting-down-the-hours-spring-WV-PrickettsFortBeyond time-traveling back to the frontier, this famous fort also has some amazing animal adventures!

Every spring, join in on a birding adventure on the Spring Bird Walk. This trek allows you to take a peek into the peeping lives of West Virginia’s flying friends with an expert guide from the West Virginia DNR!

Also in the spring, watch the woolly adventures of the fort’s sheep. Sheep to Shawl demonstrations show the process of shearing, carding and spinning with the cutest little presenters front and center! Sheep to Shawl at Pricketts Fort

Walk along the Observation Deck and listen closely to see how many bird species you can hear. You may even catch a glimpse of our famous birder himself, Joey Herron, or take along his book “The Birds of Pricketts Fort” as a guide to our feathered wildlife!

Observation deck at Pricketts Fort State Park

2.  West Virginia Rehabilitation Center

Inspired by our majestic bald eagles? Puzzled by our mysteriousLooking-for-something-to-do-after-brunch-join-the-wvraptorrehabilitationcenter-at-Bunners-Ridge-for- vultures?

If you want more information on local birds of prey, the Raptor Rehab Center is both an information center and a life-saving station for birds in need.

What started as a basement rescue retreat has blossomed into a facility with a staff of more than 40 volunteers taking care of injured birds, and scientists conducting research on raptor behavior, rehab and environments.

Take a tour with a group or call for information to meet the education birds, including Annie the Red-tailed Hawk, Easton the Bald Eagle, Neo the Broadwinged hawk, Rupert the red-phase Eastern Screech Owl, Shadow the Swallow-Tailed Kite, William the Barred Owl, Yampa the American Kestrel and Vader the Turkey Vulture.

The Furry Family Builder

After all the animal-inspired adventures in Marion County, you may agree 1 more animal in the family can only add to the fun!

Check out these places for pets of all scales, furs and fins!

1.  Fairmont Pets and Supplies
Stop into Fairmont Pets and Supplies for a cozy critter to take home!

Fairmont Pet SuppliesGet a friendly greeting from the store birds, then enjoy meeting your next best friend in the form of a reptile, fish, bird or rodent!

But make sure you know what you’re getting into! This knowledgeable staff will make sure you have all the supplies and info you need to take care of your new animal companion.

Humans aren’t the only visitors welcome to come say hi! Pet friends, including snakes, skinks and salamanders, are all welcome to come by and enjoy hanging out with other animals!

 

 

2.  Marion County Humane Society

To adopt a forever friend, visit our no-kill shelter and fall in love with dogone of our favorite pets!

If you want a dog or cat that will love you forever and want to make a difference, adopting from the shelter is a must-do in Marion County.

All animals are spayed or neutered and have their shots, so come in and adopt instead of shop!

The Informed Entertainer

If summertime means a good book, a dinner show or a glass of your favorite beverage, then we have the animal-inspired entertainment your vacation needs!

1.  Kerri’s Korner Bookstore

At this cozy bookstore, you can find books on pets, field guides and a connected staff that can order any book on animal know-how your heart desires!

Check out information about our favorite residents of all species, and grab some posters in the Educational Resource Center to educate your kids and students about animal friends!

2.  Heston Farm Winery, Distillery

For the ultimate in animal-friendly entertainment, come on out to

Heston Farm outdoor courtyard

Heston Farm to wine, dine and laugh with your best friend!

Dogs are welcome in the outdoor courtyard while patrons sip on an animal-inspired beverage.

Yes, all the wines at this unique place are named after animals on the farm. Whether you meet Jade the German Shepherd or Dolly the Llama through your tasting experience, honor the farm’s lovable pets .

Heston Farm Winery

Heston Farm also will contribute to the animal cause this month with a “Comedy with a Cause” dinner theater delight— “Extra Value Murder.” Each plate includes a donation to the Marion County Humane Society, so come out and dine with a purpose to help pets!

No matter where you go in Marion County, we have homespun adventures for pets and their people.

So roll down those windows and let the ears and tongues fly free!

Rachel Ellis

 

 

Rachel Ellis

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