Fairburn, Georgia is only 20 miles from Downtown Atlanta, but there’s plenty to do without trekking into the city. Duncan Park has some lovely green space and paths around the pond for some quick walkies, and Wilkerson Mills-Farris Park in nearby Palmetto has a walking track. There are three veterinarians within five miles of downtown Fairburn, including a 24-hour emergency vet.
Every spring, costumed merrymakers from across the South descend on Fairburn for the GA Renaissance Festival. The festival has an annual pet-friendly weekend, so check the calendar and let your pups partake in some wholesome entertainment (and maybe part of your turkey leg).
Need to schedule some parent-pup quality time? Consider joining the Georgia State Parks Tails on Trails Club. Each human/canine team gets a membership book and collects seven ranger stamps for completing seven of the state’s most scenic hikes — together. Start at Sweetwater Creek State Park, just 17 miles away in Lithia Springs, where you and your bestie will hike to the ruins of a historic mill.
Fairburn is easy Sunday-drive distance from several other club stamps: Red Top Mountain State Park is 50 miles north in Cartersville, High Falls State Park is 54 miles southeast in Jackson, and FD Roosevelt State Park is 61 miles southwest in Pine Mountain. If you’re heading to Roosevelt, consider a stop at FDR’s Little White House State Historic Site in Warm Springs to sniff out some American history; on-leash dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas, and the site even has an annual event dedicated to FDR’s Scottie, Fala.
Just 3 miles from Fairburn, Union City’s Mayor’s Park has a comfortable waking track and free wi-fi (which is great for uploading pictures of your pup being adorable at the park). For a less wired experience, try the Nature Trail at Roland Bridges Park instead. The trail was recently renovated and improved. There are also steel human exercise stations with circuit-training info available at Roland Bridges, so you can set some shared fitness goals with your fur family. If that sounds too healthy, there are several dog-friendly burger joints in town with outdoor spots to chow down with your fur family.
The Canine Crossing Dog Park, 3.5 miles from Fairburn in College Park, is Fulton County’s premier off-leash play place. With five fenced acres and separate areas for dogs over and under 25 lbs, plus tunnels and a walking area, there’s some serious frolicking about to happen. With covered benches, swings, and human restrooms, you’ll be happy, too. Best of all, the park is public and free of charge; do note that your doggos must be wearing tags showing current vaccination. However, if on-leash is more your game, note that there’s also a walking track at Creel Park on the other side of College Park.
A quick 8.5-mile drive will get your pack to Cochran Mill Park in Chattahoochee Hills for the 18 miles of multiuse trails through deep Georgia woods. Before you head out, though, take a few minutes to visit the park’s website, where you can download a GPS-powered app that will help track your hike offline or just grab the downloadable trail maps. Grab some water, too; since the longest trail is 8 miles, you’ll be happy you brought resources. This beautiful nature preserve was created through a combination of citizen donations and a GA Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program Grant. It contains streams, waterfalls, and the ruins of three different mills that preserve the area’s history. You’ll also sniff out plenty of squirrels, birds, and other wildlife. Note that there’s a reasonable fee for an annual parking pass.
Peachtree City is 14 miles from Fairburn and one of the major retail hubs in the area. There are more than 20 pet-friendly dining establishments with outdoor seating for you and your furry friends, and you can try all of them without getting back in the car. It’s easy to pad around: Peachtree City prides itself on a network of 90 miles of paved paths that are pawpular with dog-lovers, bikers, and golf cart drivers. There’s also a beautiful off-leash dog park on McIntosh Trail. Not far outside of town, the 14 acres of Lake McIntosh Park is a sunny spot for a frolic near the reservoir. And, the Line Creek Nature Area offers 2 miles of hiking trails to explore with your pack.
If your pups would rather be where the action is, consider making the 21-mile drive to Grant Park. If you can make it on a Sunday, your pups will enjoy browsing the dog-friendly Grant Park Farmers Market with you. In this friendly neighborhood of young urban professionals, both you and your pups are sure to make new friends. The 131-acre park itself is a leafy, grassy expanse just waiting for you to come play. Plus, the interesting smells wafting over from Zoo Atlanta will provide an intriguing twist for the sensitive noses in your group. The park has free public wi-fi, so you can post as many dog pics as your social media friends can handle.