HARTFORD — The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site will hold its annual Frontier Dog Walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, letting folks bring their dogs as they enjoy the scenery and learn about the site’s role in the historic Lewis and Clark expedition.
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 a.m.
At 11 a.m., 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, 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 visitors will find hot dogs, chips, soda, water and Hawaiian shaved ice for sale by the Friendship General Baptist Church Youth Group of East Alton. Also at the event will be Jack & Lola’s Homemade Dog Treats.
Dr. Kim Lynch has offered her time as the event’s emergency veterinarian and will be stationed at the 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 their walks by 2 p.m., 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. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours. It is located along Illinois 3, a few miles north of Interstate 270 in Hartford.