If you're the kind of person who shops for hiking gear at both a sporting goods and a pet store, Georgia has plenty of getaways for you and your four-legged friend to tackle together.
All of the campsites at Georgia State parks welcome leashed dogs. Rangers even lead regular dog hikes at two of the closest parks to Atlanta – High Falls State Park just a mile off Interstate 75 in Jackson and Sweetwater Creek State Park near Interstate 20 in Lithia Springs.
Tackle them and the other five parks in the Tails on Trails Club with your pet and you will earn a T-shirt for you and bandana for your pooch.
Even better, you and Fido can relax together after a day outside at several parks that offer dog-friendly cottages.
Black Rock Mountain State Park (Clayton). Named after the sheer mica cliffs in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this park is closed through much of the winter. When it opens in March, cottages No. 5 and No. 10 on the westernmost ridge will welcome you and your dogs. Best hikes include a .85-mile lake loop and, for the more adventurous owner and pet, the 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Loop that crosses the mountain's north slope before climbing across summit and following the Eastern Continental Divide.
Crooked River State Park (St. Marys). Cottages No. 1, 4, 10 and 11 are dog-friendly inns along the Crooked River in this coastal southeast Georgia playground. The park itself has four miles of trails, but your pet is also welcome to ride shotgun on tidal boats available for rent. One word of warning: Keep an eye out for native alligators around waterways in the area.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park (Pine Mountain). Georgia's largest state park has more than 40 miles of trails stretching across 9,000 acres of woods, gentle mountains and occasional waterfalls. Dogs are welcome in cottages No. 18 and 19 but book now if you want your pooch to swim in the spring-fed Liberty Bell Pool at the end-of-season luau. No humans can take a dip at the party, which will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 9 this fall.
Laura Walker State Park (Waycross). Explore the mysteries of the Okefenokee Swamp from the pet-friendly cabins near the northern edge of the swamp at this nearby park. The park includes four miles of trails and a wildlife observation boardwalk for strolls, while private boats are welcome on the park lake.
Mistletoe State Park (Appling). Does Fido like bass fishing? You can find out if you bring your pooch to help you check out the 72,000-acre stocked lake near Augusta. Cottages No. 1, 10 and the Fisherman's Cottage are dog-friendly, as are the park's 15.5 miles of trails.
And, if roughing it in a cabin isn't enough pampering for your precious pooch, don't forget that the Barnsley Resort, about 60 miles north of Atlanta in Adairsville, earns high praise for pet-friendly luxury.
The resort welcomes your leashed pet on its 10 miles of hiking trails in the resort gardens. Dogs are also permitted in outdoor sitting areas with fire pits, lawn games and even at the outdoor dining venue, the Beer Garden.
Pet-friendly offerings include the resort's Garden or Meadow Suites and Arbor Cottages. Every furry friend's stay includes pet beds, bowls, bottled water and treats.
An added bonus: ask about the Pampered Pets for PAWS rate. Use it, and the resort will donate the $75 pet fee to the nonprofit rescue group, PAWS Atlanta.
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