SILVERCREEK — Your canine companion deserves a getaway, and one Highland Lakes resort wants to make sure it gets it in August.
“We love our dogs and pets out here, and we want people to know their dogs are welcome,” said Alisha Workman of the Canyon of the Eagles Resort and Nature Park. “We’re celebrating dogs during the entire month of August.”
As part of the celebration, dogs stay free at the resort, but you don’t have to be an overnight guest in order for your canine friend to take part in the festivities. In fact, you don’t have to be an overnight guest to enjoy any of the park’s amenities, including the 14 miles of hiking trails.
“Yes, we’re a resort, but we’re very much a nature park,” Workman said. “Anybody is welcome to come out here and enjoy what we have.”
There is a $5 gate fee, payable at the front office, but it gives you access to the park’s events and activities. As for the Dog Days of Summer, things pick up Aug. 2-3 at the resort, 16942 RR 2341 west of Burnet off Texas 29. To get there, head north on RR 2341 and follow it until the end of the road.
What you’ll find once you arrive will definitely be worth it — to you and your dog.
There are many things happening Aug. 2, but at 10 a.m., you can learn some of the ins and outs of hiking with your dog from Melissa Gaskill.
Gaskill wrote the book “The Best Hikes with Dogs: Texas Hill Country and Gulf Coast.” She’ll be signing books but also sharing her tips and answering questions about hiking with dogs.
“Hiking is a great activity for dogs of all sizes,” she said. “They love going and doing (things) with their owners, and exercise and fresh air are as good for them as they are for us.”
The talk on Aug. 2 will be informal, Gaskill said, but she wants to visit with folks about making sure their dogs are ready for a hike.
“If he’s a puppy or been a couch potato all his life, you need to work your way up to long hikes,” she said. Gaskill will also discuss some of the hazards dogs and owners face on the trail.
“The main hazard here in Central Texas is heat, as you might expect,” she said. “People don’t realize how quickly dogs can be affected.”
Gaskill will talk about some of the signs dogs exhibit when heat is affecting them. She’ll also talk about gear, and, of course, packing out what dogs tend to leave behind.
While she’s reluctant to pick a favorite dog-hiking trail, she pointed out three of the trails she covered in her book are at Canyon of the Eagles.
If your dog is more of the lay-back-and-enjoy-the-pampering pooch, don’t fret. Burnet artist Dianna Goble will be on the patio all day offering Sit, Stay and Pose original pet paintings.
“Dianna will be taking a photo of your dog, or you can bring one, and she’ll paint an original painting of your dog from it,” Workman said. “She’ll complete those through the week.”
Then at 5 p.m., head back to the patio for the Stylish Pet Contest.
Other dog-based activities at Canyon of the Eagles through the month of August include:
Best dog trick contest, Aug. 9 at 5 p.m.
Cutest pet contest, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.
Sit, Stay and Pose, Aug. 16-17, all day
Owner and pet look-a-like contest, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m.
Go to www.canyonoftheeagles.com for a full lineup of events. Workman said people and their dogs are invited out throughout the week as well as the weekends to enjoy the trails and other amenities.
“Dogs are always welcome,” she said. “We just ask that you keep them on a leash. But then you’re free to explore and enjoy the park.”
If you don’t own a dog, don’t worry. Canyon of the Eagles has plenty of activities just for humans, including wine tastings and stargazing. Check out the resort’s calendar on the website to learn more.