While you won’t find dog parks or many sidewalks in the small town of McCleary, the paths around town are important threads in the fabric that makes up Grays Harbor. Surrounded by tall trees and a lazy creek, exploring the town on the southern slopes of the Olympics with your dog will have you walking in both history and the beauty of a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Visiting McCleary gives you a small window into the past—it was once a hotbed of timber activity and has a rich history that is fun to explore. During your visit, check out where to walk your dog in McCleary that will help you enjoy and embrace the small-town spirit.

Walk to Beerbower Park

Where to walk your dog in McCleary Beerbower Park
Beerbower Park is the start and destination for many great dog walking adventures in McCleary. Photo credit: City of McCleary

Beerbower Park is a fantastic jumping off point for walks anywhere in town. Starting near the park, as the park itself is not dog friendly, walk around the fields and playground, taking detours around into the older neighborhoods. After you have seen some of the history of the town, return back to the car and you’ll have gotten a great stretch of the legs for you and your furry companion. Dogs love this walk because of all the smells of other dogs, people and nature. Humans will enjoy this walk because it is a place to see the community in action, while also close enough to the road to continue your trip, or stop by the local stores.

Mommsen Road Loop or Out and Back

Finding a walk that is not just on the city streets of McCleary can be tough, but the Mommsen Road provides just that. Starting at Beerbower Park, this classic McCleary dog walk heads up the hill along East Mommsen Street before entering the woods. While the road theoretically loops all the way to William McCleary Road, the old path is rugged and overgrown. Because of that, we recommend walking into the woods for a bit and heading back down to the car. Along this route, you’ll enjoy a walk with minimal traffic and a wilder feel. If you walk to the gate and back, from Beerbower Park, you’ll get roughly a mile and a half of walking.

Take a Trip to Porter Creek

Where to walk your dog in McCleary Porter Creek Falls
Dog-friendly Porter Creek Falls is a scenic and naturally beautiful area juts a few minutes from McCleary. Photo credit: Mathias Eichler

Just a few minutes south of town, the Porter Creek area of Capitol Forest is a fantastic place to walk your dog near McCleary. While there are miles of trails to explore in the Capitol Forest, your best bet for an adventure with your pooch is the 2.2-mile-long Porter Falls Trail. The trail offers tons of smells and sticks for your four-legged friend, while you’ll enjoy the 450 feet of elevation gain and glimpse at this small, but scenic waterfall. This is an out and back walk, and is a solid option for all sizes and breeds of dogs. Just remember to keep them leashed.

The Tree Route

With McCleary’s rich timber history, it only makes sense that so many streets are named for the towering giants that created the community. One fun way to walk and explore the town with your dog is to wander along all of the roads named after the trees of the region. In town, there are seven larger roads named after trees, giving you a checklist of streets to walk while exercising your dog. We once again suggest starting at Beerbower Park and heading to Maple, then working your way south to Fir, Pine, Oak and Hemlock before grabbing Spruce near Highway 8. From there, you can either head back to your car at Beerbower Park, or swing to the east side of town to grab Cedar and Birch Streets.

To the Top of Town

Where to walk your dog in McCleary
Big and small dogs will enjoy the paths around the historic town of McCleary. Photo credit: Aimee Rivers

Finally, if you want to get to the tallest points on the road through town, start at Beerbower Park. Heading north, wander along Veterans Way, meeting up with 1st Street on your way to Mommsen Street. Instead of walking up to the gate, this route will have you taking a right on Birch Street. Walking here, take in the glimpses of the town below before dropping back down along East Pine Street and eventually heading back to the park along 3rd Street. This route is just over a mile in length and gains 58 feet of elevation, ensuring both you and your dog feel like you did something active and properly explored this historic logging town.

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