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“A happy dog is a happy life”
Hey there, I'm Kiana and I would love to meet your dog! I have a German Shepherd of my own, Rocky, and we always go for drives, walks, and runs. Throughout my school years, I've helped train dogs to become service dogs. In college, I volunteered at an animal shelter where I comforted the dogs in their cage. I realized that I would like to have more interactions with dogs which has brought me to Wag!
Top Pet Caregiver
Can run with dogs, Oral medicine administration, Training experience, Fast walker
Avon Park is a little city situated smack dab in central Florida on a long stretch of US Highway 27, one of the only highways that takes you to the southern end of the state. Because of this unique attribute, Avon Park is a popular destination for tourists driving through the state and wanting to take a travel break midway through. If you and Fido get to visit this interesting city, you can stay at one of the two pet-friendly hotels available for a reasonable rate plus a pet fee. Don't worry, big dogs are allowed!
When you are ready to fill your stomach, Fido is welcome at five of Avon Park's outside benched restaurants, including a fast food chain only found in the south, and the hometown favorites for pizza, Market 27 and Little Italy. If you are looking for a sit-down meal with a friendly southern atmosphere, try the Wild Turkey Tavern.
While you are visiting, check out Donaldson Park on the lake, just a short drive off of Highway 27. In this little park, you and Fido can enjoy the natural beauty of Florida and explore the mini trails. Three vet clinics in this small town assure you that if anything unexpected happens, Fido will be taken care of!
Highlands Hammock State Park, five miles from Avon Park, is an extremely popular destination for tourists and residents both. This nature preserve is 9,000 acres of land set aside for wildlife preservation and has been used as such since 1931. You will need to pay a small fee per vehicle to enter the park, but once you are inside, you can park at the pavilion area and walk one of the many trails there, or you can choose to continue driving through the circular park. Along the drive, you will find a multitude of other trails that you can stop off the road, park, and take Fido to explore the gorgeous natural outdoors found only in Florida. You may even want to take a stroll along the catwalk and look for turtles and other wildlife!
Just a bit further down the road from Avon Park and off of Highway 27, you will find Sebring's famed Historic Downtown District. This area, aptly named by locals as "The Circle," is an area of quaint shops and restaurants where you and Fido can walk and explore the history and culture of Highlands County. You'll find many dog-friendly places to stop and enjoy, including the heart of Sebring in the middle of the Circle, where, depending on the time of year, you may come across one of their many events and shows. As long as Fido is on a leash, you will find pets quite welcome, and many shops will let small, leashed pets inside while you shop.
Once you and Fido have meandered down all of the side streets off of the Circle in the Historic Downtown District, you will probably find yourself drawn towards the picturesque lake that you can see from multiple directions. Head on over the short distance and you will find the beautiful City Pier Beach on Lake Jackson. As long as Fido is on a leash, you both can frolic in the water and enjoy a picnic under a pavilion, then clean up at the provided public restroom facilities available. Bring Fido fresh water and a meal and you can easily stay here all day!
Right in the middle of Avon Park and Sebring lies Sun 'n Lake, a neighborhood surrounded by wilderness and set aside from the busyness of the rest of the city. Set off of 27, you will find the Sun 'n Lake Preserve, a 1,350-acre wildlife preserve designated for hiking and biking. Along the trail here, you and Fido can slowly stroll along and explore the natural freshwater marsh, cypress swamp, flatwoods, and more that are found only in this area of Florida. Fido may even get lucky and find some unique wildlife while you are exploring. There are no public facilities, however, so bring lots of water!
They call it "out in the boonies," and it definitely is a few miles out of the main path, but while you are in Avon Park, you and Fido must take the ride to the Avon Park Air Force Range. Rather than set aside the land for government use only, this range consists of 78,000 acres open to the public for camping, hiking, and general outdoor use, so you and Fido can enjoy to your hearts' content! Inside the range, you will find the 16-mile Lake Arbuckle Trail, which you can both hike at no cost as long as you have picked up the free permit and signed a liability release form at the office. You can also choose to hike the Sandy Point Wildlife Refuge 6.5-mile loop trail or the half-mile nature trail complete with boardwalks and observation tower, all of which require the liability release and permit. There are no public facilities, so keep in mind Florida's heat and Fido's fur -- you'll need lots of water!
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