Historic site holding its annual ‘Frontier Dog Walk’ on September 26

HARTFORD, Ill. – What could be better than exploring history on a beautiful autumn day? Exploring it with your dog.

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On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site will hold its annual “Frontier Dog Walk,” letting folks bring their dogs as they enjoy the scenery and learn about the site’s role in the historic Lewis and Clark expedition.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., participants may enjoy a two-mile walk to the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower and back. There will also be a shorter stroll available through the stunning recreation of Camp River Dubois and other buildings

The event is free, but anyone bringing a dog should sign in at the historic site. Registration begins at 9:30.

At 11, trainer and handler Erin Wigginton will discuss her 16 years working with dogs and what she has learned about them. Her presentation takes place in the Interpretive Center’s theater. Dogs (except for support or service dogs) aren’t allowed in the Interpretive Center itself, but they will be allowed in the theater for the presentation by Wigginton, owner of Helping Hounds Training.

At the confluence tower end of the trail, dogs will be available for adoption from several shelter and rescue organizations. That’s also where you’ll find hot dogs, chips, soda, water and Hawaiian Shaved Ice for sale by the Friendship General Baptist Church Youth Group of East Alton.

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Also at the event will be Jack & Lola’s Homemade Dog Treats.

Dr. Kim Lynch has graciously offered her time as the event’s emergency veterinarian and will be stationed at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower. She operates a mobile veterinary service and runs Hootie’s Rescue Haven in St. Clair, Mo.

Visitors can bring their own lunches and picnic at the historic site. Grilling is allowed, but only with gas because the site does not have the means to dispose of charcoal grills or the debris. Visitors are responsible to leave the grounds as they were found.

Registration ends at 1:15, and visitors should complete theirs walk by 2 o’clock, when the road will reopen to vehicle traffic.

The event is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Lewis and Clark Society of America.

The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, part of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is where the two explorers officially began their trek west. It is Site No. 1 on the National Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail.

The historic site is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours. It is located along Illinois Route 3, a few miles north of I-270 in Hartford, Illinois. 

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