Lawtey is a small town, but densely packed. More than 700 people call the 1.4 square miles of land home. It’s easy to see why; Lawtey has the charms of small towns with conveniences that come from being only seven miles from the county seat of Starke, FL. Lawtey doesn’t have its own vet clinic, but close proximity to Starke means that healthcare is never far away; it’s a ten minute commute from Lawtey to Starke, so even emergency care is still within easy reach for Lawtey’s canine residents.
Whether you’re passing through Lawtey on your way to somewhere else, or you’re looking to stay, you cannot miss the Raiford Wildlife Management Area. This nature preserve is over 9,000 acres in size and will make your dog sit up and beg to explore it. Leash up and head in--for the wildlife’s safety, keep your dog on leash at all times. There are trails throughout Raiford Wildlife Management Area that give you choices in the length and difficulty of your walk. Just remember that not all trails loop back. You’re also going to need to bring your own water! Lawtey’s small town appeal compliments the beauty of the surrounding area well, making Lawtey a waggin’ good place.
The small, one neighborhood community of Lawtey is home to the Lawtey Ball Park. This open area located across the street from Lawtey Elementary School is maintained as a baseball field, and is the pawfect spot to give your dog a pleasant walk or a romp- between games, that is! While sparse on amenities, this green space is great for getting rid of pup energy. If you are just passing through and need a pillow to lay your paws, try the Economy Inn Lawty. Here, you can stay with your dog of any size in one of their pet friendly rooms for a fee.
Starke City Recreation Park is in the Heilbronn neighborhood in Starke, only 8 miles from Lawtey. The short distance is worth if for this large and welcoming park. With multiple sports centers and plenty of open areas, the park has the longest walking trail in the area. Talk a long walk with your leashed dog, or romp in the green grass. If you or your pooch need a break, the park provides plenty of benches and water fountains to grab a drink. The park is open for outdoor fun from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
The Hampton neighborhood in Starke is 9 miles from Lawtey, and is home to The Florida Trail. The trail is dog-friendly so long as pups stay on a leash. The trail is 9.3 miles long, and usually boasts few hikers along its shaded path. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as the trail cuts through a small forest for the first 3.5 miles. After this, hikers will pass over the Sampson River and along the cypress swamp. The trail will end shortly after, but hikers and their dogs can choose to go farther onto other segments if they wish.