Bridging Clark and Oconee counties in Georgia, the city of Bogart is part of the greater Athens metropolitan area. Bogart’s small-town Southern charm has a hint of funkiness thanks to nearby University of Georgia and the Athens nightlife. Bogart’s location offers access both to the city and to the vast forests of northeast Georgia. There are two veterinary hospitals in Bogart, and you don’t have to look far for top-notch care.
Athens is a dog-friendly city, as one would expect in this student-focused environment. Athens has 4 off-leash dog parks to choose from: Wiggly Field is a local favorite. When you need a break, pick from 50+ Athens restaurants with dog-friendly patio dining. That includes the Terrapin Beer Company, a premiere brewery where you can imbibe while your dog watches. (That’s why you didn’t get a cat. Dogs don’t judge you.)
Outdoor adventures abound in this woodsy part of the state. The Sandy Creek Nature Center is just 11 miles to the east of Bogart. The Nature Center’s C Spot Run area provides a free fenced yard for off-leash antics and even lets you rent a private fenced dog run by the hour — perfect for anxious pups or those who don’t play well with others.
Though small, Bogart itself has plenty of creature comforts to offer. If your pup has been a very good boy, then share a burger in the car at the local drive-in before working off the calories with a good run at the Bogart Sports Complex where paths wind among the six ball fields. We’ll sure Rover will attract some cheerleaders if you throw the ball around: Everyone loves Dawgs in this part of Georgia. Bear Creek Reservoir lies a few miles to the north of central Bogart and offers boating, fishing, and a chance to splash around without leaving your home turf.
With the grassy lawns of the UGA campus just across from a cool and quirky downtown shopping district, you can run your heart out just 12 miles from Bogart in Downtown Athens. The closest of the city’s off-leash dog parks is at Athens Memorial Park. In addition to the fenced dog runs, Memorial Park has Birchmore Trail for on-leash hiking and some interesting stray scents drifting over from the Bear Hollow Zoo. For a quieter walk, try the 32 acres of Ben Burton Park, including a 1.2-mile loop trail and rocky shoals for splashing in the Middle Oconee River. When it's time to shop, hit up Athens Pet Market for specialty foods and Bark Dog Boutique for some stylish doggy dresses and sweaters.
This might seem like an odd reason to drive nearly 50 miles, but the Georgia Guidestones offer a truly memorable destination for a day out from Bogart. Not only is the grassy lawn perfect for a picnic, some fetch, and a walk, but the Guidestones themselves give you plenty to think about. These giant granite slabs contain end-of-the-world instructions and philosophy inscribed in 12 different tongues, including 4 ancient dead languages. This unusual monument was erected in 1980, but the stone's origin, creator, and true meaning remain elusive. Maybe your Blues can spot some clues to this mystery.
Thirteen miles west of Bogart, Winder offers some quick service dog-friendly dining options so you can fuel up on your way to Fort Yargo State Park. This 1,816-acre park includes a lake and a disc golf course that the park’s website promises is “exceptionally challenging.” You’ll have more than 20 miles of trails to roam, plus a variety of small boats available to rent: maybe your pups will help sniff out some fish. If you want to stay overnight, consider renting a yurt to do some glamping. When you’re ready to get back to civilization, the 1.2-mile Winder Connecting Trail leads you back towards shopping and a grocery store.
Twenty-two miles from Bogart, the Oconee National Forest sprawls for more than 100,000 acres with two man-made lakes and an extensive network of trails. There's plenty to captivate both you and your dogs. The forest includes the Scull Shoals Historic Site, where prehistoric Native American history is revealed side-by-side with the ruins of a nineteenth-century mill village, and your pups can explore the site with you. The Miller Creek Lake Recreation Area offers a footpath that encircles the 17-acre lake from the dam to the opposite shore. Though on the far end of the forest from Bogart, the Lake Sinclair Recreation Area has 417 miles of shoreline walks to explore.